The strategical situation of Tornio-Haparanda, is both political and geographical. It’s cross-border condition between Finland and Norway ensures an important and constant flow of goods and people.
Its geographical position as the northest cities of the Baltic sea entails great potencial: It is the last stop to the Laponian lands, and that makes it an obligated stop for those who plan to explorate this amazing territories. Also, Tornio’s harbour has the opportunity to become a central node in the maritime comerce net of the territory, with still great potential to be developed.
Based on the geographical and political singularities, our proposal for Tornio Haparanda has three main approaches: The first one is to transform Tornio Haparanada into a centrality. That will be achieved when the flows of goods and people don’t just pass trough the city. Instead they have to be atracted and retained. They have to come to stay. That’s when those flows transform into comercial activity, cultural events, political growth, social gatherings… the kind of activities a city needs to nourish from to grow and develop.
. The second one is to adress the challenge of the productive cities of the XXI century. What the urbanism of the industrial revolution from the XIX century has taught us is that the productive cities from the XXI century must leave behind monofunctional territories, “sleep in” neighbourhoods, unhealthy workplaces. Diversity, variety. Open, flexible spaces. Nature. Public space. Those are the ingredients that combine in tomorrow’s succesful cities.
Therefore, it’s essential that Tornio and Haparanda’s urban fabrics integrate nature into its development. E4 can no longer be a frontier. Green corridors and pedestrian axis, prioritized over the existing roads have the potential to stablish strong connections within the cities themselves and the natural environment from the surrounding territory. And that’s the oportunnity we foresee in the Tornionjoki riverfront.
Instead of zonification, the attitude towards the waterfront is to make it wider, to blurr the limit within the built environment and the landscape. To integrate nature into the city as well as the city opens itself to the waterfront, and the maritime potential, waiting to be released. Buildings, public space and nature combine, creating a rich mixture of situations, integrating each to one another.