The City of Oulu must abandon the project of building a new campus into its center

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The University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Environment Institute and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., as well as more than 200 companies in Linnanmaa area, together form one of Europe's largest science and innovation campuses. They occupy 300,000 square meters of space, have 20,000 students and 12,000 employees.

In its meeting on 28 April 2020, the Board of Directors of the University of Oulu made a decision to start project planning to build the 1st stage of a new campus in Raksila in Oulu city center. The floor area of the plan is approximately 30 000 square meters at this point. The university will propose a change in the local plan for the Raksila area to the City of Oulu. 

In 2020, the University of Oulu occupied 113,000 square meters in Linnanmaa campus. Oulu University of Applied Sciences, which has recently moved to the Linnanmaa campus, has a lease for its premises in Linnanmaa until 2040.

Demands of the Pro Linnanmaa movement

  • The City of Oulu must abandon the project of building a new campus into its center.

  • The University of Oulu must develop research and education on the Linnanmaa campus in cooperation with the region's research and education institutes, science and technology park companies, and students.

  • Interdisciplinary study and research opportunities must not be undermined by plans of the decentralization of the university.

  • The new plan for the Raksila area which has been developed for eight years should not be postponed due to the Raksila campus plans.

 

Arguments of the Pro Linnanmaa movement

The Linnanmaa Science Park, the Silicon Valley of Oulu, is of great importance for the attractiveness of the Oulu region. The entity is an excellent environment for efficient, effective, and collaborative learning as well as for knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, and it has been a successful concept for attracting and retaining companies in Oulu. The abandoning of this functional entity would be a historical mistake of which the negative effects would be long-lasting and irreparable.

  1. The location of the university campus in Raksila does not increase the attractiveness of the university or the city.

  2. The cost of housing for students and workers will increase if the university will move near the city center, leading to social inequality and polarization in the housing market.

  3. The university project delays the development of both in Oulu city center and the Northern Oulu.

  4. It is not justified to suspend the implementation of the completed plan for the Raksila shopping center for years.

  5. Extensive investments have been made in Linnanmaa campus, such as expensive laboratory facilities. Also, a decision to construct a new public swimming hall in Linnamaa has been made, and in addition a provision for a tram connection is in the area's new plan.

  6. The carbon footprint will increase significantly because of new construction compared to the utilization of existing facilities.

  7. It will be very difficult to get new tenants for the buildings designed for university use in Linnanmaa.

  8. The university's costs for premises and parking will increase significantly in Raksila compared to Linnanmaa.

  9. The process of moving university and multi-campus activities creates difficult practical problems and challenges that are difficult to even anticipate.

  10. According to the University law (§2), the objectives of the university do not include enlivening the city center.

  11. The Linnanmaa campus enables interdisciplinarity because with the exception of medicine, all university education is in Linnanmaa.

  12. The Linnanmaa campus is a nationally valuable built cultural environment.


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