Ideas competition Lappeenrenta
Short description
In the Urban Infra Revolution project, new sustainable material is developed by combining forest and mining industry side streams. In April, an idea competition, open to all citizens, was organised to select the best urban product to be built with new circular material.

The Urban Infra Revolution project intends to replace concrete in the construction industry, as the cement industry currently accounts for 7% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The aim is also to develop an entirely new way of building. The best case scenario would be that the material and methods created through the development work are also suitable for other cities in the world, making them part of new urban architecture. In addition to technological solutions, we are researching the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and new business models. On-site 3D printing of the new material for construction will also be developed during the project.

The new target product is a composite material that can be reinforced with biofibres, for example. Composite products have a long life cycle and can be safely recycled even after use. The side streams utilised include ash, green liquor dregs, tailings as well as construction and fibre waste. With concrete and 3D printing of the new material, it may be possible to escape the rigid design language of building and to create curved and even functional shapes. The new material could be used to manufacture, for example, more aesthetically pleasing noise barriers, park benches and skateboard ramps.


Urban Infra Revolution project organised in April 2018 idea competition called New City Products, which was open to citizens. People could suggest what kind of urban products will be built as pilot products using the new circulative material. The ideas of the products were asked to be fresh, adaptable in the environment and suitable for 3D printing. Altogether 11 citizens suggested 15 ideas in the competition. In the beginning of May the Jury selected 5 best ideas for the final. 

The finalists were Skateboard park, Hugging statue, Welcome to Saimaa sculpture, Saimaa seal sculpture and scale model series about “Vyborg through history”. The finalists were invited to workshop, where ideas were introduced more detailed to designers, who made illustrations of the ideas to be presented in public voting. In the final citizens could vote for their own favorite in public voting, available via city’s net pages (6.6.–19.6.2018).

More than 4100 votes were given in public voting. Skateboard park got unambiguously most of the votes, 87%. The second popular was Welcome to Saimaa sculpture with more than 8% of the votes. Skateboard park idea was suggested by 3 persons and they were all awarded.

Ideas collected lot of attention in social media, for example in Lappeenranta group and official Facebook pages of the city. Especially skateboard park was favored strongly in comments and it was delightful to notice that it attracted all generations. South Karelian radio interviewed the winners and organizers and press release about the winners was published in local media.


The winning idea will be developed further in cooperation with the authors of the idea. Skateboard park is a functional entity and skateboard activists are invited for cooperation. The city starts to find suitable place for the park in the city center. The citizens are also welcome to suggest suitable place for the city. Open event of further planning of the skateboard park for residents and skateboard fanciers will be organised later in the autumn.

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