Kera district to become a model in sustainability

The operations of S Group's logistics centre will be gradually moved from the Kera district in Espoo to Sipoo, and Kera will be transformed into a residential area in the spirit of the circular economy. That is why S Group challenged all innovative people to envision a new Kera in the Kera Challenge competition.

The goal of the competition is to come up with new ideas for the area in the different stages of development until the vision is complete. The current structures of the logistics centre, the industrial buildings in the area and their materials can be recycled in the upcoming urban development.

"The competition is a good example of bringing together different operators to innovate themes that we find important. In particular, we were seeking ideas associated with the circular economy, and in that respect, all proposals submitted to the competition were excellent," says Pasi Suutari, Vice President, SOK Real Estate.

The winner of the competition in June 2016 was Co-Op City, which was built around developing a community-oriented and sustainable city district. In this design, the life cycle of the old logistics centre will be extended with new functions based on the development stages: as soon the area has been vacated by the logistics operations, it can be used for organising events, playing sports, or enjoying leisure time in the indoor garden. The area will be developed one block at a time, and green public spaces will be hubs around which residential buildings and business spaces intertwine.

Co-Op City was also chosen to participate in the Nordic Built Cities competition, in which it took the second place in November 2016. The competition sought smart and viable solutions for six Nordic urban areas.

"The Nordic Built Cities is an excellent example of how urban areas can and should be designed in a new way in the future. The sustainable urban solutions designed and the city district promoting the circular economy in Kera are revolutionary, even on a global scale," Suutari concludes.

Co-Op City was designed by B&M Architects, WSP, designer Päivi Raivio, Setlementtiasunnot Oy and Forum Virium Helsinki.