Nordic student team Eco Art 2 won the Nordic City Challenge 2017


The Polku takes people on a journey through nodes of meeting places manifesting the history and existing seeds of community in the area.

Members of the winning team (left): Thomas Rahbek, global health (University of Copenhagen), Madeleine Larsson, social sciences (University of Gothenburg), Eeva-Maija Ekman, landscape architecture (Aalto University), Aapo Markkula, arts management (Sibelius Academy, University of Arts) and Maria Viitanen, spatial planning & transportation engineering (Aalto University)

Polku, the proposition of the Nordic student team Eco Art 2, was selected as the winner of the Nordic City Challenge NCC 2017 developing Pasila area in Helsinki. Winners of the multidisciplinary case competition were selected on the first of November at Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre in Espoo.

‘Pasila deserves better! Pasila is a diverse community without an opportunity to come together and express itself in the urban space. There is a stark disconnection between city and nature. We are proposing a solution based on movement, connectivity and art’, the team describes Polku.

‘Polku brings Finnish “luontopolku” or a nature path into the city. Pasila provides the elements of rough urban canvas and is a source of green in the adjacent central park. The Polku takes people on a journey through nodes of meeting places manifesting the history and existing seeds of community in the area. In Pasila we plant a seed for new Finnish urban identity, a natural marriage between nature and the city.’

‘Pasila unites to build an identity through art, culture and entrepreneurial projects. The Polku connects east and west Pasila, as well as nature and the city. Different geographical areas will be connected through culture pieces and historical landmarks. Art and nature are used as tools to educate the people within eco-sustainability, awareness and stimulate them to be active themselves. By monumentalizing iconic landmarks in Pasila, the Polku will renew and refresh the dated postcard image of Helsinki”, they continue.

Polku presentation is available at:

The presentations will be exhibited in the information and exhibition space for the city of Helsinki Laituri for 2-4 weeks starting at the 20th of November.

The organizers invited 24 students from five Nordic countries to participate in the multidisciplinary course in urban planning. The participants in the Nordic City Challenge represented for example the following academic disciplines: urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, creative sustainability, real estate economics, environmental engineering, environmental ecology, global health, arts management, industrial design, social sciences and environmental and natural resources.

Nordic City Challenge jury members were:

  • Aino Kostiainen, programme Coordinator (Art and Culture), Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre
  • Petri Kangassalo, member of board of Directors, Dodo ry
  • Meri Löyttyniemi, Senior advisor, Sustainable Development, Aalto University
  • Sami Moisio, Professor of Spatial Planning and Policy, University of Helsinki
  • Jalmari Sarla, Pasila grassroot activist
  • Elina Suonranta, Architect, city planning department, city of Helsinki

The project was administrated by Hanaholmen cooperation centre for Sweden and Finland. Organizers included also Urban Academy, University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN).

About the Nordic City Challenge:

For more information:

Meeri Karvinen
Researcher, coordinator of the NSCN, Aalto University,, +358 50 407 1884

Meri Löyttyniemi, chair of NSCN and member of the jury, Senior advisor, Sustainable Development, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 313 7549