Helsinki Plant Tram
The British Council
Designed and produced by:
In collaboration with Dodo
Helsinki Plant Tram is a participatory project that includes an urban action on a tram which utilises the city’s local transport network and an imaginative urban garden built from plants donated by passengers.
The project has been commissioned by the British Council and has been designed and produced by Wayward Plants, in collaboration with the local environmental organisation, Dodo.
The Plant Tram Urban Action will take passengers on a journey to celebrate urban growing in Helsinki and to strengthen the network of growing spaces throughout the city. In partnership with Culture Tram and their mobile exhibition and performance platform, the Urban Action utilises the local tram network to create a mobile garden that journeys through the city of Helsinki to pick up passengers bringing donated plants. Potential growing spaces will be mapped out along the route, strengthening the network of growing spaces in Helsinki.
The Plant Tram urban action will take place on 5-7 September (3-4pm). Passengers can join by boarding the tram anywhere along the route for the price of a normal ticket.
The Plant Tram Urban Garden will be an imaginative timber structure filled with plants which is envisioned as a “magical tram journey.” The structure weaves through the site like flying tram tracks with its design inspired by the iconic wooden roller coaster found at the Linnanmäki Amusement Park, which opened in Helsinki for the 1952 Olympics. The timber for the structure is being recycled from Wastelands XXXII European Students Assembly, taking place at the Suvilahti site a few weeks prior to the construction of the garden.
Twenty large mobile planters will provide seating and fruit tree planting for a mobile orchard beside the large structure. A shipping container will also be converted into a temporary tram station next to the garden, filled with maps detailing the journeys that the plants have travelled and documenting the participatory nature of the Everyday Discoveries exhibition project – at the end of which the garden will be reconfigured to create a lasting legacy as a permanent urban garden at Suvilahti for Dodo.
The garden will take place at Suvilahti, a disused power plant and gasworks in the north east of the city, as part of the Everyday Discoveries exhibition during the 6-16 September.
A preview of the urban garden will take place at Flow Festival. The international music and arts festival is held at Suvilahti on 8–12 August and the garden at Flow will include the mobile tree planters and a 50m long wall of donated plants from participants of the festival.