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City of Oulu
Oulu is the largest city in Northern Finland. Founded in 1605 by King Charles IX of Sweden opposite the castle built on the island of Linnansaari, Oulu is situated by the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of Oulu River, an ancient trading site. The name Oulu comes from a word in the Sami language meaning floodwater. Oulu has been the capital of Oulu province since 1776. From being a town known for tar and salmon, Oulu has evolved into a growing modern centre of competence.
Oulu is known for its cooperative, competent people, active development, high-class services, versatile business structure and strong economy. Oulu offers an excellent setting for study, work, research and development. Oulu is a place where one can live comfortably. The city centre is lively and relatively small. Nature is always close at hand in Oulu.
In terms of population, Oulu is the sixth largest city in Finland, and for several years it has been one of the fastest growing urban centres in the country. What sets Oulu apart from other Finnish cities is its youthful age structure: there is a constant influx of students and job applicants, and nativity has always been high in the region. On Jan 1st 2010 the average age of people living in Oulu was 36.9 years.
Oulu creates and maintains actively international relations. The purpose of the internationalisation is to pursue activities that will promote the achievement of the city’s strategic objectives and to develop the city where internationalisation and multiculturalism can be recognised as a valuable resource and to strengthen the international image of the city.
Oulu is internationally known as a city of technology. Co-operation between enterprises, research, education and public organisations has produced significant results. Today Oulu is a major centre of competence in the field of high technology, particularly IT and wellness technology. More traditional industries, such as wood refining, paper and steel industry, are also strong in Oulu. Oulu is investing and will continue to invest more and more in the development of extensive businesses as well as logistics, information technology, content production, media, well-being and bio and environmental fields.
B-Team project area – Toppila Shore II
Toppilansalmi Strait has a long tradition as a harbour area for Oulu. As the main harbour of the city and other industrial activities will be relocated, the area is ready for a new use. The city plan process for the project area, Ranta-Toppila, has been started in 2010. The goal is to create a new housing, service and leisure area that will be connected to the water landscape. The area will include an area for maritime housing, a marina and a Sea Centre with cultural functions. The area is a part of an ongoing process of regenerating brownfield areas around the city centre.
Growing roots – cultural heritage
• Restoring maritime functions and atmosphere in the area
• Industrial histiory: former harbour, sawmill and chemical industry use
• History: tar, seafaring, fishing, salmon, seal hunting
• Connection to adjacent communities
• Housing traditions in coastal towns
Reaching out for the future
• Sustainable city planning
• Sea Centre – acitve recreation, hobby and cultural centre for both residents and tourists
• Public procedure for seeking partners for Sea Centre
• Alternative planning solutions
• Shipyard, marina, harbour for cruisers
• Restaurants, accommodation, support services
• Contaminated soil remediation
• Social responsibility and public participation
• Involving the stakeholders in city planning: Future Workshops with the University of Oulu
• First steps: temporary uses – info containers, public events
The first Brownfield Days were held in Oulu September 13th – 16th 2010.
Technical Centre of Oulu prepared in November 2010 the Brownfield Pledge, which was approved by the Technical Committee and City Board, to guide future brownfield development. It was presented at the first European Dissemination Day in Dresden December 13th 2010.