Smart and Sustainable Kangas in Jyväskylä

Description of the practice: 

2011- ongoing


Kangas is one of the most significant project of brownfield regeneration - a former paper mill and the smart future district of the future where people live, work, study and enjoy themselves. In planning and implementation, old methods will be changes to new innovative and smart solutions, without forgetting the area's interesting history. In 2040, it is being visioned that more than 5000 residents would live and about 2000 workers would be in the Smart Kangas area.  The paper mill was closed in 2010 and the area of 27 hectares became the property of the City of Jyväskylä in November 2011. The Kangas project is the main urban development project in Jyväskylä for the next several decades. The City Council approved the master plan for Kangas at the end of 2013 and one detailed plan has been ratified in 2014 (the old paper mill). The other detailed plan, Piippuranta (residential area) is accepted to be ratified in the spring 2015. Residential construction started in 2016. 

  • Kangas will provide high-quality city centre housing as well as socially and demographically balanced and diverse habitat. One of the goals is to provide affordable large apartments (about 10% of housing supply)aimed especially at families with children.  A variety of different forms of supported housing, including social housing, rental housing, sheltered housing, communal housing and housing for senior citizens will account for roughly 30% of the homes to be built.
  • Sustainable development - At Kangas, City of Jyväskylä is pursuing economically and ecologically sound solutions as well as minimal consumption of energy. 
  • Attractive pedestrian environment -  fast bicycle lanes, underground parking and maintenance routes. The concentration of local services in a single centre strengthens pedestrian movement, cycling and public transport. The proximity of city centre provides opportunities to develop a car-independent area. Smart grids and other mobile solutions for urban ICT are integrated with the planning of infrastructure. 
  • Green areas - water and green areas important aspect for development
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Integrated and intelligent waste management (Circwaste project)
  • Solar energy 
  • Centralized electronic locking and access control 

The urban planning of Kangas started with an EU-funded pilot project, prior to the preparation of an architectural competition programme. ​In the spring of 2011, City of Jyväskylä and Jyväskylä HUB invited individual citizens, civic organisations and groups of people to come up with their own view of what a good city should look like in the future (600 people shared their thoughts of future cities). New methods of participation were used to collect citizens’ ideas and dreams. Some of the methods used for development of the area: 

  • an open web-based forum;
  • 14 facilitated and self-run workshops;
  • consultation in public spaces (shopping centre and pub); 
  • digital storytelling and graphic facilitation were also used during the workshops
  • architectural Master Plan Competition.

The ideas and dreams formed part of the development themes which were approved by City Council in June 2011. Recurrent themes in the interaction process were versatility, sense of community, closeness to nature, movement and vibrancy. 


The result  of the participatory planning with the stakeholders were 31 highly elaborated visions for the development of the area: stories, pictures and videos. Ideas were incorporated in the development themes which were approved by the City Council in 2011. These days, a variety of businesses operate in the Old Paper Mill alongside Humak of University of Applied Sciences and some parts of Jyväskylä Educational Consortium. First inhabitants moved to Kangas at the beginning of 2017 whereas construction continues for residential housing.

Further description of the experiences: 

EU funding, private developers and City of Jyväskylä