On Wednesday 20 June 2018 the Vital Nodes workshop in the Finnish urban node Turku has taken place. Which has been jointly organized by the Vital Nodes consortium, the City of Turku/The Northern Growth Zone and PBI.
With a broad group of stakeholders from different organizations, backgrounds and fields of expertise, challenges of the urban node Turku regarding freight and logistics, infrastructure planning and spatial planning were discussed. Also the value capturing (value added services) from port activities in the functional area was discussed.
During the workshop main challenges discussed, amongst others, were:
- The (lack of) coordination and cooperation above chain – regarding freight and passenger transport, inter-operability and waiting times for ships and trucks;
- Dealing with the (great) archipelago of Turku, which is the only possible way to reach the port of Turku, but brings a long distance of piloting;
- Realizing the ambitious emission goals by balancing between impact on liveability, safety, accessibility and connectivity;
- Positioning the airport of Turku within the area and in relation to the other airports in Finland and the surrounding countries;
- Possibilities for a modal shift.
Besides zooming in on these challenges, the discussion brought up interesting insights and good practices. Examples are:
- Goals for an emission neutral port of Turku by 2029;
- The governance/cooperation within the Northern Growth Zone and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN-T core network corridor: Structural model for 2035, with 14 municipalities (non-binding, but common understanding), land use development;
- Studies on financing infrastructure developments.
Takeaways from the workshop are:
- The willingness to realize the high speed railway connection between Turku and Helsinki, bringing back travel time from more than 2 hours to 1.5 hours. This is not just an infrastructure project, but should deliver multiplying effects on the Turku region;
- Ambitious goals for carbon neutrality in order to realize zero emission by the year 2029;
- The enormous potential of knowledge and information exchange by realizing cross-overs between different sectors, peoples, events and (testing) initiatives in order to build on collaboration and cooperation. Public-public, but also public-private.
The Vital Nodes consortium would like to thank all participants for their valuable input, collaboration and enthusiasm.