Smart & Livable City

Architect: Chau Nguyen | Jyrki Junnila |Patrick Hillenbrand |Pietari Peltonen | Yuchan Wang

What is the aim of the work?

The main aim of the work is to check quality of public spaces in Otaniemi. Otaniemi is a university area, having several academic districts and residence area for students. This area is one of the most international area in Espoo, but the diverse of this place is not so satisfying. The district of university, which is located in the linked area from Espoo to Helsinki, has potential to form a vibrant entity with Otaniemi and its urban facilities. The area didn’t, however, develop as proposed in the imagination. Today the housing area and university are two secluded, monofunctional areas with poor connections between them.

The objective of the work is to figure out how the quality and vitality situation of Otaniemi is, mainly focus on the public area. In the objective aspects, basic conditions in public area are planned to be checked, for example, the public traffic conditions, public facilities, etc. Survey of people’s living pattern, is helpful and necessary to get to know their opinions of public area in terms of subjective issues. The goal is to find out both objective and subjective issues related to livability of Otaniemi, such as sentiment investigation. The work has potential to be reference, provided to future planners to check out the most effects on making Otaniemi an attractive, 24h urban district.

[ Workflow ]

[ Statistic data about amenities ]

[ Activities ]

[ Helsinki region ]

[ Nighttime Pattern(Residential nodes-Nighttime amenities) ]

[ Amenities ]

[ Integration(Closeness)]

Integration describes how easy it is to get to one segment from all other segments. This index has been used to predict the volume of pedestrians and possible social interactions. The higher the integration of one urban space, the more popular the place for pedestrians (Cerrone , 2015).     

In limited radii 150 metres, the index of integration in Otaniemi is equal and not well-integrated. In broader radii 1500 metres, the centre of campus and the connection to Keilaniemi highlight the centric integration. In comparison with the amenities, the Keilaniemi can foster a new node of public life. The project in Kivimies is located closely to that node.


Analysis of choice in limited local radii 150 metres highlights the places that area most likely to attract movement in Otaniemi. The nodes of amenities are located in correlation with this local choice analysis.

In further radii 1500 metres, choice analysis identifies the equal situation of movement in Otaniemi. There is no clearly distinction of favour places to pass through.



This diagram shows the routes of residents from each building to the nearest bus station and the time they have to spend. Comparing the university area, living area has more percentage of green(8-10min) or orange routes(6-8min) which mean people coming from living area have to spend longer time. I, as an example (Figure 11), who live in the north-easternmost flat, have to spend ten minutes in advance starting off to the bus station. In the future planning of Otaniemi, it is suggested that another bus station shoule be arranged nearer to the living district to shorten the walking distance based on the diagram.

[Otaniemi Mood Map during festival]

These two diagrams are “Otaniemi mood map”, showing people’s facial expression and the difference between Festival time and usual time. In these two cases, it is good to find people mostly having happy face or normal one in Otaniemi, rarely with scared or sad faces. When comparing the mood map in festival period with usual one, we can find out that
the amount of data in district area is not that much, but it is more diverse. We can easily find more unusual facial expression in living district, for example a calling lady with crying face, a student with scared expression frightened by a suddenly-rushed dog, a girl with sad face coming out from Aalto university hospital.

In the usual time, people tend to have porker face, with less frightening, sad or other negative feelings.


1. How is the current Otaniemi characterised by human activities and spatial qualities?

•Otaniemi is centralised in the main building area. There is a few of local nodes on the sides of Otaranta and Keilaniemi. •Human activities are measured by available amenities in Otaniemi. During daytime, the campus is lively with diverse choices of service in good walking distance. However, the night-time pattern reflects the missing of liveable amenities. •The need for more services in Otaniemi.

2. What are the impacts of new projects in Otaniemi?

•Spatial qualities are investigated in both the quantity of amenities and spatial analysis by space syntax method. •The central Alvarinaukio square – a meeting place in the heart of Otaniemi. •The project in Otaranra – urban atmosphere at the street level. •Projects in Väre and Konemies – strengthen the outdoor activities. •The project in Kivimies – a new attractor in the side of Keilaniemi.

3. What are the potentials to develop new projects in Otaniemi?

•Dynamics of socio-temporal activities in Otaniemi are not illustrated in space syntax analysis. It implies the potentials of temporary uses around the clock in Otaniemi. •The main resource of this study is collected from OSM and open to access. It is possible to have an integrated platform for smarter Otaniemi based on crowd-sourcing GIS data. The main programmes are QGIS and Depthmap, which are all open source and educational. There are many niches for research in this field.


1. Peer-reviewed researches

To avoid biases, space syntax can be the initial study of urban performance. Other studies will mitigate the weakness of space syntax.

For spatial accessibility, this study focuses on the buildings and street network. In peer-reviewed studies in the group, another member investigates the accessibility of public transportation. Another member conducts observations on site of Otaniemi. Taken together, the study is an evidence-based approach to liveability in Otaniemi.

2. 3DGIS

In space syntax all streets are weighted equally. So a street with no building is weighted equally with a street with tall buildings; a residential land-use area is weighted the same as the commercial one. Accordingly, spatial phenomena need to take into account the three dimensional geometry and land-use values of the network.