Students develop environmental solutions at Vallisaari

Gather rain water, make sea water drinkable, let tourists pump water by treading on an exercise bike: these are some of the water-supply solutions that the judges for the Clean Vallisaari competition liked among the suggestions by students from the University of Helsinki.

The honorary mention and 1,500-euro reward was a nice surprise, says University Lecturer Olli Ruth from the Department of Geosciences and Geography, who supervised the students.

A new nature resort needing fresh ideas

The city of Helsinki and the National Board of Forests announced the competition Clean Vallisaari in spring 2016. It was an open competition to find durable solutions and implementers for the water supply and sewage, energy, and waste disposal services in Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari, as the two islands off Helsinki were opened for the public again in summer 2016 after a long break.

A growing number of visitors is expected in the coming years, and the municipal engineering services are to be implemented on the island according to the smart-and-clean principle.

The Clean Vallisaari competition received 12 suggestions, and the results were publicised on the 1 September.  The main prize was given to two proposals that had been planned by several companies.

The pseudonym Islanders, which received an honorable mention, was revealed to stand for 20 students from the University of Helsinki, whose proposal for the competition was developed as a project during a course in geography at Kumpula in spring 2016.

Thinking and considering

The students made calculations and interviewed experts, and solved problems in smaller teams, the team leaders Anna-Maria Virkkala and Riikka Oittinen said. The jury praised the comprehensiveness and thoroughness of the solution.

In the final implementation, we will probably combine the best ideas from different propositions, the chair of the jury, Bruce Oreck said.

The National Board of Forests own hundreds of nature resorts, where the water-supply, waste-disposal, and energy services will gradually be transferred to more self-sufficient, sustainable solutions, so the competition proposals will gain wider use.

The competition may bring the companies that participated new projects, and the students may gain new research topics.

- We are planning a new, problem-based course for next spring, where we will find a similar area that is topical for urban development, the teachers in charge of the course, Olli Ruth and Rami Ratvio, explain.

Clean Vallisaari competition

The results of the Clean Vallisaari competition publicised September 1 , 2016:

You can see the competition proposals at Allas Sea Pool all through September 2016

For more details, please see:

Yliopisto-lehti 10/2012: Rapistuva aarresaari