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Students innovate a low carbon Vaasa for smooth everyday life and business in the 72-hour transport challenge

Published: 26.10.2021

Multi-disciplinary, innovative and user-centred solutions for the urban environment of Vaasa are sought during the 72-hour transport challenge. How to combine the viewpoints of transport, smooth everyday life and business, and what are the emission impacts of the solutions?

During the 72-hour transport challenge that started today, a group of students innovates solutions for the Vaasa of the future, in which transport is easy to use, everyday life is smooth, and business thrives.

– The challenge gives the students a unique opportunity to influence Vaasa’s future. In their assignment, the students should also consider possibilities for co-operation between Vaasa and Umeå. We aim at provoking fruitful common learning experiences and new ideas, says Jukka Talvi, Director of Municipal Infrastructure at the City of Vaasa.

The main task of the students is to present how Vaasa’s vision of the world’s happiest and most environmentally friendly city is realised in practice in the three areas chosen for the competition, namely the Vaasa city centre, the GigaVaasa area and the industrial Strömberg Park and its surroundings.

– The areas are different from each other, which gives more freedom for developing ideas and innovative solutions. The solutions should take into account, for example, the viewpoints of transport, a smooth everyday life and business, says Aimo Huhdanmäki, expert in transport systems and land use at The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

In their solution, the students should address, for example, the effects of the digitalisation of trade and services, development of electric and low-emission transport, changes in working and the trend toward multi-location working as well as the city’s brand and attractiveness.

This year is the first year that an emission impact analysis of the competition entries is included in the judging process. The analysis makes use of an emission impact assessment model developed in cooperation between Ramboll and the City of Vaasa.

– This is already the seventh year we are organising the transport challenge, but this time sustainable development and internationality are even more strongly present in the competition. The Nordic cooperation dimension is sure to add extra colour to the submissions. The 72 hours also include a field trip provided by Wasaline, in which the teams get to see sustainable development solutions in Umeå, says the person behind the transport challenge, Jukka-Pekka Pitkänen of Ramboll.

– The 72-hour transport challenge has provided the organisers with many fresh ideas during the years, some of which have also been put into practice. I believe that this year will not be an exception.

The students submit their work to the judges for evaluation on Friday 29 October. The winner is announced in the result seminar held at Vaasa city hall on Friday 5 November between 8 AM and 1 PM.

The challenge is organised by the City of Vaasa, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the Sustainable City programme of the Ministry of the Environment, ABB, Wasaline and Ramboll Finland in cooperation with the University of Vaasa, VAMK and Novia.