An OmaStadi proposal led to the creation of a local sports facility for the residents of Alppila

Active residents Pekka Hartikainen and Irja Nykänen wanted the residents of their area to have more opportunities to exercise close to home. An outdoor sports facility was created next to Alppila Upper Secondary School as a result of an OmaStadi proposal.
Pekka Hartikainen.
Photo: Helsingin kaupunki

The new amazing Alppila local sports facility is ready to welcome people. The grand opening took place at the end of August. But for now, let us go back in time to the point where the sports facility only existed in the minds of the designers. 

"In fact, Irja Nykänen had already proposed it on the first OmaStadi round but the project did not take off. I reached out to Irja on the last round and we started to think about ways to make the proposal more interesting. There were no obstacles in terms of planning as the site was already level with sand," Pekka Hartikainen recalls.

He specifically wanted the sports facility to be located in the middle of a residential area.

"Exercising is becoming more communal and sports facilities are no longer built just near parks and forests. Sports and recreational facilities that have been designed to a high standard significantly increase the enjoyment of people."

Young children can get active at the various playgrounds around the city but, according to Pekka, other age groups are easily left out. A sports facility for all over 12-year-olds was also missing in Alppila.

Quality design results in a quality outcome

At the Alppila local sports facility, you can play basketball, exercise at an outdoor gym or street workout racks, as well as having a go at parkour.

"We wanted to create a place that is designed to a high standard. Of course the size of the area and the budget also affected what sports were picked. Parkour was originally part of another proposal but we were able to include it in the plan."

Hartikainen says that he consulted experts in each sport carefully during the planning stage. The plan was modified together with the city based on feedback.  
He is very pleased with the outcome and hopes that residents will find their way to the sports facility.

"It would be great to see people exercising together, casual basketball games or street workout sessions."

Most importantly, he is hoping to see smiles and sweat.

"While preparing the proposal, the word ‘swot’ with its negative connotations sprang to mind due to the proximity to the school. I want to make the local residents sweat like a swot studying for an exam – fitness level does not matter as long as people work up a sweat and challenge themselves!"