Creating inclusive urban spaces

In a city, people are constantly crossing each other’s paths, using the same spaces and living alongside each other.

A well-functioning urban space is where you feel welcome, with a place to sit down and a variation of activities to challenge and inspire people of all ages.

It is not about concentrating as many activities as possible into one space, but about knowing what is needed in any given place.

Since 2007, MASU Planning has specialised in creating inclusive spaces.

MASU Planning was founded in Copenhagen by landscape architects Malin Blomqvist and Sune Oslev.

Since then, they have opened an office in Helsinki, and they now work across the Nordic countries,

focusing on urban spaces, city development,

cultural institutions and residential and educational environments.

Recognising the needs of a space

Each project comes with its own urban and cultural context.

“The most successful projects are those that answer to the needs of a space projects that recognise the distinctive character and qualities of a space and manage to develop them,” says Blomqvist.

The context provides the backbone for the project, including ideas about materials as well as how to design the space to optimise the day-to-day use of it.

“Our main aim is to create something that actually suits the space and community we’re designing for,”

Blomqvist continues.

“We want that to be the focus and our defining factor,

rather than a particular style or trend.”

Robust and flexible

Importantly, the spaces that MASU Planning creates are there to last.

The projects are allowed to develop over time.

“Working with the future in mind makes us think more about sustainable solutions, Creating inclusive

whether that’s in the materials we’re using or the way the space has to be taken care of,” explains Blomqvist.

“In these aspects, our projects are planned to be classic and long-lasting, but to also include elements of surprise and playfulness.

We love to work with classic materials like stone, brick and wood, but to also combine them in new and exciting ways,” she says.

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