Planning for the city campus begins
On 26 October 2020, the City Board of Oulu approved the planning reservation for the Raksila market area, which was submitted by the University of Oulu together with K Group and Osuuskauppa Arina. The application concerned a new city campus of 30,000 square metres.
The planning period will run until the end of 2021. However, the City Board requires the university to provide sufficient information about the transferred functions and their logistical and parking needs by 31 March 2021. In addition, it must be indicated how the reserved planning area will be divided between the parties into areas of responsibility. The university's plan must be coordinated with spatial and functional solutions for commerce.
Facilities to focus on multi-purpose study and meeting facilities
The university's preliminary plan is for the new city campus to accommodate flexible teaching and study spaces, as well as adaptable event- and meeting facilities of approximately 20,000 m2 for future needs. Staff office space for the central campus would be approximately 10,000 m2.
The leaving of the premises in Linnanmaa is being examined from the point of view of leases in different areas, the condition of the buildings and the uniformity of the premises that remain at the university's disposal. From the perspectives of lease agreements and the formation of a uniform complex at Linnanmaa, it would be possible for the university to give up, for example, the main building, Tietotalo, the Environmental Information Centre, the School of Economics and the Pegasus Library. These areas total 38,000 m2. The premises to be relinquished will be decided after negotiations with the property owner Suomen Yliopistokiinteistöt Oy.
The faculty activities transferred from Linnanmaa to the city centre campus will be decided upon as project planning progresses. The starting point of planning is that staff or students will not need to move between campuses on a large scale during the day. The Faculties of Humanities and Information- and Electrical Engineering and Oulu Business School would find it easiest to locate their activities in the city campus in terms of operations and necessary facilities. The special facilities used by the Faculty of Technology and the Faculty of Science, such as laboratories and workshops, will remain on their current premises, which will continue to attract activities to Linnanmaa. The decisions on the facilities of the Faculty of Educational Sciences must take into account the connection to the Normal School at Linnanmaa, which in turn is part of the primary education and upper secondary school network in Oulu.
Facilities for the university's internal services would be arranged mainly at Linnanmaa, taking into account the activities coming to the campus and the local services needed by students and staff.
Planning gives the keys for an investment decision
Decisions on the campus issue are made by the University's Board of Directors, the project management team and the steering group, which includes staff and student representation. The future campus will be planned in working groups representing different user groups and directly involving students, staff and stakeholders. The project plan to be drawn up by the end of 2021 will provide the University of Oulu with the necessary information for the investment decision and the start of planning.
The aim of the university's city campus project is to create campus environments that support the attractiveness of the university and the university city of Oulu as competition for students and staff accelerates as the age groups decrease in size. Like the reference cities, the University of Oulu aims for a city campus that can be easily reached by public transport and non-motorised vehicles and connected to the city's services.
The university has a need for diverse facilities that meet the changing needs of the future and increase diversity. The campus solutions that are being implemented will last into the 2060s and 2070s. In addition, the university has a need to manage rental and space costs. It is important for the university to improve the energy efficiency of all its premises and reduce the carbon footprint of its activities.
Between June and September, the university held an online brainstorming session for the entire university community, the participants of which came up with ideas about how the university will function in the future, what will happen on the city campus and how to make it as good as possible. More than 800 people from the university took part in the brainstorming, almost half of whom were students. Based on the results, the university of the future is first and foremost seen as a collaborative and communal entity. The results of the brainstorming session were presented to staff and students in a webcast on Thursday 5 November.