Kotka National Urban Park is Finland’s best landscape project 2018

Press release 2018-10-19 at 10:42
Katariinan meripuisto
Katarina Seaside Park. © Photo: Tapio Heikkilä, Ministry of the Environment

The Kotka National Urban Park was today presented with the award for Finland's best landscape project 2018. The urban park is a magnificent combination of parks, waterways and the finest architectural monuments in Kotka. The award was presented in Helsinki by Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing.

”The Kotka National Urban Park is a unique entity and a good example of the city's commitment to the development of green spaces and recreational areas. Kotka has created a high-quality urban environment through insightful planning and long-term landscape management," the Minister says.

Finland's best landscape project is sought for every two years in a competition organised by the Ministry of the Environment. This year, the five participating projects from different parts of Finland were of a high standard and all fulfilled the criteria set for the competition. The competition was open to non-governmental organisations and local and regional authorities that had protected, managed or designed landscapes.

The jury had representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Heritage Agency, the University of Turku, Aalto University and the Association of Finnish Landscape Architects and was chaired by Senior Environmental Adviser Tapio Heikkilä from the Ministry of the Environment.

The Kotka National Urban Park, founded in 2014, will be Finland's candidate for the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe.

”The concept of national urban parks is exceptionally interesting from an international perspective, which increases Finland's chances in the competition. Nine national urban parks have already been established in Finland, whereas so far there is only one such park in Sweden and none elsewhere in Europe,” says Tapio Heikkilä, the chair of the jury.

The Landscape Award of the Council of Europe is part of the European Landscape Convention promoting landscape management, protection and design. The Convention has been ratified by 39 countries, by Finland in 2006. The Landscape Award is a recognition of exemplary measures in the promotion of landscape management.

Saturday 20 October is International Landscape Day

The award for Finland's best landscape project 2018 was presented at the Landscape Symposium in Helsinki on the eve of the International Landscape Day. The event marked the International Landscape Day held on 20 October, which Finland will this year celebrate with the theme "Praise for everyday landscapes". The preparations for the day include the #arkimaisema photography campaign, in which well over a thousand photos have already been posted on Instagram. The campaign culminates in a photography competition organised on Instagram on the actual day.

Proposals submitted to the Finland's best landscape project 2018 competition

  • Landscape stories and Landscape treasures in Pirkanmaa, Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation of Southern Finland and ProAgria Southern Finland
  • Mukkula Manor Park, City of Lahti Technical and Environmental Services
  • Norrlin Park in Old Vääksy, Old Vääksy Development Association
  • Landscaping services programme for open green spaces in Tampere, City of Tampere
  • Kotka National Urban Park, City of Kotka

Photos from the Kotka National Urban Park for the media:


Kotka National Urban Park:

Heikki Laaksonen, Head of the Parks and Grounds Department, firstname.lastname@kotka.fi, tel. +358 44 702 4773

Markku Hannonen, Director of Urban Planning, firstname.lastname@kotka.fi, tel. +358 400 760 284

Finland's best landscape competition and the International Landscape Day:

Annika Uddström, Researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi, tel. +358 295 251 715

Tapio Heikkilä, Senior Environmental Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 166