Placemaking with temporary (green) infrastructure
The aim of the Parkly and Innogreen pilot projects was to collect data about the impact of green infrastructure on urban conditions. Parkly placemakers and urban designers transform public urban places by creating a platform for enjoying the city’s greenscape. To keep a location inviting and lively, Parkly offers services ranging from participation tools and activities to green care and maintenance. Forum Virium Helsinki collaborated with Parkly to pilot modular, scalable green street furniture in Kalasatama. Parkly’s augmented reality element designer, ParklyCreate, allows users to try out the placement of various green street furniture elements at locations using a mobile device. This feature can be used as a fast and cheap way to deepen understanding of the spatial effects of bringing such furniture into an area. The greenery service company, Innogreen, offers nature-based, customisable space solutions that respond to residents’ demands for more greenery in a dense city.
Description of practice
● Planning the project.
● Applying for a permit.
● Building temporary constructions.
● Co-planning and implementing.
● Parkly and Innogreen organise their own activities for residents, such as planting events for children.
● Locals were kept informed using on-site notices and signs.
● Teenagers were included in the project by hiring them for different jobs, such as to water the plants.
Who was involved
Stakeholders, architects, urban planners, landscape architects, traffic planners, project management, innovation project leaders (Forum Virium Helsinki and B. Green), Parkly and Innogreen and local residents.
Promotion and communication
● Residents’ groups Facebook pages and use of signs on site.
● Visitors to Malmi and Malminkartano oases can share their experiences of and encounters in these areas on social media using the hashtag #kaupunkiuudistus (#cityreform).
● There were also various online events.
● Forum Virium Helsinki and Parkly used their own online channels.
● Skills: Close collaboration with the city and locals, asking them to provide water for the plants and encouraging them to visit the site.
● Resources: A detailed plan of the site; money for structures and communication; company knowledge; and humidity, air quality, noise and movement sensors.
The Parkly pilot in Kalasatama was initially planned for five months, from June 2021 until October 2021, but was extended until the summer of 2022 (approximately 12 months).
The Innogreen project lasted for five months, from July 2021 until October 2021.
|Level of participation
|Urban planning challenge(s) tackled
|Governance and institutional factors
Knowledge and skills
● Good insights were gained for the city on stakeholder participation, taking care of green spaces and teaching about climate change.
● Participation helps to show stakeholders the possibilities for change in the city and how things are changing.
● The projects are good examples of using and placing different temporary structures.
● The method requires a highly detailed and well-thought through plan.
● Choosing a good location is crucial. The project was initially placed in Malmi near a fountain, which unfortunately started to flood and forced the organisers to move to a new location.
● Organisers must be prepared for unexpected change.
● The concept could have been clearer, such as by creating different green areas for pollinators and children.
● The project would have benefited from providing more information for visitors, such as by adding more detailed signs in the area.
● Bringing even relatively small amounts greenery into a newly built area makes a big difference.
● These experimental projects indicate what temporary structures could be added and changes could eventually be made in the long term.
● The experimental projects placed greenery in areas where there was none before.