The annual days of soil protection and soil research were held on 14–16 March 2018 in Oulu, Finland. The event was organized by the Soil protection and environmental protection technology association (Mutku ry). The days interested some 100 participants, including for example representatives from the biggest contaminated land consultant companies operating in Finland. The Baltic Urban Lab project was also presented there on 15 March by Johanna Aaltonen and Sami Tantarimäki from the University of Turku.
Careful Site analysis pays off
The topics on 15 March included themes under Planning, land use, and projects. One of the key findings during the day and among the different presentations was presented by Satu Järvinen from the City of Helsinki:
- One should not save from systematic and profound Site analysis, and from investigations of the past use of the brownfields that are to be developed. The Site analysis should cover also the land areas that seem to be clean.
The guiding rule was supported also by the other presentations during the day:
- When the planning needs are changing during the planning process, the area is already known as a whole
- Those issues are included in the contracts with developers
- It is costly both financially and temporally, when there are surprises during the operational land remediation
- The remediation methods must be chosen carefully, and they are case-specific; there is not an one-method-fits for all (for example the in situ methods)
- It gives better understanding of the land masses that need to be transported or managed, and to consider the resource efficiency aspects as well as cost savings in the detailed planning process
- The volatile compounds are a new challenge in the land remediation scene.
Site visit to Toppila, main redevelopment area in Oulu
The last morning on 16 March was reserved for a site visit. It was organized by the City of Oulu and the Ramboll Oy. The sites included massive redevelopment areas that are located along and nearby the Toppilansalmi Strait. These surroundings have seen mixed industrial and commercial functions already from the times of the tar industry since the 18th century, and have now been taken for example into housing.
Co-operation and communication still topical
The annual days were of a high relevance and emphasized the complexity and the non-linearity of the land remediation projects. The importance of co-operation and communication between the different operators was highlighted all along. One working solution could be what the City of Hyvinkää (Jouni Mattsson) already presented in the Baltic Urban Lab workhop in Norrköping on 15 June 2017: utilising a cloud platform in a construction project in between the designer, control, land surveyor, work machinery, site foreman, and the project owner.
The presentations of the annual days are available from: https://www.mutku.fi/mutku-paivat-2018