ABSTRACT

Sibbesborg is a human project that encompasses and spans communities, economies, eco-systems and lifestyles. A project that is inspired from nature, geography, seasons and the human condition and where people have reinvented happiness through a life re-aligned and adapted to nature. A new land of promise Sibbesborg consists of several communities that co-exist together along and around the river valley of the Sipoonjoki. Here, a new arrangement of economy, society and urban planning has been established based on egalitarian principles and a new planning ideal that upholds the human condition as something to be nurtured.

The center of Sibbesborg is the Valley of Life, a linear green center along the Sipoonjoki that is based on the natural environment and not on transit connections. This new center exists, spread along the river with events, activities and episodes occurring all along it. The history and heritage sites have all become part of the center, a part of the tourism revenue generator and a part of the lives of the people of Sibbesborg. Söderkulla still retains its status as the transit connection to the regional zone and now derives its strength from the overall connections to the area that is through a recreational urban greenway system. Informally called the “Playground, it is the main connecting link through all the villages, forests, plazas, parks and the archipelago. The Houses or community centers sited along the valley and around Sibbesborg are the new communal institutions built, owned and used by the communities. They are the new local institutions that run the local economy, job-creation, local businesses, education for all at all levels, an innovation center and as a knowledge bank. They contain museums, pedagogy, schools, workplaces, shops and outlets, cafes and restaurants, libraries and daycare. Each house specializes in a particular field and acts as a resource center for that particular field. The houses of culture, arts and heritage for example are the cultural and arts engines for Sibbesborg.

The villages of Sibbesborg have been sited along the greenways and the “Playground”, all connected to each other within short playing distances. The striking feature of these settlements are the “Gardens of the Moon”: the garden and agricultural plots that encircle around them, dotted with flowers, fruit trees and vegetable gardens. These gardens are owned and maintained by the communities throughout the agricultural season in the region. Sibbesborg is self-sufficient in food production and depends only on its regional harvest for its people. Beyond the village communities, crops are also grown along the greenways, along the mass-transit highways and tramlines. The villages themselves are designed and arranged together in a way reminiscent of old Finnish agricultural settlements, slightly denser and modern than their predecessors. Each village includes a diverse range of multi-family housing, row-homes, workshops and work-live apartments. Each village is run by a co-operative(s) that oversees the farming, maintenance, daily activities, and festivals. A majority of the dwellers work from home and within their respective villages while tending to their local agriculture, arts and crafts.

Sibbesborg has its own ecological model: The Sibbesborg Eco-Cycle Model that is a localized part of a bigger regional environmental model that guides its process of settlement, maintenance and development. The ecological principles allow for a loop where energy used is renewed, water is re- circulated, and waste is harnessed to regenerate energy. Every aspect of life in Sibbesborg is part of this ecological loop. Playing, working, eating, recycling to create new products, active recreation and other numerous activities are all integrated into this loop. Every human action has its implications on the ecology of Sibbesborg and for this reasons the built fabric and public spaces are also designed to work within the Eco-cycle model loop.

In Sibbesborg, the focus is on people and not on transport, more on exchange than on movement. Automobiles are almost non-existent except for the community-shared vehicles and the ones needed for farming and small- scale cottage industries. There is a proliferation of bicycles, solar powered rickshaws, trams and other vehicles that run on renewable energies. The system is also designed to accommodate the physically disabled and the elderly and is completely accessible. The connection to Helsinki is through the metro and ferry. Porvoo can be accessed via a high-speed expressway. The local transit is based on trams and electric powered mini-buses. Trams were introduced in phases from the year 2015 to 2020. The trams run in circles around Sibbesborg connecting all the village. Horses have been re-introduced in Sibbesborg into the transit system and play a major role in the daily life of the people. Horses are able to cover terrain that otherwise would have been difficult for modern day transport systems. One can ride through the greenways and the parks and enjoy nature. The communities in Sibbesborg also breed horses for farming and for therapy.

Through a nature-based community-oriented de-centralized urban vision, a new concept of play-based slow-urban society has been created in Sibbesborg. This is a society and a progressive community that is back to its roots living with the land, with local arts and crafts, with a knowledge network that is shared and where children are not locked up in schools or adults in stressful workplaces. Here, the revolutionary change in the system of production to a production system only for real needs, the distribution of services from a central urban location to decentralized points, and the abhorrence of a consumerist approach towards a one that is egalitarian has led to a new level of existence for its people. This new system has allowed for a balanced environment that not only promotes physical and mental health but also a responsible and sustainable attitude towards the natural ecological conditions. Being dependent only on appropriate local technology, they communities of Sibbesborg have established a place where sustainable practices are not just technological but ingrained in the daily life of its inhabitants.

 

MAIN PRINCIPLES

  • Rural Urbanism: Urban Life In A Rural Context
  • De-Centralization: Smaller Dispersed Centers
  • Landscape As Determinant Of New Development
  • Local Identities Instead Of A Grand Identity
  • Community Built
  • Heritage Conservation
  • Appropriate Technology
  • Regional Integration
  • Ecological Communities
  • Community Management
  • Planning By People
  • A Place For Individuals, Friends, Families And Communities
  • Intelligent Public And Local Level Transportation
  • Human Scaled Urban And Rural Environment
  • Networked Communities
  • Cross-Disciplinary Knowledge Networks
  • Children Focused Urban Spaces
  • Local Economy, Local Materials And Local Products

 

AIMS, SCOPE AND THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND PHASING

  • The area of implementation is based on 2025 Local Master Plan and growth strategy for Sibbesborg. The river and seaside location, in our project called “The Valley of Life”, will play a strategic role. Sibbesborg construction can obviously be implemented in stages.
  • The area will be developed with the cooperation between municipality and a group composed of economists, sociologists, architects, designers, urban planner, landscape designers, landowners and interested citizens.
  • The region will depend, in terms of transportation, on the future Helsinki metro to the east. Metro, which will be built in the centre of Söderkulla, will create a real public transportation option, encouraging future residents to depend less on private cars.
  • Other important elements of the area to take into consideration and attention for a correct and more sustainable implementation process are the seaside landscape factors, Sipoo bay, the conservation of the area ́s natural values, the coastal assets for public use in relation to the current buildings, and the north-south green and water links together with the related archipelago. The goal will be to create an attractive and ecological area.
  • The implementation of the area should involve strongly also the current landowners.
  • The municipal perspective, the economic issues and service obligation for a rapidlygrowing population are also a priority.
  • Sibbesborg implementation schedule depends not only on the metro construction, butalso on the general and detail plan and validation schedules.
  • In addition, the start of the construction affects the business cycle, and with the comingchanges it is impossible to estimate precisely such a long timescale.
  • Initial target is that the area of implementation could begin in 2015, would extend themetro area after 2020 and the project area would be fully realized by 2035.

    Phase I: 2015 – 2020: Villages: 15, Inhabitants: 25 000,1 light-rail loop,1 research campus, Metro station, 8 Houses(community centers)
    Phase II: 2020 – 2025: Villages: 30, Inhabitants: 50 000, 3 light-rail loops,1 recycling center, 16 Houses

    Phase III: 2025 – onwards: Villages: 45, Inhabitants: 75 000, 5 light-rail loops, 18 Houses

    The implementation of the design area, with its unique features, differs quite a lot from the development of the rest of the metropolitan area. Since Majvik and Östersundomin areas are planned, emerging at approximately the same time around a number of small centers around the metro stations, it is natural to try to create a different identity in the coming community of Sibbesborg.

RURAL URBANISM / THE VILLAGES OF SIBBESBORG:

  • The location of the villages was chosen following the indications of the research background materials, in particular the geological suitability for construction map, the bedrock construction suitability, the water balance and climate map, with particular attention also to the sites of natural interest map and sites from prehistoric and historic age map.
  • The distribution of housing in the villages comes from the deep study of vernacular architecture in Finland. The intent is to create a strong link with the past by creating a space that gives great importance to the sharing of the living environment, without forgetting the necessity of creating flats and houses modern and technologically advanced.
  • The villages will be construted in order to have an easy access to water.
  • In the villages we will construct different typology of houses, singole, row and new modern type of houses, combine also with workshops and shops on the groud level,in order to make the village itself more alife and part of the inhabitants everyday life.
  • The construction material of the houses is primarily wood, and all the new ecological technology systems available in the market will be take into consideration, but the overall aesthetic appearance of the village should follow the example of the Finnishvernacular architecture.
  • A common sauna will be built in each village for events and festivals (not excludingthe possibility to have private saunas in the houses).
  • In every village there will be planted gardens for growing vegetables, and the oldpeople with the help of younger will take care of the plots.
  • In between the houses there will be planted fruit trees, in paricular apple trees.
  • Every village will have his own local store, where you will find local products, fromfood to handicrafts.
  • Some of the villages will have stables for horses or other animals, and the animalswill be involved in the everyday life of the residents.
  • One idea is also to have for each village a landmark tower, used for offices andworkshops.

TRANSPORT / CONNECTIONS

Principles:

  • More exchange, less movement
  • Focus on people not transport
  • Networked developments
  • Metro link to Helsinki and Porvoo (along Porvoonväylä)
  • Greenway system with Helsinki and Porvoo, park system with trails and bikeways thatconnect these urban centers. Main highway is visually integrated into this system.
  • River ferry system that connects to Helsinki and Porvoo, serving both tourism andbusiness.
  • Local tram system
  • Main streets that are only pedestrian, all automobile traffic is restricted to the periphery,or only in the urban core, centralized parking outside community limits.
  • Discounted prices for using public transport, transport tax for commuting via cars
  • Neighborhoods are connected by park system.
  • Re-use of old viable means of transports, i.e. Horses, rickshaws…as local transport.
  • Free bicycles, carts and rickshaws for use locally.
  • Electric-powered local bus shuttle, small sized buses.
  • Communal car-pools, restricted days of driving, odd-even numbered days of usage.
  • Fuel station for cars running on electricity, biogas or ethanol. 

ROLE OF HORSES IN SIBBESBORG

• Taking children to school
• Small distance transport
• Collecting garbage and street-cleaning
• Using horse-drawn carts to pick up glass bottles for recycling for carrying water tanks to

clean the streets
• Riding schools, Children’s learning
• Search and Rescue Operations
• Law Enforcement
• Therapeutic riding
• Working on the farm and Horse breeding

LIVING / LIFESTYLES

  • Human being as World Heritage
  • Country based on common sense
  • City made of human beings
  • Begin to live and not just to exist
  • Taste the flavor of life
  • Life quality
  • Eyes hungry of simplicity
  • Women and children as leaders of the new society
  • As much tenderness as possible towards our fellow humans
  • New conditions of existence
  • Up-to-date idea of contemporary life
  • Humanistic society
  • Local cultural identity

ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY, LANDSCAPE & ECO-SYSTEM ENERGY

  • Thermal Power Plant supplies Sibbesborg with district heating and district cooling from treated wastewater and biofuels.
  • Biogas cookers are installed in approximately 10,000 apartments.
  • Biogas production facility.
  • Solar cells on the roof of the community Houses, providing electricity used in thecommunal areas.
  • Solar cells for the House of Culture.
  • Solar cells on Recycling Center.
  • Solar panels on the Fishing Village to heat the hot tap water used by the tenants.
  • Wind Turbines
  • Wind Turbines and Solar cells for the Metro building.

WATER

  • Prepared soil for filtration of storm water from streets.
  • Storm water basin with wetland for storm water from streets.
  • Storm water basin with filtration (also power grid station).
  • Channel for storm water from buildings and gardens only.
  • Green roofs and yards collect storm water locally.
  • Experimental wastewater treatment plant.
  • Pumpstation for wastewater.

 

WASTE AND RECYCLING

  • House of Sustainability (sustainable center) for recycling and energy re-use, a central collection and distribution center.
  • Collection center for the stationary pneumatic waste disposal system.
  • Collecting point for hazardous waste 

COMMUNICATIONS / TRANSPORT

  • Light rail / tram link.
  • Ferry to Helsinki and Porvoo, Tallinn & St. Petersburg
  • Fuel station for cars running on electricity, biogas or ethanol. 

GREEN SPACES

  • Tree-lined avenues through main highway
  • Preserved old trees (birch, elm and lime).
  • Nesting rafts for seabirds.
  • Preserved riparian woodlands with birch and alder.
  • Greenway System. (A vast forested area with footpaths and cycle routes).
  • Nature reserves
  • Porvoonväylä (motorway) lowered to reduce traffic noise.

ARCHIPELAGO

  • Protected Maritime Environment.
  • Islands as nature preserves.
  • Fishing and maritime industry on the islands 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT / SERVICES

  • Local and need based production
  • Decentralization
  • More hands work
  • Grandmothers economy
  • Local economy emphasized within the regional frame.
  • Community colleges with education that is focused on the local economy and jobs.
  • Bio-technology (using the local agricultural support) industries.
  • Small-scale information technology industries in the villages.
  • Agri-tourism
  • Heritage tourism
  • Organic farming