Helsinki under construction
Helsinki will continue to expand faster than ever before in coming decades. In the near future, a waterfront route 16 km long will meander along the Helsinki shore. Residents and visitors have excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation activities in an attractive maritime environment.
The next few decades will see the construction of a number of new districts – both on the shores of Helsinki and further inland – along with the expansion of a number of older neighbourhoods. The quality requirements for construction are strict, with a number of ecological concerns, also taken into account when planning new districts and buildings.
Incorporating Helsinki and the cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, the total population of the Helsinki metropolitan area currently exceeds one million residents. Many completely new neighbourhoods will be built in the region, with the most significant building projects in the areas of Kalasatama, Pasila and Jätkäsaari. These large-scale construction projects will assist in the densification of Helsinki’s urban structure, with the expanded public transportation system connecting the city’s districts in an eco-efficient way.
Urban development projects
The City of Helsinki seeks to develop urban spaces that offer high-quality living and working environments. The development aims at high density and reliance on public transport, while energy-related and environmental aspects will play important roles.
The City of Helsinki is responsible for the building of the new areas’ infrastructure and public service facilities, along with organising traffic. The total investment will be high: in the next three years alone, the City will invest 500 million euros annually.
The total floor space of new offices and commercial facilities will be 2.5 million square metres and new housing 4.5 million square metres.
At present, the Economic and Planning Division of The Helsinki City Executive Office is responsible for the coordination of the city’s development projects. The Division manages and directs the cooperation between different authorities, landowners, builders, business enterprises and residents in the target areas.
Renewal of Pasila: Pasila becomes the second centre of Helsinki
Both business premises and residences will be built in Pasila. Location at the main intersection of public transportation in the metropolitan area and the whole of Finland makes Pasila the key area of new office construction in Helsinki. Pasila will become the second centre of Helsinki. The role of Pasila as a key area of commercial construction, a business hub and a media, events and congress neighbourhood is becoming stronger. The upcoming traffic solutions increase the significance of Pasila as a functional and versatile centre and place of residence for the entire country.
Helsinki waterfront, the city’s new attractive brand
A short 10-minute tram ride from the city centre, Jätkäsaari enjoys a desirable location next to the open sea, forming the location for the construction of a new housing and business precinct with versatile services in the Western Harbour area. This attractive maritime district is also where people from other areas in of Helsinki too will come to enjoy themselves in their leisure time.
In the eastern part of the inner city, another new city sector, Kalasatama, is being built in the waterfront areas of the Eastern Harbour. Construction commenced in autumn 2008 and shall continue until the 2030s.
The typically Finnish rocky shores of Laajasalo are also being developed for future use, with a residential area in proximity to nature under construction in Kruunuvuorenranta. Set amongst beautiful archipelago scenery the area enjoys views across to the historical Suomenlinna sea fortress, with construction taking place between 2013-2025.
City centre livens up
The Helsinki city centre is undergoing a major transformation. Pedestrian streets are being expanded, new cycling routes built, Old Town blocks enlivened, parks renovated and new housing built. The waterfront route encircling the Helsinki peninsula will extend by about 20 kilometres, as former inner-city harbours are redeveloped for residential and other uses.
There are plans to turn the South Harbour waterfronts into elegant areas that honour their prime location, bringing enjoyment to residents and visitors. The city’s oldest stone houses facing Helsinki Cathedral are reinvigorated by converting offices to restaurants, to boutiques and for various other services for citizens. Other plans would expand car-free areas in the inner city and add new galleries, shops, cafés and restaurants to the city.
The Töölö Bay area in the heart of Helsinki is being turned into an oasis for culture and leisure. New office and residential buildings are going up. The area is just steps away from high-end shopping, some of Finland’s leading cultural institutions, the railway station, the central bus station in Kamppi and the Parliament Building. The area is also home to many corporate headquarters.
The new Kalasatama area of Helsinki is a place to experiment smart urban living and services. It is growing into the smart city district of Helsinki, co-created with residents, companies, city officials and other stakeholders. The goal of Smart Kalasatama is to manage resources so intelligently that residents will gain an extra hour of free time every day. The project will lay the groundwork for new city services and innovations as well as create a wealth of business opportunities. Service creation will be supported by ICT technology and open data. Kalasatama will house 20 000 residents and offer work to 8 000 people. The district will be completed in the early 2030s, but it already has 2000 inhabitants.
In Viikki science and innovation meet modern ecological living
Stretching around Viikki’s university district and the Science Park, this district incorporates campus areas, office premises, business incubator blocks and the University’s experimental farm. The Latokartano residential area is characterised by urban living surrounded by parks, including an internationally recognised experimental eco-neighbourhood. Located along the Vantaa River, construction has already begun in the Viikinmäki area. When ready in 2015, it will comprise hillside residential blocks and office premises situated by the Lahdenväylä motorway.