Turku Future Forum gathered over 200 participants to discuss and jointly develop ideas and scenarios for the development of Kupittaa-Itäharju area - the Campus and Science park area.
Towards human-scale environment and mixed-use area
The week was started with the topic of attractive urban environments and how to transform the Kupittaa-Itäharju area - the Turku Pilot site into active and livable city districts with multiple functions. The participants were invited to brainstorm how the area could be active from morning till the evening, what would distinct it from other areas and would high-rise buildings fit the area. Participants wished for more human-scale environment, car-free areas, improved accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists and more places for inhabitants and businesses to meet and interact. It was seen necessary to create truly mixed-used area with good range of services where living and working could be combined.
Future mobility solutions
Second day focused on new mobility solutions and how the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) could be implemented and how people’s travel chains combining different modes of transport could be improved and made easier. Participants were allowed to think far in future and were developing vision where drones would drop the groceries at people’s homes giving some extra time for other activities in the daily life. It was seen possible that in the Kupittaa-itäharju area, which is within good connections from the city centre and next to the train station, the private car use could be minimized with introduction of car and ride sharing services and good public transport connections.
City districts as platforms for piloting and developing new innovations
The third day focused on discussing how city districts could better function as platforms for testing and developing new innovations. Participants agreed that more interaction and stronger networks between different actors such as research institutes, universities, businesses, the city administration and citizens are needed.
Timo Hintsanen, the head of city planning in the City of Turku explained that with the planning of Kupittaa-itäharju – the campus and science park area the city implements new way of planning where the stakeholders are invited to participate in the development process already before the actual planning has even started to ensure that the plans will leave space for innovativeness and piloting of new solutions.
Planning Future Campus
The last day of the forum focused on the campus area with many universities and how to develop the area as a meeting point for studying, science and business life. Five finalist proposals of the Turku Campus Upgrade idea competition were presented and jury elected the winner. After announcing the winners, all participants had a chance to participate in producing future visions until 2059!
During the four Future Forum days the participants were given a chance to contribute to the vision for the area with their wildest ideas in interactive workshop sessions that were organized around different themes. But what happens when everybody can participate in planning their living environment?
“That produces huge amount of great ideas that combine different perspectives. In the Future Forum workshop, the atmosphere has been open-minded and inspiring and people have expressed even their craziest ideas. That is exactly what the city expected from the forum” states Riitta Birkstedt, the Project Manager in City of Turku.
Turku aims to organize more events under the label of Turku Future Forum and invites all stakeholders to contribute in different urban development issues. The results of the Future Forum will be used in formulating the vision and development plan for the of Kupittaa-Itäharju area.