OOPEAA is working on a future vision for the Seinäjoki Centre in collaboration with Gehl

The City of Seinäjoki has commissioned OOPEAA in collaboration with Gehl – Copenhagen to work on a plan to provide a framework for the future development of the Seinäjoki Centre.
As the first part of creating a vision for the future of the Seinäjoki Centre, OOPEAA is working on an analysis of the current challenges and future potential of the area through a set of participatory workshops together with representatives of the city. The analysis will be ready at the end of the year and it will provide the foundation for future work on the vision to continue next year. The aim is to create a master plan for the central parts of Seinäjoki and a set of guidelines for the development of the city in the long run. The vision puts people at the center of the planning work. The goal is to create a livable and sustainable city that provides a good framework for quality of life for the citizens of Seinäjoki.

OOPEAA brings to the project its expertise and vision in shaping sustainable buildings and urban environments, while Gehl Architects, a world-leading consultant in integrated urban solutions for making “cities for people”, will share its tools for activating urban life through innovative, participatory and people centered spatial solutions.
As part of the project there will be a series of workshops organized with the goal of facilitating the creation of a common vision for Seinäjoki city centre through an open dialogue involving the different stakeholders in a shared process.

The first workshop between OOPEAA, Gehl and representative of the City of Seinäjoki took place on November 13, 2017. The carefully prepared workshop provided a great occasion to meet, discuss and share ideas and envision tools for developing the future of Seinäjoki city centre together. After introductory presentations by Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA and David Sim of Gehl People, the participants worked in groups on envisioning ideas for the future development of Seinäjoki and creating an action plan with actions to be implemented in the short term, medium term and long term.

Some key themes that arose from the discussion were about integrating light and art in the city environment, providing more opportunities for activities in order to create an “all-year city”, balancing transport modes through prioritization of bicycles, and creating a new approach to provide diversity in housing and integrating green elements and cozy living spaces in the public spaces of the city. As a common thread in all proposals there was a positive attitude towards the city. While it was noted that in the long term Seinäjoki needs more flexible housing solutions, a redesign of some strategic street-links, a new multifunctional station area and better services for families and young people as well as elderly people with green facilities that allow opportunities for all to actively enjoy them, many short-term and “software” ideas could be implemented already in the next two years.

Some of the proposals for actions to be implemented in the short term included ideas for changing the speed limits to balance car and pedestrian traffic, activating the ground floors with pop-up spaces for young people, activating key areas with street art and lights, providing better and more interactive information through apps and online platforms, fostering public transportation through focused pilots (e.g. a free bus card trial), and installing free wi-fi points and electric sockets for charging phones and laptops in open spaces in order to enable the possibility of spending more time outdoors whether for work or play.

The Future Vision for the Seinäjoki Centre is a process commissioned and developed by the Urban Planning Department of Seinäjoki City in collaboration with OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture – Seinäjoki and Gehl – Copenhagen.

For more information about the project, click here.