Transport system plan for the city centre

The city centre's transport system plan develops the system as a whole: how to arrive to the city centre and move in the city centre. The transport system considers all modes of transport: walking, cycling, public transport, passenger traffic and goods transport. The transport system plan steers more detailed traffic planning for the city centre. It is also intended to support the vitality and comfort of the city centre.
Liikennettä Helsingin ydinkeskustassa.

A sustainable transportation system enables a city centre full of experiences

The aim is to strengthen the city centre's ability to offer pleasant experiences by using sustainable mobility. The plan aims to create a situation in which arriving to the city centre and moving in the centre is easier, walking and staying in the city centre is more pleasant than at present, and distribution and maintenance traffic successfully serve the needs of those operating in the city centre.

The objectives have been established in cooperation between the Urban Environment Division and the City Executive Office, and they have also been influenced by other stakeholders.

Starting points of the plan

Motor traffic through the city centre

In order to enable the significant development of the comfort and vitality of the city centre, motor traffic crossing the city centre is planned to concentrate primarily on the main transport link formed by Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplanadi.

Underground parking facilities and service tunnels

The accessibility and operating conditions of underground parking facilities and the service tunnel are systematically being developed to serve the logistical needs of the city centre and arrival by car. The first phase will involve an underground vehicle access from the Hakaniemi Market Square to the service tunnel.

The current service tunnel will be tested as soon as possible for suitability in accessing parking facilities. Subsequent development work will assess the changes that must be made to the tunnel so that vehicles will be able to enter the parking garage from multiple directions. Drivers will be informed of the new entrances and traffic will be directed to the tunnel with signs.

Street network

Local streets will be developed to become calm traffic environments that support both lively shopping districts and uninterrupted walking routes. To the extent possible, motor traffic crossing the city centre must be directed to the roads of the main street network.

In addition, the city centre will prioritise making walking easy and the pedestrian environment comfortable, and tools for evaluating the ease of walking and the quality of the walking environment will be developed to support this prioritisation.

Stakeholder involvement and cooperation

Achieving the goal in subsequent transport system planning work requires that all parties are committed to the goal. It is important for the planning to involve a wide range of stakeholders, from businesses to city residents.

A residents’ jury was assembled to support the planning

We hoped that the members of the jury will offer their own views to support the planning. The jury discussed and evaluated the comfort and attractiveness of the city centre as well as its pedestrian level of service. Participation in the jury did not require any special expertise or knowledge about traffic. About 15 participants were selected for the jury. The jury met three times during January- March 2024 .

The plan and the accompanying action plan are to be completed and submitted to the Urban Environment Board for a decision in the spring of 2024.

Project phases and planning schedule

  1. Objectives of the plan at the Urban Environment Board in August 2023

  2. Residents’ jury in January–March 2024

  3. Stakeholder meetings in spring 2024

  4. Resident survey in spring 2024

  5. Plan draft at the Urban Environment Board in May 2024

More information

Marek Salermo

Traffic Engineer, Traffic and street planning

Henna Hovi

Traffic Engineer, Traffic and street planning