Hiedanranta, Tampere, tests a new way of preserving important plants in the area

Urban green areas are important for both comfort of living and the preservation of species diversity. This has been taken into account in Hiedanranta, Tampere, where an operating model, previously rather unknown in Finland, is being developed to preserve plants in the area.

Collecting endangered plants in Hiedanranta. Picture: Jere Nieminen.

Working together to achieve sustainability goals

A new residential area of 25,000 residents is being planned for Hiedanranta, Tampere. The area is involved in the KIEPPI project, a partnership model for sustainable districts which focuses on developing Kera in Espoo, Hiedanranta in Tampere and Turku Science Park into sustainable districts that embrace circular economy.

The goal of the KIEPPI project is to develop a partnership model that enables cities to engage in more agile and closer cooperation with researchers and companies to achieve sustainability goals. In addition, the project will develop new circular economy business, test partnership building and develop new sustainable innovations. The cities of Espoo and Tampere as well as Turku Science Park Ltd are involved in the project.

The construction of green areas is one of the project’s pilot themes, and it is being tested in Hiedanranta, Tampere.

Plants grown from the seeds collected from Hiedanranta area. Picture: Jere Nieminen.

The area’s vegetation will be preserved in an enrichment meadow

The purpose of the landscaping pilot is to protect the rare wild plants characteristic of the area. The goal is to preserve the species during the construction of the area and to replant them in the green areas when the district is nearing completion.

The preservation of the species is carried out in three phases: the collection of plant seeds before construction, the preservation and development of vegetation in an enrichment meadow during construction and, finally, the transfer of plants from the enrichment meadow to permanent green areas.

Before collecting the seeds, typical plants in the area had to be mapped. Mapping started in 2019 and some of the culturally and historically interesting and endangered plant species typical of the area were already known. The preparation phase included identifying suitable collection areas, estimating the timing of seed maturity of suitable plants to be collected and identifying a suitable method of seed collection. During the collection phase, the seeds of most plant species were collected by hand, after which the most important plant species in the area were planted in pots to grow under special conditions.

Seeds collected from Hiedanranta. Picture: Jere Nieminen.

Next, an experimental enrichment meadow was established in Hiedanranta, where the different groups of plants were sown and planted in blocks. The seeds of the plant species growing in a richer and shadier habitat, on the other hand, were sown in the forest meadow of Lielahti Manor Park, which was established in autumn 2021. The seedlings will be moved from the enrichment meadow to permanent green areas in a few years’ time.

The enrichment meadow used in the project is part of a more extensive operating model change in the field of environmental construction and district development. The enrichment meadow is an important contribution to the pursuit of sustainability as, nowadays, the original vegetation and biodiversity of an area are in many places destroyed during the construction of a new district.

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