Hiedanranta makes Tampere a forerunner

17.2.2017
The neighbourhood of Hiedanranta in Tampere is an area that is talked about although it doesn’t even exist yet.
Hiedanranta is the world’s first circular district created together by people, businesses and the city. The what? It is a fair community for happy people, novel urban solutions, circular business and sharing economy. The Hiedanranta district represents new urban circularity and a smart way to live comfortably.

Tampere invests in the vital force of the city
Reijo Väliharju, the Director for Urban Development of the City of Tampere is responsible for the Hiedanranta project. “When the city bought the area, I suggested immediately that this should become the major development project in all aspects. It was decided then that I drop all my other duties and focus only on Hiedanranta” Väliharju kertoo. “It is not only about building a new neighbourhood but actually increasing the vital force of the entire city.”

The idea is as follows:
– Meet the needs of future residents through an attractive system of services

– Develop the city as a platform for sharing economy

– Advance profitable circular business models

Urban deveolopment taken to a new level
”Ethica found us. They had heard about Hiedanranta and contacted us. I rather talk about sustainability than circular economy. I explore how urban development can be taken to entirely new level”, says Väliharju. Discussions with Ethica led to collaboration and multidisciplinary, international team was formed from the Solved Cleantech Network.

”This was one of the most positive experiences in my entire career.”

It pays off to choose the consultant team carefully

Väliharju has procured consultancy work of all kinds during his career and has seen diverse ways of working. Working felt very human with Ethica and Väliharju says that they got good value for the money. ”“We gained a huge amount of expertise and the project went forward very smoothly. When we started we didn’t have a clear vision, so we really wanted to explore different aspects with Ethica and we had a number of extremely deep-diving and insightful discussions, which always added value. This was one the most positive experiences I’ve had in my career.”

There is a sufficient amount of wisdom to solve problems
Väliharju believes that the majority of people have already realised that we cannot sustain our current lifestyles, at least not in the Western world style. ”We owe to the world” he says. ”“Our lifestyle is comfy and safe, but it is based on the fact that we over consume the resources that the nature provides us with. We should produce as much as we consume.” Väliharju is confident that now is the right moment to get on the new level. ”We need to deal with the problems that urbanisation brings with it, but there is sufficiently research, wisdom and various actors through which we can find right solutions.”

Tampere wants to be the international forerunner

Tampere wants to be amongst the forerunners such as Vancouver. To be precise, Tampere wouldn’t mind to be even better than the other forerunners. Does it sound crazy? Väliharju can back up his argument well: ”Our safe and well functioning society in itself is a great enabler. Helsinki and Tampere are truly compelling to investors thanks to this safety aspect.” Right now Väliharju needs to find some key actors from small-scale pilots to large international companies to locate in Hiedanranta.

”I hope they realise that we have a suitable platform for distinct pilot projects. We find it important to get the area’s ecosystem set up. We want to develop the best possible area which provides everything you need for success.”

Watch Hiedanranta video

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