Tampere gets a new architectural programme

Tampere’s new architectural programme was approved by the City Board on 12 June 2023. The main themes of the programme are the city's identity and sustainability. Sustainability is also a cross-cutting theme in Finland's second national architectural policy programme adopted in 2022. The new programme aims for a high-quality built environment and architecture in cooperation with different actors.

The other four themes of the programme follow the structure of the city's first architectural programme: urban environment, historical continuity, new and infill construction as well as interaction and education. To promote architecture, the previous programme introduced the Cityscape Committee that issues statements on construction, for example.

The programme now adopted will help set objectives for achieving high-quality architecture and built environment in construction and urban planning, project development and other administrative processes and activities affecting the quality of architecture. The programme includes a broad set of objectives to be achieved by 2050 and more specific measures to be taken by 2030 to achieve them. Responsible parties have been identified for each measure, and a preliminary expert assessment of the effectiveness and costs of the measures has been conducted. 

“In new and infill construction, the city's own building production must be an example when the quality of architecture is emphasised alongside economic values. New, high-quality and recognisable architecture that acknowledges the city's history, improves its attractiveness and the urban environment and enriches the lives of the residents. The means at the city’s disposal will also allow more opportunities to improve the functional quality of housing architecture,” says Mikko Nurminen, Director of Urban Environment and Infrastructure Services.

Tampere’s new programme has been prepared in extensive interaction with the residents and, for example, actors in the real estate and construction sector. At the end of 2021, representatives of the Urban Environment and Infrastructure Services, Education and Culture Services, Real Estate and Housing Policy service group, Art Museum and Regional Museum were appointed to the steering group as well as representatives of Tampere University, construction and design actors and organisations in the field.


Green and bold city


The architectural programme reflects the lushness and historic values of the city, which have been appreciated by the local residents. Tampere is also characterised as rough, bold and evolving. 

“Preserving the historical industrial milieu while developing the urban environment has also been bold,” says architect Hanna Montonen, Manager of City Planning at the City of Tampere.

Tampere is a green city of lakes and ridges that centres around the Tammerkoski rapid. The diverse urban nature is an integral part of the cityscape, urban structure and vibrant everyday environment. According to the new programme, the aim is to foster the quality of the urban environment both in the city centre and the surrounding areas through new construction, rebuilding, renovation and maintenance. The diverse natural environments of Tampere will be preserved, and new urban nature will be built.


Art and vivid experiences


Tampere is also known for its diversity, art and culture. Public art is part of a high-quality urban environment, as are the experiences that come with it. In Tampere, public art has been integrated into the architecture and the living environment to strengthen the local identity and to provide accessible experiences. 

Accessibility is also one of the objectives: in the urban structure of Tampere, important urban spaces, routes and sites are accessible to everyone year-round. The aim is also to maintain and strengthen the characteristics of the areas. A versatile urban environment and structure encourage participation and communality.

In addition to communality, the objectives of the architectural programme reflect the strengthening of internationalism. 


Sustainable architecture


Sustainable development is a key theme throughout the architectural programme. Achieving it requires a decision-making environment that takes a positive and encouraging approach to sustainable construction. The aim is to form common definitions and indicators for the concepts of sustainable construction. The sustainability of the urban structure in Tampere will be actively assessed and steered.

Architecture includes all man-made environments from individual buildings to the entire urban structure, so it affects all aspects of sustainability at different scales. In addition, sustainability in architecture means a continuous process that takes the changing operating environment into account.

Capacities for sustainable architecture and construction will be increased with more knowledge, more skills and a systematic approach.


Bringing architecture to the forefront


The city encourages and welcomes everyone to participate in the architectural debate, not just professionals in the field. The aim is that participation is seen as a natural part of urban life and as a way to influence the living environment. There is a desire to increase the role of architecture in all education, and the architectural education provided in the city is a resource.

“Tampere could also be an even more attractive city from a professional point of view and as an architectural tourism destination,” Hanna Montonen says.  

The aim is to establish a virtual architecture gallery that project partners can use to report their projects that promote the architectural programme. The practical implementation is still being worked out.

A more extensive presentation of the architectural programme will be held in autumn during the Tampere Architecture and Design Week (TAD). The Architecture Week was created as a result of the previous architecture programme, and it was later combined with the Design Week.


Implementation will be evaluated


The architectural programme includes a broad set of objectives to be achieved by 2050 and more specific measures to be taken by 2030 to achieve them. The designated responsible parties are mainly service areas, groups and units of the city organisation. There are also other organisations and associations that have been represented in the preparation of the programme and that consider the quality of architecture and built environment to be an objective in their operations or a part of their core mission. 

Promoting a good and high-quality built environment and architecture is important in all sectors of the city in which it can be influenced. Some of the measures of the programme will be implemented alongside the regular activities of the responsible parties, while others will require separate efforts and resources. The implementation of the programme will be assessed in 2028–2030, after which the included measures can be specified and more measures can be added for the 2030–2050 period. The responsible parties commit to the monitoring in their own activities.


Architectural programme

(In Finnish)

Further information

Hanna Montonen
040 801 6952
Mikko Nurminen
040 801 2665
Text: Anna-Leea Hyry
Photos: Laura Happo
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