The Design Museum square will have a summer street area again

Construction of the city centre summer streets will begin at the turn of April–May. During this period, we will also improve cycling and car traffic signage and service traffic area markings in the Esplanadi trial areas and prepare the area for spring and summer planting.
The Design Museum square summer street in 2023. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
The Design Museum square summer street in 2023. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

For the upcoming summer, a summer street will again be set up in Korkeavuorenkatu in front of the Design Museum. Last year, visitors considered the Design Museum square the most comfortable summer street area, and out of all the areas, this area saw the largest growth in the number of pedestrians between last spring and last summer. The event stage, in particular, attracted many people to the area, and the city has received a lot of positive feedback about the stage. The event stage is also planned for next summer. Based on the feedback received from last year, the summer street will include clearer pedestrian routes and signs. Otherwise, the implementation will remain largely the same as last summer.

The structures of last year's terrace are still on Erottajankatu, in addition to which there will be a street painting at the northern end of the temporary extension area. Erottajankatu will also have a rack for electric scooters. The construction of the summer streets will begin at the turn of April–May, and the streets are estimated to be completed in May.

There will be no summer street on Kasarmikatu this summer

The Kasarmikatu summer street section will no longer be carried out in the summer of 2024. Kasarmikatu served as a summer street for the first time in 2021 in connection with the Kasarmitori market terrace, which increased the number of pedestrians in the area. The Kasarmikatu summer street trial was also intended to support the city's long-term development. The 2032 land use development plan for the city centre has shown that like other streets leading from Esplanadi towards Kaartinkaupunki, Kasarmikatu requires strengthening as a walking connection and route to the core city centre.

During each of its three years as a summer street, survey results considered Kasarmikatu comfortable, but in 2022 and 2023, the street did not attract enough pedestrians, public street furniture users and restaurant terrace visitors to fulfil the goals set out for the summer streets. The residents’ jury of the Esplanadi trial also estimated that the summer street would be better suited for another location. The main inference and lesson gained from the Kasarmikatu summer street trial is that the street should be developed jointly with Kasarmitori as part of the more comprehensive development of the area. The development of Kasarmikatu alone is not enough to strengthen the walking connection from the city centre towards Kaartinkaupunki.

Spring arrives in Esplanadi

The Esplanadi street trial will get its spring look in the beginning of May when winter plants are replaced with bright spring flowers. Summer flowers and palm and olive trees that have wintered in the City Garden will return as the weather warms up in June. The condition of the wooden surfaces in the area will be examined, and the surfaces will be treated with a wood preservative in the spring. Maintenance of the trial area furniture began in March.

Small changes will be made to the Esplanadi extension areas for the 2024 summer season. The changes are due to the renovations of Hotel Kämp and Cafe Esplanadi. The related changes are minor and consist mainly of the relocation of pots and furniture. The abundant number of pots in the Eteläesplanadi section will be reduced in order to improve walking access. Eleven large pots will be removed from the vicinity of the terraces and moved to the Senaatintori summer terrace.

Based on the feedback received, cycling and car traffic signage will be improved next summer with traffic signs, road markings and other signs. Loading areas will be marked with a yellow cross painted over the parking space, which will make traffic arrangements clearer. The area normally reserved for taxis will be converted into an area for maintenance traffic and pick-up and drop-off traffic. Weather permitting, the work will begin at the turn of April–May.

The demolition of the Esplanadi trial areas will begin in November 2024 and be completed by the end of the year. The city is also preparing for HSY's upcoming extensive renovation of the water main and sewer network and construction of a storm water sewer network in the Esplanadi and Eteläranta area. The residents and operators of the area will be strongly involved in the preparation. The renovation schedule will be specified later.