The City of Turku will establish Europe´s first biodiversity park at Skanssi, said the city in a press release on Wednesday.
Turku has received EUR 3.9 million in EU funding for the development of a new type of biodiversity park.
The preparatory phase of the biodiversity park will begin in September, and its implementation will begin in March 2024. The duration of the project is 3.5 years.
The Skanssi Biodiversity Park will develop and test the fostering of biodiversity in urban conditions through active measures.
A biodiversity park is a new approach to responding to biodiversity loss, fostering rare species and increasing biodiversity in urban green areas.
A biodiversity park differs from traditional parks or nature conservation areas in that nature is not only conserved or protected but also actively increased there.
The Skanssi Biodiversity Park is being developed into a pilot and flagship site for promoting biodiversity in a growing city. Due to its varied nature, the Skanssi neighbourhood is an excellent pilot site. The area has forests of different ages, a small water area, sandy slopes, an old gravel pit bottom, current vegetation, old yards and new landscape fields. There new operating models can be created for such purposes as the development of open and wooded habitats and the improvement of areas weakened by human activities.
In addition to the implementation of the Skanssi park, the project will test nature-based solutions that support biodiversity as a tool for regenerating residential areas and promoting the sense of community.
The project will also advance new forms of business cooperation and develop an ecological compensation model linked to biodiversity parks.
The lessons learned from the project and the biodiversity park model can be applied later in other cities, said Senior Advisor Maija Rusanen of the City of Turku.
“It is good to keep in mind that a biodiversity park is never complete in the same way as, for example, a built park in the city centre. An urban biodiversity park continues to change and interact with its surroundings,” said Landscape Designer Johanna Salmela.
The partners in the project are the University of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Valonia, Wild Zone, Varsinais-Suomen Asumisoikeus Oy and Blokgarden Oy.
- Biodiversity park