Urban Goodcamp Helsinki began on January 16th with four sustainability urban challenges

At its core, the Erasmus+ project Urban GoodCamp creates opportunities for universities and local organisations to collaborate on tackling pressing urban challenges.
Urban Goodcamp - tackling urban challenges

Andrzej Tarasiuk, a designer in the Creative Sustainability programme, is participating in Ramboll’s walkability and cycling development challenge. This is one of the four challenges provided by Urban GoodCamp’s partnering companies, leading sustainability efforts in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

As urban development has emphasised the presence and need for cycling infrastructures, walking has been somewhat left as a bystander. Yet, these are two highly foundational  modes of transport with very different properties and legislation. In this challenge, the participants are asked to make walking a meaningful and attractive experience for people, especially in the most centric locations. This design challenge, led by Ramboll’s Tapio Kinnunen, aims for safe and accessible areas that adhere to the main characteristics of walking – transport, recreation, and sojourn.

Paul Wong, a business major also from the Creative Sustainability master’s degree, is participating in the City of Helsinki’s Circular Economy Cluster Program challenge. Initiated in 2021, the Program aims to both promote circular economy innovations and business, as well as help the City move towards reaching its climate goals.

In this challenge, Paul, together with partners Ronny Rantamäki and Emilia Syväjärvi,  looks at how different city divisions, companies, research institutes, universities and other organisations are interested in promoting circular economy within the construction sector. Under the guidance of the City of Helsinki, the team’s task is to design a future operating model for the Cluster Program beyond 2024.

Another of Urban GoodCamp’s partners, ResQ Club, provided a challenge related to the urban food ecosystem. Waste management from a food perspective means understanding how different urban stakeholders - the city, food aid organisations, restaurants, grocery stores, and the citizens - collaborate to develop better tools to reduce food waste. Under the guidance of Marjo Hinkkala, participants work on developing good practices in Finnish cities to improve food waste management in the city, and what factors ignite interest in sustainability.

Finally, Poonam Ramesh Chawda and Elena Seip, respectively an engineer and a designer from the New Media and European Design programmes, are currently working with SPIN Unit, a research & development organisation led by urbanist Damiano Cerrone, who is currently exploring the increasingly demanding food supply chains in cities, and their effects. While a shift towards a plant-based diet relieves planetary sources, it may also increase our dependence on global supply chains, as the technologies and the patents to produce plant proteins are scarce.

SPIN Unit’s challenge is to reimagine the food system to improve food security, establish local supply chains and mitigate the impacts of a necessary plant-based diet on the cultural landscape of cities. How can a vision of the future inform actions that can be taken today?

The students, all with an interest in sustainable approaches to pressing social and environmental issues, will be working on their challenges all throughout February and will be presenting their final solutions on March 3rd in A Grid during Urban GoodCamp’s closing event, part of the UCAMP MiniCamp.


Solving urban challenges in Aalto through the Urban GoodCamp project

This spring, Aalto students participated in the Urban Goodcamp, where they developed solutions to urban challenges in Helsinki in collaboration with local organizations.


Urban GoodCamp International Networking Event

An online networking event focused on the urban challenges of Circular Economy, Biodiversity & Green Spaces, and Sustainable Communities. Get ready to connect with like-minded individuals from vibrant cities such as Ljubljana, Helsinki/Aalto, Madrid, Venice, and Amsterdam and take this chance to present your cutting-edge work while engaging in themed discussions where you can share your expertise, learn from others, and explore innovative practices and solutions to common European urban challenges.

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