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Lappset prize 2018 to Landscape Architect Heta Seppälä

Seppälä examines urban metabolism through a scenario method.
Kaupungin materiaali- ja energiavirrat

Heta Seppälä’s thesis work focuses on the very topical subject of urban metabolism, that is, how the city's metabolism – material and energy flows – could be developed and made more sustainable. She uses the city of Salo as an example.

The work presents four different future scenarios based on different factors of change related to economy, lifestyle, environmental awareness, the use of natural resources and urban development.

Two scenarios present dystopian visions of a situation in which consumption and material flows have not been moderated successfully. In the third scenario, the city of Salo enters the bio and circular economy and seeks to prevent environmental problems through environmental technology and green growth. The fourth scenario presents a utopian situation in which material flows are reduced by lowering the standard of living, and ecological values are deemed more important than financial values. The scenarios bring up threats, but also opportunities to build a more sustainable future.

Wider opportunities through the scenario method

The Lappset Committee states that Seppälä has taken on a topical and very demanding subject, which requires an understanding of the multidisciplinary concept of urban metabolism. According to the committee, it is important to involve landscape architects in the debate, so that they can bring forth their own perspective based on landscape and natural processes.

The commission views the scenario work presented in Seppälä’s thesis work as an interesting method that can be used to highlight both desired and dreaded future visions and factors affecting them. The scenario method should be applied more widely at the strategic level of urban planning, thus promoting alternatives in support of sustainable design.

The Lappset scholarship is given to the best master’s thesis in landscape architecture and it is awarded each year to a meritorious student in the Landscape Architecture Programme at Aalto University. The prize amount is 2 000 euros and it is donated by Lappset Group Oy.

For further information:

Professor Ranja Hautamäki, Aalto University, tel. +358 (0)50 5232207, [email protected]

Landscape Architect Heta Seppälä, Aalto University, tel. +358 (0)400 928340, [email protected]

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