Back 16.03.2016

Urban Incubator – Transforming an industrial area into an attractive and vibrant neighborhood

Urban Incubator, an outstanding concept created by an experienced and multidisciplinary team of Nordic experts, centers on transforming an industrial area into an innovative hub of new sustainable business, start-ups, culture and attractive housing. Urban Incubator is now competing for the first place together with three other finalists in the Kera Challenge, an innovation competition organized by the Finnish retail cooperative S Group.

Sharing services, goods and spaces, caring for the environment and creating innovative businesses are the cornerstones of Urban Incubator. Imagine picking up fresh lettuce and tomatoes from your own urban garden located just 100 meters away from your front door in an old but renewed industrial hall. Imagine rooftops of old warehouses converted into public and semipublic green citizen areas, where open-air events and festivals are organized. Wouldn’t that be a fascinating idea?

Urban Incubator will transform the Kera industrial area into a forerunner zone setting new trends for business, culture and lifestyle. What makes the unique idea of Urban Incubator even more exciting is that old industrial areas like Kera can be found in almost every city, only waiting to be “urban-incubated”.

The Urban Incubator team consists of Finnish and Swedish experts of sustainable business development, circular economy, real estate management, architecture and participatory planning:

  • Gaia Consulting develops innovative solutions for sustainability and has broad understanding of the principles and practical solutions of circular economy. Gaia Consulting is also an experienced facilitator of inclusive public-private partnership processes, which is a key success factor for the transformation process of the Kera area.
  • The core competence of LPR-arkkitehdit is creating new value from old. Its expertise in the Urban Incubator team is the solid understanding of the transformation process of old warehouses to modern premises and taking into account sustainability aspects in land use and renovation.
  • Elomatic is one of the leading consulting and engineering companies in Scandinavia and the world. Elomatic utilizes state of the art technologies and develops its own sophisticated and innovative methods to solve global problems. It has, for example, been developing the concept of urban farming, which promotes sustainable and local production.
  • Regus Kora drives innovation and open corporate culture in university campuses. Kora’s main idea is to mix people, ideas, research, education and business, therefore Kora provides the team expertise in creating an entrepreneurial community and innovative working spaces.
  • RSM & Co, a company within the Rang-Sells group, operates at the cutting edge of circular economy and has the latest knowhow in putting circular economy solutions into practice in Sweden and other Nordic countries.
  • Vyyhti Helsinki is a student-led think tank specialized in participatory problem solving in the fields of sustainability and urbanism. It won the Swedish idea competition Sustainergies Cup in 2014 with its idea Articipation – Constructing Future Communities.

The winner of the Kera Challenge will be invited to compete in the Nordic Built Cities Challenge in autumn 2016. The Nordic Built Cities Challenge consists of six local competitions, calling for sustainable, smart and liveable solutions to urban challenges related to certain urban spaces in the five Nordic countries and the Faroe Islands. The Kera Challenge is the local competition of Finland.

More information:

  • Mari Saario, Business Director, Gaia Consulting, tel. +358 50 421 9999, email:
  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia Consulting, tel. + 358 400 464 127, email:
  • Veera Rautaheimo, Architect, CEO, LPR-arkkitehdit Oy, tel. + 358 40 506 8853, email:
  • Pauno Narjus, Architect, Chairman of the Board, LPR-arkkitehdit Oy, tel. + 358 40 584 5025, email: