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The City of Helsinki has launched a new, cross-administrative suburban regeneration model, the pilot areas of which will be the districts of Malminkartano-Kannelmäki (Link leads to external service), Malmi (Link leads to external service), Mellunkylä (Link leads to external service) and Meri-Rastila. The built environment in these areas has, to a significant degree, reached a stage in its lifecycle where refurbishment is due. The location of these areas along rail transport connections was another factor in their selection. In the video below, you will find out more about what Suburban regeneration is all about.
To turn on English subtitles for the video, click the TXT button in the top right corner.
What is Suburban regeneration? – Watch the video
In the video, the programme coordinator and project managers of the Suburban regeneration areas further explain what Suburban regeneration is and what it means for the areas.
We're preventing segregation of residential areas
The purpose of suburban regeneration is to improve the comfort and appeal of residential areas comprehensively and facilitate high-quality infill construction. One of the goals of the City of Helsinki is to be a city where all its neighbourhoods offer equally safe and comfortable living in unique, appealing environments. Suburban regeneration is a tool, which Helsinki uses to achieve this strategic goal, thus facilitating the equality and well-being of different city districts.
Suburban regeneration is part of Helsinki’s new housing and land use implementation plan housing and land use implementation plan (in Finnish).
Unique, lively and attractive residential areas
The objective of suburban regeneration is to both maintain and develop unique, lively and attractive residential areas that offer a great deal of opportunities for housing and recreation. Another goal is that the areas also attract visitors to take part in various activities and events that reinforce the identity of each area.
As a future consequence of this suburban regeneration, the inequality of residential areas decreases and Helsinki residents will have more options for their housing choices. In the renewed areas, satisfied residents live in safe and attractive surroundings, proud of their own unique district.
Suburban regeneration refers to the comprehensive development of the impacted areas. Infill construction is a large part of this development, but suburban regeneration is more significant. Permanent improvement of living conditions is a central part of the process. The objectives of suburban regeneration are divided into four different focal areas: vitality, urban environment, services, and participation.
Vitality refers to the structural characteristics and aspects that make the areas attractive, safe and versatile. As the vitality of the suburban regeneration areas increases, so do the resident satisfaction and sense of safety, while the building stock also grows and becomes more versatile and attractive. The segregation trend between areas decreases.
The operational prerequisites of business will also improve and the commercial attractiveness of the areas will grow stronger: the goal is to increase the number of businesses and jobs in the area. Various development projects bring new and inspiring opportunities to the suburban regeneration areas, too.
The built environment in the suburban regeneration areas has, to a significant degree, reached a stage in its life cycle where renewal has become topical. The goal of the regeneration, therefore, is to improve the areas’ attractiveness. This will also have an effect on the sense of safety in the areas.
Although the suburban regeneration schedule reaches as far as to 2035, the urban environment can be improved faster, too. Progress is being made already.
The exercise stairs in the Malminkartano district have been renewed and equipped with lighting. The fixtures, structures and vegetation in and around Kannelmäki train stop will be renovated 2022–2023.
In the Malmi district, the Traktori play park’s outdoor areas have been renovated, with the playground equipment, vegetation, surface materials and paddling pool renewed. The fountain in Ala-Malmi park has been renovated.
The popular disc golf court in the Kivikko area is renovated 2022 and new throwing spots will be built, also suited to competitions. A new exercise area will be built in the recreational area on the northern side of Mellunmäentie road, with easy to use equipment that is especially well-suited to seniors. The renewal of residential park Luosto in Mellunmäki is featured.
High-quality public services, such as daycare centres, schools, healthcare services, and culture and recreation make residential areas more attractive. Therefore, one of the important goals of suburban regeneration is to meet the residents’ service needs even better than before.
The suburban regeneration areas already have many existing, comprehensive services, such as health stations and libraries, but improved recreational services, for example, will also attract new residents and visitors to the area.
The City’s senior management, divisions and public enterprises are committed to suburban regeneration. Its importance is understood well within the city.
As suburban regeneration is a comprehensive, cross-divisional project, it is vital that people commit to it, both within the City organisation and among the areas’ different stakeholders. Suburban regeneration will be carried out together with the areas’ residents, entrepreneurs, property owners, organisations and associations.
Communications on suburban regeneration are clear, and it is easy to find information about it.
Helsinki Innovation Districts is bringing innovation activities and smart urban development to Malmi, Mellunkylä, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki and Pasila. For residents, the project is particularly visible in the form of experiments in street space and city blocks. The project is being carried out in cooperation between Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki.
A smart city is built through experiments
Services and digital solutions are being developed with experiments in six different areas: Malmi, Pasila, Mellunkylä, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, and the already established experiment laboratories of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama.
The solutions will build a smart city and support urban renewal and Helsinki’s climate goals. They may include innovative green solutions, smart lighting or sensors, for example. Each region involved has its own development themes.
Residents, businesses and experts working together to develop solutions
Residents, businesses and City experts are involved in the development of solutions. Residents can share their experiences of the solutions, which allows businesses to develop their services in the right direction and the City to better meet the needs of its residents. The experiments will help the City find out which solutions work and what kind of procurement or development would be worthwhile in a particular area.
The Helsinki Innovation Districts project draws on lessons learned from the smart city development projects in Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama. Both areas were built on former harbour areas, and many solutions were designed almost from scratch. The experience gained is now being applied to areas that are already built but await renewal. The new experiments will show how smart solutions and services can be applied to areas at a later stage.
Forum Virium Helsinki
Puh. 040 744 8831 (Link starts a phone call)
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Puh. 040 596 9574 (Link starts a phone call)
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The City of Helsinki was selected for the Ministry of the Environment’s Suburb Programme 2020–2022. The state’s Suburb Programme reinforces the comprehensive development of suburban areas and prevents their segregation. The City of Helsinki’s Suburb Programme projects are located in the suburban regeneration areas.
Functionality and attractiveness
The Suburb Programme, coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, develops the suburbs of the largest Finnish cities. The objective is to achieve positive, long term development that facilitates the residents’ well-being and the areas’ vitality. The Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment also participate in the Suburb Programme.
The Suburb Programme projects in Helsinki are located in the three urban renewal areas: Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, Malmi and Mellunkylä. The project units in these areas feature measures with the objectives of developing the functionality and attractiveness of the residential environment to residents of all ages, improving the well-being of children and young people, and increasing the sense of community and safety.
The project unit is directly linked to the City’s central strategies and programmes, such as the Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021 and the included Project for Youth Social Inclusion (preventing imparity and social exclusion of young people), Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 action programme (PDF) and participatory budgeting (Link leads to external service). Additionally, the project unit is linked to the housing and land use implementation plan (PDF) approved by the City Council on 11 November 2020.
Helsinki is applying for support and subsidies from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland for the development and planning of the suburbs included in the Suburb Programme and for the related investments.
There are a number of concrete measures carrid out in the areas based on the Suburb Programme, such as renewing the Ylä-Malmi market square in Malmi and developing the areas surrounding train stations in Malminkartano and Kannelmäki. Me (Us) school actions are to be developed in all areas to prevent the social exclusion of children and young people.
The quickest measures to execute have now been launched: the exercise stairs in Malminkartano have been renewed and equipped with lighting. The fixtures, structures and vegetation in and around Kannelmäki as well as Malminkartano train stops will be renovated starting 2022.
In Malmi, the Traktori play park’s outdoor areas have been renovated, and the playground equipment, vegetation, surface materials and paddling pool renewed. The fountain in Ala-Malmi park has been renovated.
The popular disc golf court in Kivikko is renovated 2022 and new throwing spots will be built, also suited to competitions. A new exercise area is being built in the recreational area on the northern side of Mellunmäentie, with easy to use equipment that is especially well-suited to seniors.
Co-operation in research
Helsinki will work together with the following research projects funded by the Suburb Programme:
- Aalto University: Cornerstone of suburbs – Immigrant entrepreneurs as a part of an urban renewal (MAKU project)
- University of Helsinki: Community resilience of suburbs and its segregation – how does civil society support local communities during the coronavirus crisis and what can we learn from this for future crises?
- University of Helsinki: Re:Urbia – development trends of suburbs and their re-conception for the challenges of the segregating cities of 2020s.
- University of Oulu: New forms of housing – Integrating, living suburbs (AsuMut)
- The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE: Good suburb: local knowledge and resident experiences in the assessment and development of attractiveness and vitality (HYVIÖ)
- Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL: Migration and social policies as an adapting factor in suburbs’ population structure and social issues
he City of Helsinki’s participation in the Suburb Programme is coordinated by:
Senior Planning Officer
City Executive Office’s Economic Development and Planning Division
tel. +358 9 310 38944 (Link starts a phone call)
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Infill construction is an important tool to increase the vitality in suburban regeneration areas. Infill construction allows for a better balance between rental apartments and owner-occupied housing in the area to meet the City’s goals, thus preventing segregation of residential areas.
Increased attractiveness through infill construction
In the Myllypuro (Link leads to external service) district in Eastern Helsinki, for example, investments by the City and other operators as well as strong residential construction have facilitated in increasing the area’s attractiveness and changing its development path. This is why infill construction plays a major role also in the suburban regeneration model.
The objective is to ensure prerequisites for a 30 per cent addition to the building stock in the suburban regeneration areas by 2035. However, at the same time, the distribution of the different management forms of the areas’ building stock will be developed, meaning that the areas will feature balanced amounts of supported housing, owner-occupied housing and rental housing.
Many residential advantages through infill construction
Infill construction ensures residents can be offered suitable housing solutions for all life situations. Aging residents, for example, are able to move into new accessible buildings equipped with lifts without leaving the area they are familiar with. Certain areas may lack family apartments, for example, or intermediate forms between rental and owner-occupied housing, such as right-of-occupancy apartments.
The quality of the environment, such as parks and pathways, and public transport services can also be improved in connection with infill construction. The growing number of inhabitants will also create opportunities for maintaining commercial services and creating new ones, which also improves the availability of jobs.
New constructions will increase interest in the area as a living area that is formed of different eras. Infill construction is always adapted to its environment.