In the entry Roots the competition area is examined as a tree. The tree priciple can be seen both in the landscape and the functions: the roots of the tree absorbe energy and nutrition from the countryside for which the green city produces oxygen. A tree with roots deep in the ground will not fall even in a strong wind.
Roots is a model that combines nature and landscape, human and built environment as well as energy and food production to a closed system, where people live in small towns and villages and get their daily food and energy from the competition area. The surrounding nature is let grow its fingers inside the city and simultaneously the habitation is relocated in dense towns and villages connected by an express tramway + muu?. The aim is to create a balance between nature - also the changing natural conditions -, energy and material resources and human.
Helsinki city centre is thought to remain in dominant position in the competition area, but its special small-scale atmosphere is maintained. A metropolis would increase inegality between city districts, because in a city that is densely built in a very large area certain zones will inevitably develop into low-status suburbs. In smaller units it is also easier to ensure the quality of the physical, social and mental environment of the inhabitants. Suomalaistutkimuksen mukaan kunnat joissa on 3000 – 10 000 asukasta, pystyvät tarjoamaan palveluita kilpailukykyisimpään hintaan.
Roots can be realised gradually according to certain rules. By 2050 the whole area will be able to convert into a breathing organism of small units, where the regions challenge one another and the competition produces innovative synergy. A buffer zone against strong winds and rising of the sea level is created on the coast. The existing green fingers are strengthened in the city and a network of larger forest bodies is created in the countryside.
The beautiful nature is one of the strongest banafits of the competition area. Though the green areas are many, the original and untouched nature becomes increasingly rare as a result of human land use.
Because of the climate change nature needs to be seen from a new point of view. The scattered nature cannot adapt to the fast change, but still it is the nature that protects human against its dramatic progress.
The coastal zone
According to recent research the average wind speed has increased on the southern coast of Finland. Strong storms are also more frequent than before especially at wintertime. The winds and the rising sea level need to be considered by creating an ecological buffer zone of forests along the coast.
The habitation is decentralized to dense towns and villages instead of creating one giant metropolis by the sea. The archipelago remains as untouched as possible. The coastal zone thereby provides a common recreation area for the growing population of Uusimaa, ans also the islands nearby Helsinki centre, Santahamina and Vallisaari, are preserved as unbuilt recreation oases open for everybody.
Green fingers and landscape tentacles
Nature is present in Helsinki. It reaches even the city centre: the city is located by the sea and the green fingers push their way to the heart of the city from different directions. Right next to the central quartiers of Helsinki you can experience the calm atmosphere of outer archipelago, two significant *birdlife areas*, *old forests* and cows. Can any other european capital offer these experiences? These characteristics together are the special value of Helsinki and its surroundings, and they need to be preserved.
As the population grows, the present recreation areas become insufficient. The green fingers reaching Helsinki centre, the roots of the city, are strengthened. The fingers are no more offered for building, and the buildings that reach the end of their lifecycle aren´t replaced by new ones but by planting trees.
In urban areas green space is increased. As there is less need for parking on the roads, roadsides can be planted. Trees affect the microclimate of the central city by reducing wind and dust in the winter and by cooling the air in the summer. In new buildings the amount of planted trees is due to the building floor area: one tree has to be planted per 200 floor square metres.
The northern forests cannot adapt to the changing climate fast enough to survive. The ecosystems are used to adapting to new climate conditions by slowly changing place, as the northern forest zone has done. The ongoing change is too fast fot that. Still, a large and diverse forest is much more flexible than a small one with few species. The genetic variation is wider in a diverse forest, and a wide genetic basis is more likely to survive quick changes. That is why the percentage of natureal forests in relation to cultivates forests needs to be increased - to ensure the future life of forests and forestry.
The diversity of the forests in the competition area and their the ability to adapt to the changing climatee are there ensured by creating a network on *metsamantere*s. 50% of the total forest area remains untouched. These natural forests serve for recreation, food acquisition (mushrooms, berries and game) and above all as a genetic bank - in the changing climatee only a nature diverse enough can survive. In agriculture the raw materials for energy consumption become a significant part of the cultivation. For example, *ruokohelpi* can be cultivated especially in valleys. Valuable cultural landscapes are preserved according to maintenance plans that are created for each of them.
Living and built environment are densified both in and outside the cities. The growing population centres form a network of individual villages and towns connected by an esim express tramway. Thus they develop into places, where people feel comfortable and where they can root. There is less need for traffic and more space is left for living nature.
Helsinki is a lively and international city. The two church coupoles outlooking the sea from the empire centre of the city symbolize the meeting point of the eastern and western cultures. The daughter of the Baltic sea still draws a harmonic silhouette towards the sea, and the relaxed small-scale atmosphere is present thanks to moderate building heights. The small-city scale is a significant part os Helsinki´s identity and attraction and it is preserved in the entry.
When renovating the suburbs, special attention is paid to economical heating and waste handling per quartier. In case some buildings reach the end of their lifecycle, they are demolished and parks are created on the sites.
The working zone
– the Band, where the biggest companies, universities and research centres are located, is spread between the city centre and the suburbs. An express tramway shuttles along the Band, which makes cooperation between companies and unicersities efficient. The habitation areas, both towns and villages, are connected to the band by a non-stop tram.
At the moment detached housing is an increasingly popular way of dwelling. The houses have formed an uncontrollable, scattered habitation outside the population centres, that is neither city nor countryside. The scattered habitation causes more traffic, increases energy consumption and complicates the access to services. In the entry detached and row housing form villages between which there are green zones. Building is allowed in quartiers that have an *efficiency* ALUETEHOKKUUS less than e1. Thus services and a fluent public transport are guaranteed and the green environment as well as agricultural areas remain unbuilt.
The towns and villages are sized between 1500 and 10000 inhabitants; a size that allows moving around by feet or bicycle, and already provides basic daily services such as school and a food store. The surrounding fields are sized to give the villages the highest possible self-sufficiency. A network of express tramways connects the villages to one another. Building a new village is allowed only if it meets the requirements of public transport and service effectiveness, and if there is enough surrounding forest and land to cultivate for self-sufficiency.
Habitation is directed to densify the existing population centres in Uusimaa and scatteres habitation os no more allowed. The population centres, as well, are built so that the old cultural landscape is let grow its fingers inside the centre.
Equal accessibility of different areas is a priority, and the proposal is based on fast collective transport, mainly on tracks. New connections are built using light rail/express tramways due to their reasonabale price, ease of building in existing cityscape and non-isolating character (unlike trains, metro and congested roads). The existing rail network is improved. Public transportatio is partly funded with congestion charges, which in turn ticket income, too. Motorways are not invested in since private car traffic has declined.
To prevent the climatee change energy consumption needs to be reduced and existing production that is based on non-renewable energy sources has to be replaced by renewable alternatives. In addition, a higher self-sufficiency is an advantage as the fossile energy resources start becoming rare and their price rises. It is also important in preparation for future energy crises.
In the EU energy efficiency strategy the aim was set to reduce energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020. The Kyoto Protocol demands Finland to freeze its greenhouse emissions to the level of the year 1990 which is 70,5 million tons per year. In 2004 the emissions were 82 million tons, and the energy consumption has been estimated to continue to rise enormously. The situation is complicated.
Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions can still be reduced by the following means.
Traffic causes 17% of the total energy consumption in Finland. Of this percentage, 40% is consumed by private cars. By making traffic more efficient its energy consumption can be cut to half. Public transport is enhanced and new building is allowed only on areas reached by public transport. In addition, scattered habitation is densified around basic services, which reduces dependency on private cars.
Heating causes one third of the total energy consumption at the moment. With a couple of percents addition to building costs the energy consumption in heating can be cut to half of the current maximum, which means houses with the lowest allowed insulation. All new buildings are equipped with low energy or passive energy solutions. In addition, energy enhancements are demanded for existing buildings. The owners are given low-interest loans warranted by the state., which they will pay back with the money saved in reduced energy consumption. The demand does not concern architecturally or historically valuable buildings.
Renewable energy sources are favoured and developed: ground heat, wind, solar and bioenergy. Especially towns and villages are developed into seld-sufficient energy producers. Each village has a small energyp plant. In city centres houses are demanded to produce electricity with solar panels and wind turbines on the roofs. This demand excludes historically valueble of otherwise delicate buildings.
A higher self-sufficiency in food production reduces transport. The fields surrounding toewns and villages are sized to ensure self-sufficiency in food and firewood.
Climate warming causes draught on existing cereal cultivation areas, such as North America, and it is necessary to prepare for reduced import of cereals and other groceries by increasing regional self-sufficiency in food production. In addition, self-sufficiency decreases the need for transport and thus energy consumption.
Carbon dioxide emissions are diminished by less building heating, by reducing the use of private cars and by moving to renewable energy (wind, solar and bioenergy). Waste is handled locally, and there is no need for landfills such as Ämmässuo
The central areas of a population centre consist of 3-storey houses that are bounded by urban main streets. Building changes scale gradually when moving outwards from the core: first to 2-storey row houses and finally to 2-storey detached houses.
A big tree filters 50 000 m3 of air per 24 hours and 1000 kg of *microparticles* per year. Already now people die of diseases caused by microparticles. In addition, trees capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen, (reduce wind and offer cool shadow in the summer. In the city, trees reduce the need of both heating and coooling).