Nature Values and Blue/Green Structure
The Blue/Green Structure is based on the precious hardwoods, nut bushes hedges and water stream environments that remain on the southern, western and northern edges of the area and complemented by the historic linden tree alley. This canopy network formed by natural environments and old trees acts both as an important flying squirrel habitat connection and as a recreational route that brings serenity to the residential environments and supports the relationship with nature. The placement of the buildings has taken into account the preservation of valuable natural environments and the flying-squirrel habitat.
The natural environments that need to be protected balance the microclimate of the area that is being built gradually, and act as a flood route protecting the area at its northern end. Old trees emphasise Otaniemi’s habitat layers that were created over time.
Preserved natural environments are naturally connected to the versatile Blue-Green structure created by courtyards, parks and squares.
The Forest Garden, with its noble deciduous trees, shady conifers, small ponds and alpine roses, supports the flying squirrel habitat within residential environments. Merenranta, which reflects the maritime Otaniemi, brings the wind-bent pines on top of rocks and lush, shady nooks and crannies into the urban environment. Complemented by fruit trees, allotment cultivation, flowering meadows and small greenhouses, the Apple Orchard brings alive the spirit of manor environments of the past.
Stormwater from the urban environment is channeled through the chain of stormwater solutions throughout the area, helped along by the natural topography. Stormwater management relies mainly on above-ground structures so that rainwater can enliven hard-surfaced urban environments. Delaying and utilising stormwater is essential to prevent flooding problems in the future, but also to preserve Otaniemi’s image as a forest campus. Thanks to the stormwater, both preserved and newly planted trees get enough water for their root systems and are thriving.
In the yards, stormwater is collected in small depressions lined with vegetation and stones. In the public walking environment, stormwater structures are seat-edged, embedded or stair-flowing waterfalls that create natural places to hang out and enjoy the nature. Stormwater is led to Hulepuisto located on the northern edge of the area and further down along Maarintie Road in the direction of Laajalahti.