WOOD SUMMIT SMÅLAND 29-30 june 2016

Invitation and programme


The project WOOD 2016 deals with visions of a sustainable future, how will we live in the year 2100, but also with the tasks of today – the densification of urban areas, the importance of public spaces and how to revitalize shrinking communities.


Beneath you find the outlines for the summit. The fee for participating, including all meals and the dinner party is € 300 plus VAT (25 %). With more than one participant from an organization/firm we will offer special price. Please register before 23 June.


Linda Camara, Architect SAR/MSA, Office Manager Tengbom Kalmar will moderate the summit.


29 June

11.30 Registration starts and refreshments are offered.

13.00 Part 1 – Sustainable densification of housing, townships and suburbs. What impact will transportation have? Can wood be used?


Wooden Helsinki, How Helsinki uses wood in todays building of the city.

Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor of Real Estate and City Planning Helsinki, Finland

will speak about how Helsinki at the moment is using wood in city building. What are the current most interesting areas where wood is the main building material? How was the political will formed? How the regulation has made this more complicated? What obstacles we still seem to have? She will also give a short insight of the history of wood as city’s building material and reflect upon what could be done next in Helsinki.


Reinventing Mobility: A Future of Intelligently Autonomous Transportation Systems

Aly Tawfik, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering at California State University, Fresno, USA

For many decades humans have dreamed about autonomous vehicles. Today, we are only years away from the realization of this dream, and witnessing an evolution leading to a transformative future of autonomous transportation systems. This presentation will discuss the driving forces behind this evolution; reasons why our existing transportation systems have become increasingly unsustainable, and our desperate need for an autonomous transportation revolution that satisfies these forces. Our future transportation systems are expected to be highly and intelligently autonomous, causing significant disruptive and transformative impacts on our lives; socially, economically and environmentally. The presentation will portray many of the leading facets of transportation automation, including intelligence in vehicles, infrastructure, system operation, and information, and for both urban as well as intercity travel. The presentation will also include numerous insights about the potential impacts and explore various potential challenges and possible opportunities of our intelligently autonomous transportation future.


Housing shortage in shrinking country

Aet Ader, Architect, Member of Executive Board Eesti Arhitektide Liit, Tallinn, Estonia

Estonia is leading in Europe with a large share of owners, a phenomenon caused by the aftermath of the Soviet times. Today, about 91% of Estonians own the place they live in. Thus, the rental market comprises a mere 8% of the housing stock, ranking as the 4th smallest in Europe. Small rental market has it’s roots in the past – altogether 98% of the apartment housing stock was privatized starting from 1994, after the Soviet occupation. The broad privatization process was initiated by the logic of a private house, but it seems that nobody considered the fact that most of the people (about 70% in Tallinn) lived in Soviet mass housing areas. Everything was privatized, even the Soviet municipal housing, which was maybe never meant to be distibuted between hundreds of private owners.

More and more people move to the capital, Tallinn. According to surveys rent makes 30-40% of average income in Tallinn, which is comaparable to living in Paris (which is 10th most expensive city to live in the world). So far, the state has chosen not to ‘intervene’ in the housing market (there is no state owned housing) – until last spring when after the recent elections, rather unexpectedly, it was listed in the new coalition agreement. “5.5 We will organize and jump‐start the rental apartment market. We will develop a rental apartments programme to encourage work force mobility all over Estonia.” What will be the spatial values this creates? How will this effect flexibility of peoples lives? Will Estonia become more competitive in relation to other cities in the region? And a desired place to live in?


16.15 Part 2 – What makes the urban environment vivid? Public spaces – whose property?


Placemaking as a driver of rural economic and environmental sustainability

Ethan Kent, Senior Vice President Project for Public Spaces New York, USA

Presentation will be published later.


Our feel for places is changing – planning implications for urban and rural communities.

Timo Hämäläinen, urbanism activist & blogger with “From Rurban to Urban, Reinventing the Finnish City”, Urban Policy Advisor at MDI, Helsinki, Finland

Urbanization is a long-standing global phenomenon. People concentrate in cities to work, socialize and innovate. The types of spatial patterns the phenomenon entails has varied over the centuries and always accompanied by a need to adjust the ways of developing cities accordingly. Now in the 21st century we are undergoing such a shift. Among other drivers, demographics, the changing nature of work, geography of innovation, and new consumption culture are creating new demands for the types of settlements people find attractive across the spectrum from the urban to the rural. New challenges and planning implications for shaping cities and communities follow. In rural contexts, the most significant policy questions are related to the design of places and the introduction of new mobility solutions.


Part 2 will continue on 30 June.

In the evening the winners of Architecture of Necessity 2016 will be presented at the dinner party, starting at 18.00.


30 June

09.00 Part 2 continues

10.30 Shrinking communities – new ways of developing or other merits for residents?

Shrinking communities – new perspectives on local community development.

Josefina Syssner, Professor Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture/ Centre for Municipality Studies at Linköping University, Sweden

With urbanisation, some areas develop into important hubs, characterised by increasing population numbers and by economies of scale. In other areas, urbanisation implies the opposite, i.e a continued and prevalent population decline. The latter is the case in many rural areas all over Europe.

This lecture starts out from the argument that urbanisation and uneven demographic development is the result of several complex processes, hard for local leaders and local governments to control. Circumstances such as rationalization, globalization, deindustrialization, the growth of the service sector, increased mobility within the EU, increasing labour market requirements, low fertility rates have all been noted as factors that can explain why certain areas shrink while others grow. But even if local governments cannot control demographic change, they need to handle the consequences of it. It has been demonstrated in several studies before that long-term demographic decline has massive planning and policy implications. Local governments and local communities in these areas have to cope with a diminished tax base, an over-dimensioned infrastructure, increasing elderly related service needs, inefficient use of resources and a shortage of skills and labour. Weak public finances also hamper re-investments, climate investments as well as social investments.

However, how these implications hit the local community depend very much on the quality of governance in these areas. With a high quality of governance, these communities could develop into resilient and sustainable societies. Such a development however demands communication and collaboration across sectors and levels of governance, as well as developed forms of communication and dialogue with citizens and business. In this lecture, it will be argued that an open, transparent and efficient communication between the public sector, citizens and other stakeholders is crucial to the ability to develop sustainable, resilient, democratic and efficient methods for planning and management in areas characterized by long-term demographic decline.


Shrinkage in the Netherlands: problems and solutions.

Nol Reverda, Lector at CESRT/research centre social integration and at NEIMED/expertise centre demographic changes, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

Presentation will be published later.


Particular challenges of smaller and mid-sized communities in shrinking areas in Germany.

Elke Becker, head of department Advanced Education at the German Institute of Urban Studies, Germany

In Germany, there is rare research on the situation, development or needs of smaller and mid-sized communities. Also the German Institute for Urban Affairs (Difu) has mostly focused its research activities on bigger cities in the past. Furthermore, development programmes by the government or the European Union often concentrate either on agglomerations or rural areas. Thus, there is a knowledge gap concerning smaller and mid-sized communities. Nevertheless, the Difu is aware of the particular challenges smaller and mid-sized communities have to face, especially in shrinking areas. In collaboration with five communities – reaching from less than 10,000 up to 70,000 inhabitants – we investigated and examined their way to recognise, handle and communicate shrinking processes, which are generally associated with a negative connotation, more closely. In fact, it is very difficult to find politicians, who first of all, accept shrinking processes as well as act in accordance to them and who second of all, are elected for a second term. In the meantime, most actions are still taken under the paradigm of growth.

However, there are a couple of challenges, which have to be dealt with today in order to manage the demographic change. Interestingly, it seems to be easier to handle an aging and shrinking population under the guise of the demographic change. In communication with about 50 persons in the five communities and through a written questioning of the local politicians, the project found out about the needs and limits the actors in smaller cities are confronted with and developed stakeholder-oriented recommendations for acting.


13.30 Time to depart, refreshments to go


Please register at the latest on 23 June by mail at register @ virserumskonsthall.com.


Please state your full name and phone number, details for invoicing the fee and if you would like assistance for you travel arrangements and stay during the conference in your mail.


Your registration is accepted when we send you an invoice. The registration is binding and no refunding will be made from June 15. Before this date we will refund € 225 plus VAT



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In order to avoid confusion we would like to inform that our trade name “WOOD SUMMIT SMÅLAND” is not to be confused with the registered trade mark “WOOD BUILDING SUMMIT” owned by Nolia AB and that we are not in any way allied with the Swedish Company called Nolia AB.