Archives Aalto City Garden

In the beginning, there was a pit

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 23:19, by pigasus

The first planning session was held on the 10th of June 2010 in Kääntöpaikka, following the event invitations on Facebook by Airikka Nurmela, the “mother” of the idea. In the meeting, we reached the conclusion that the empty plot in the corner of Muotoilijankatu and Arabiankatu is a great place for, if not else, cultivating greens in containers. We decided to put up an open Facebook group called Urban Growers of Arabianranta (Arabianrannan kaupunkiviljelijät). It was agreed that the goal would be to get cultivation underway this summer.

Translation by Pigasus Translations


Posted on June 13, 2010 at 23:24, by pigasus

Right after the first grower meeting, Airikka Nurmela began to make enquiries about the situation of the empty plot and had the idea of calling to Niina Puumalainen in the Helsinki city Economic and Planning Centre. Ms. Puumalainen works in District Development Section, and Arabianranta is one of the areas she’s in charge of. Read more

Action in the background

Posted on June 21, 2010 at 23:33, by pigasus

Tuula Isohanni sent a message, saying that she had discussed the idea with Markku Hakuri, the professor of environmental art at Aalto University, and that the idea was in Mr. Hakuri’s view feasible.

Niina Puumalainen enquired about the opinion of the owner of the plot, the Real Estate Department of the city, and found that the department reaction was positive. Their message was that the city would be content with a nominal rent but it would have to be clear who is responsible for the upkeep of the plot and the cultivation.

Translation by Pigasus Translations


Posted on July 29, 2010 at 23:38, by pigasus

Airikka is a journalist, which comes in handy. Yle, the national broadcasting, aired a feature of the Aalto City Garden plan on the radio.

Translation by Pigasus Translations

The second meeting

Posted on August 17, 2010 at 23:42, by pigasus

Tuula Isohanni from Aalto University took part in the second grower meeting in Kääntöpaikka. Participation remained modest. Ms. Isohanni was very excited about the idea and had pitched it successfully to the environmental art department.

In the meeting we tried to formulate requirements for the cultivation, all the things we would like it to be. We sketched some plans for the future as well. The Aalto City Garden project must fulfil all WDC 2012 criteria, and so Airikka promised to write a proper initiative application for a WDC initiative.

Translation by Pigasus Translations

Application for a WDC 2012 initiative

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 22:00, by pigasus

Based on the discussion in the two grower meetings, Airikka drew up the following proposal for the application for a WDC 2012 initiative.



Edible Arabianranta is a plan thought up by the residents of the area, which unites urban agriculture and environmental art to form common living rooms for the residents.

There is an oasis in a lush park by a stream. A few city residents are looking after their plants. Summer squashes seem to yield a particularly good harvest this year. Read more

Looking good!

Posted on September 1, 2010 at 08:54, by pigasus

At this point, it’s clear that we can use the empty plot for cultivation in the summer of 2011. We would have liked to start this year, but no can do. It’s ok, though, the future looks bright, and everything has went so well that you wouldn’t believe. At least I wouldn’t, true to my Finnish brand of scepticism.


The Arabianranta art co-ordinator, Tuula Isohanni from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, has taken the project under her wing. She has managed to achieve progress both with the city and with the School of Arts. The project now has the support of the city, and the planning will start at the department of environmental art sometime in the autumn. The application for a WDC initiative has been handed in, and it’s realistic to expect that it will pass and that financial support would come from that quarter.


Translation by Pigasus Translations

Planning soon underway at Aalto University School of Arts

Posted on September 29, 2010 at 22:30, by pigasus

Before initiating the planning process, Scott Elliott from Aalto University School of Arts met with city officials. In the meeting, they agreed on the following framework for the project:

  • ­Alongside with its function as a place for growing plants, the plot is supposed to serve as a park area and should thus look nice. Read more

Plans and meetings

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 22:39, by pigasus

Airikka met with the art school students today to communicate the wishes residents have for the cultivated work of art. The wishes put forward by the residents were to have areas of all sizes for cultivating, a place for hanging out, a box with a lock for tools and a compost bin. The residents were also hoping that the artwork would become a monument of Arabianranta. Read more

After winter

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 22:23, by pigasus

During winter, the planning went on in the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture headed by Scott Elliott. In November, Scott met with the architect in charge of Arabianranta area in the City Planning Department, and the designs and plans made by students were sent to the architect already by the end of the month. December saw three designs chosen and presented to the city decision-makers, after which one of the designs was selected for realisation.

At the end of February, Scott, Tuula Isohanni and the architect from the City Planning Department had one final meeting about the budget and matters concerning some last loose ends. In the beginning of March, the chosen plan was handed over to the environmental engineer of the Land Division of the Real Estate Department who would use it when landscaping the plot.


Translation by Pigasus Translations