Sustainability in community development
Sustainability is one of most difficult challenges faced by modern community development. In society, various aspects of sustainable development (ecological, economic, social and cultural) have become a subject of wider discussion, and this is also reflected in planning. Community development plays an important part in facilitating sustainability. Energy consumption, food production, traffic and transport, the effects of an ageing population, services, commerce and competitiveness are always dependent on city planning solutions, which either support or weaken, prevent or facilitate sustainable results. The practical implementation of visions also poses challenges. Various implementation models have been developed elsewhere, but these should be investigated and tested within a Finnish framework.
Functioning existing structures may be utilised as a basis for new ones; in global terms, Finland's type of architectural competition is highly developed and this could be taken one stage further, to cover the additional needs of society, although this will require extensive co-operation between all interested parties, starting from the planning phase of the competition. Ideally, a competition outcome could benefit everyone, either directly through financial profit, or in the long run, in the shape of a more sustainable society.
There has been an increasing interest in the research and development of sustainable community solutions. Architectural competitions focusing on energy efficiency and sustainable development such as the Jätkäsaari Low2No sustainable development design competition in Helsinki, the new Tourism Village Competition at Ylläs and the Henna InTo – Innovative Town Concept for the Future – Competition in Orimattila have already been carried out in Finland. However, the outcome of these has been either limited to single buildings or city blocks, without delivering solutions suited to entire communities, based on sustainable development, or else the aim has been to produce ideas or concepts, rather than practical solutions. The Sibbesborg competition, comprising a relatively undeveloped area located next to a metropolis, offers a great opportunity for the research and development of sustainable community solutions leading from vision to implementation on a city scale.