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Capital of the campus nature

Nature enhances the economic value of the area and contributes to the wellbeing of the people
An autumnal aerial view of Aalto University campus from Laajalahti, autumn colours, yellow and orange, are prominent in the trees
Pic: Matti Ahlgren / Aalto University

Aalto University campus's natural capital and ecosystem services were mapped in 2019, in a survey prepared by Ramboll Finland Oy. The aim of the survey was to highlight and describe the impact of the campus's nature on the economic value of the area and buildings as well as on the wellbeing of the people on campus. Natural capital mapping contributes to the value of campus properties, greenery, biodiversity, recreational values and the unique identity of the forest campus.

Nature is a key part of the identity of the Aalto University campus, while nature also brings added value to the campus users. For example, walking in the woods has been found to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Trees protect from the wind and usually add value to homes and other buildings.

Campus development plays an important role in realising a sustainable future

Aalto University strives to build a sustainable future as is defined in its new strategy. Built on a sustainable basis, the campus provides the perfect setting for the task.
 

Three students in autumn walking on Aalto University campus, near Harald Herling Learning Centre.
Pic: Aino Huovio / Aalto University

A conceptual landscape plan for Aalto campus was drawn up in 2018, defining sustainable principles for campus renovations. This means, for example, assigning building works to asphalt fields instead of valuable forest areas. The plan was prepared by the Danish landscape architectural office SLA, which specialises in sustainable design.

A campus designed for its users

Otaniemi campus is exceptionally lush and wooded. In the original area design by Aino and Alvar Aalto, people and the city were brought in the middle of nature. The buildings were carefully designed to match the existing terrain, and the historic lime tree alleys were preserved as creating the heart of the campus.

Aalto's campus area is constantly growing and developing. New areas are being built and the number of campus users will increase. The campus is being developed to enhance its unique features. Valuable architectural heritage and lush nature will continue to be the attractions of Otaniemi.

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