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Tampere Ambassador: Ashley Penn

Where are you from?
In 2013 I moved to Finland from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute in the UK. I originally studied horticulture, before specializing in landscape design. I love creating outdoor spaces for people to enjoy, and am particularly interested in public open spaces. I have a young family, here in Finland, and in my spare time I enjoy playing the guitar.

What makes Tampere special for you?
I studied part of my undergraduate degree in Finland, just outside Hämeenlinna in 2004. During my studies I traveled all over Finland, from Kotka to Rovaniemi. I found Tampere to be my favorite city in Finland. I decided then, that one day I would like to live in or near Tampere. I particularly like the sense of history in Tampere as expressed in its architecture and public spaces. For me Tampere is the perfect scale for a city. Its large enough to have everything a local resident could need, but is small enough to be able to get around on foot.

Tell about your professional activities?
I am trained as both a garden designer and landscape architect. I enjoy designing spaces of all scales, from intimate private gardens, to public parks. I have worked and studied in the landscape profession (often at the same time), for almost twenty years. I have a particular interest in hard landscape and landscape lighting. I work on projects in both Finland and the UK.

What is your involvement with international activities?
I am the host for the Tampere Talent Show and Hope Fest. This is an evolving local talent show that is held twice a year, featuring multicultural acts from around the Tampere area. We aim to raise money for charities, and celebrate the multiculturalism of Finland. I also volunteer with AFEAS (Africans And African-Europeans Association) with various activities including holding English language activities in schools.

What is your mission as a Tampere - All Bright! Ambassador?
My personal mission as a Tampere - All Bright! Ambassador is to promote international landscape architecture both within Tampere, and wider afield. I am also interested in networking with other built environment professionals.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
I am interested to see how Tampere is developing in the future, particularly with the proposed tram line and Tampere travel and service centre. I can see great potential for Tampere as a leading city in the Nordic region.

Ashley Penn Tampere ambassador

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