Location: Oulu

Type: competition, regional planning, landuse planning, landscaping, shoreline development

Status: Invited competition, 1st prize

Year: 2019

Organizers: City of Oulu, Cooperative Finnish housing fair, The Finnish association of architects SAFA

Design: Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit (landscapearchitecture), MUUAN (architecture)

Collaborators: WSP Finland Oy (traffic), Ethica Oy (circular economy), Henry Lindgren (infrastructure)

The winning entry to the Hartaanselänranta Ideas Competition complements the existing urban structure in Oulu and completes the Oulujoki Delta Loupe as a recreational route that connects the different parts of the city. The dynamic landscape of the estuary is the element that formulates the identity of Hartaanselänranta and was the starting point for the design.  The fluctuation of water level, the seasons and the ever-changing estuary create an experiential environment consisting of direct water connections, nature-based stormwater solutions, various types of recreational areas and flood-proof construction. The restoration of the Holstinsalmi strait adjacent to Mustasaari island and the seasonal element of periodically disappearing islands caused by rising sea levels, creates a changing time horizon for the area.

The proposal harnesses the potential of diverse natural landscapes to strengthen the locals’ connection with the environment and place while enhancing the experiences offered to visitors. The shores are developed with a focus on movement and activities aimed at creating a dynamic interaction with nature and the landscape. The shore area both protect and create new habitats for flora and fauna. Access to water is strategically integrated throughout the design area. The versatile blue-green infrastructure provides the basis for recreational activities and a healthy environment and promotes an active lifestyle throughout the year.

Hartaanselänranta makes Oulu a forerunner in climate-wise and water-sensitive urban development.

The four key areas of the masterplan have all been approached in a unique way based on different lifestyles, services and recreational structures that support them. The goal is to build a sustainable and carbon-neutral city of the future that produces more than it consumes. Hartaanselänranta makes Oulu a forerunner in climate-wise and water-sensitive urban development.