3.3.2021 | Annika Pousi

The future possibilities of the urban green

The role of the urban green as an important part of well-being, health, biodiversity and the adaptation and fight against global warming is becoming more and more crucial in dense urban areas.

The urban green consists, for instance, of large-scale parks and green areas as well as smaller green spaces within cities, the vegetation in public squares and private yards, street trees, stormwater vegetation such as infiltration basins and other stormwater retention ponds as well as sport areas and playgrounds. We at Nomaji plan the urban environment using nature-based solutions, utilizing natural processes and aiming for network of diverse habitats for both humans and other species.

The species of the urban nature, e.g. insects and birds, other wildlife and the life in the city come together in a compact area in Alppila forming an interesting node in the outcrops of Savonpuisto park. Supporting biodiversity by both preserving areas and creating new habitats is the starting point for planning future changes for the Savonkatu area. In addition to the outcrops, yards and parks, also natural stormwater treatment areas, green roofs and diverse rooftop gardens can form important new habitat patches for wildlife and enable at the same time more space for leisure and activities.

Alppilas cosy outdoor spaces

Savonpuisto and Saimaanpuistikko outcrops are in active, year-round use as an extended living space of the local residents. They are a major part of Alppilas identity forming a powerful landscape element. The rocky landscape also connects Alppila’s park areas to each other as a network, creating experiences, close access to nature, shortcuts, calmness, social interactions and long vistas over the city.

Currently the southern part of Savonpuisto is exposed to noise. Park activities are found in the neighbouring Alppipuisto making the green- and pedestrian connections through the Savonkatu area important. The rocky terrain also presents challenges to the users, and accessibility and the locations of the activities are to be carefully considered in the planning process. The aim is to offer more services and park activities to the citizens, as well as genuine experiences of urban nature, more quiet and calmer areas where there is space for the local nature and hanging out. By marking the walking paths more clearly it is possible to better preserve the most delicate locations for vegetation and small animals.

The significance of the Savonpuisto outcrops to the citizens is emphasized by the fact that based on the results of a map-based survey the most requested services and activities are strongly related to the outdoor public spaces and urban nature. The most requests were made for parks, outdoor sport areas, cafes and sport- and cultural recreation venues. Acknowledging these wishes we continue with the planning and work to develop Savonkatu as a diverse area in regards of urban ecology, cityscape and the activities it has to offer.

We invite Juha Mäki-Jyllilä from JKMM Architects to tell next about the future scale of Savonkatu.

Annika Pousi
Landscape architect MARK