New pedestrian areas in the centre

The pedestrian, sitting and cycling areas in Helsinki city centre will be expanded in early summer 2023. Temporary pedestrian and cycling areas will be implemented on Esplanadi streets, Kasarmikatu, Erottajankatu, Korkeavuorenkatu in front of the Design Museum and on Lönnrotinkatu.
Nainen istuu Esplanadilla.

The reason for the changes is Helsinki’s goal for a lively and comfortable city centre with flourishing brick-and-mortar shops, pleasant sitting and meeting places, and a coherent network of pedestrian areas. Information about these experimental changes is being collected for the city centre’s traffic system plan which is under preparation.

The renovations will turn Esplanadi streets and Lönnrotinkatu into one-lane roadways. Service traffic is secured as loading/unloading and taxi sites will be left on both streets. The pedestrian area on Pohjoisesplanadi is widened with temporary structures. Space freed from the roadway on Eteläesplanadi is provided for use by cyclists.

Kasarmikatu, Erottajankatu and the Design Museum square will again have a summer street area with benches and flowers. A bicycle lane is added to Lönnrotinkatu for cyclists riding to the west.

The changes will be seen on the streets in the summer of 2023. According to the preliminary plan, new areas on Esplanadi streets and Lönnrotinkatu are reserved for walking and cycling until autumn 2024, but this period may be altered on the basis of the experiences obtained. The summer streets will be in use only in the 2023 summer season.

Expanding pedestrian and cycling areas shown on map.

Businesses and residents are invited to join in

Businesses, property owners and residents can participate in detailed planning of the renovations and describe their views and experiences during the experiment. The objective is to obtain information and experiences as a foundation for development of the centre in the long term.

Businesses and property owners in the Esplanadi area are invited to join the planning for implementation of pedestrian and sitting areas, so the experiment supports the needs of companies. The expanding pedestrian areas will be planned in three workshops between November 2022 and January 2023. Topics of the workshops include the needs of the operators, use of space, fixtures and plants on Esplanadi streets , and a presentation of draft plans.

The brainstorming workshop for city residents on 14 December will discuss future changes to Esplanadi streets and the meaning and life of the area at different times of the day and year. 

As a continuation of the workshop, a jury comprising 15 city residents will be formed, which will bring the voice of city residents and people moving in different ways in the planning. The jury will develop plans for pedestrian areas with the city’s experts, consider ideas for improving the urban environment, and experiment with new pedestrian areas in the summer. 

Experiences and opinions of the experiment will be collected from businesses, property owners, city residents and shop customers. In evaluation of the experiments, special attention will be paid to how they affect the business operations of service companies in the city centre. On Esplanadi streets, the number of passers-by is counted and the effects are observed on site. 

Feedback on the new pedestrian and cycling areas can be sent to opens default mail program)

Nainen kävelee kesäisellä kadulla ja ihmisiä istuskelee puiston nurmikolla.
Photo: Raine Huvila

Promotion of walking, and Helsinki’s objectives

The Helsinki city environment committee decided to expand pedestrian, sitting and cycling areas in the city centre in November 2022.

The decision is part of a continuum of plans and decisions aimed at creating a more comfortable, vibrant and experiential city centre. Promotion of walking has been raised as an important attraction factor in Helsinki’s City Strategy 2021–2025.

A policy favouring the development of walking opportunities has also been made by the City Board which, in January 2021, decided on further planning of expansion of the pedestrian centre and approved a vision for the centre, aimed at better walking opportunities in the city centre. The City Board has also approved a programme for promoting walking.

The upcoming traffic system plan for the city centre is intended to contribute to promoting walking. Information and observations obtained from the summer 2023 experiments will be utilised in this work. The plan will come up in the decision-making process in 2023.

Frequently asked questions: New pedestrian areas in the centre

What is the project about and what will change?

The project takes up space from car traffic and parking for walking, cycling and sitting. 

The pedestrian centre will be expanded mainly in the Esplanadi streets. A number of temporary changes will be made to the traffic arrangements in Pohjoisesplanadi, Eteläesplanadi, Erottajankatu, Kasarmikatu, Lönnrotinkatu, Mannerheimintie, Uudenmaankatu and Korkeavuorenkatu at the Design Museum square.

How will the reforms be reflected on the Esplanadi streets?

The roadways on Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplanadi will be changed to a single lane. The pedestrian area will be widened on Pohjoisesplanadi and at the west end of Eteläesplanadi. Both Esplanadi streets will have the necessary loading bays, taxi bays and parking spaces for CD-registered vehicles. Some of the existing parking spaces on Eteläesplanadi may be preserved.

Eliminating the second traffic lane on the north side of the road makes it possible to widen the sidewalk on the side of the buildings by 2.5–4.5 metres on some street sections.

Bicycle traffic on Eteläesplanadi will use the space freed from the roadway, as the one-lane car traffic arrangement will enable the bicycle lane to be moved in the space of the lane closest to the park. The arrangement will also free the space of the bicycle lane on the side of the park for pedestrian use, which will allow for a wider sidewalk of approximately 3.5 metres.

How will the reforms be reflected on Erottajankatu?

On the eastern side of Erottajankatu, the pavement will be widened and plants, fixtures and terraces will be added. Due to the arrangement of the Esplanadi streets, Erottajankatu will have one traffic lane for two years.

Arrangements between Uudenmaankatu and Pikku Roobertinkatu will mainly correspond to the summer street arrangements of the summer of 2022. Changes in traffic arrangements between Uudenmaankatu and Eteläesplanadi will be coordinated with the future arrangements of the Esplanadi streets.

How will the reforms be reflected on Kasarmikatu?

The walking opportunities between Eteläesplanadi and Pohjoinen Makasiinikatu will be improved by bringing seating fixtures to the street space, by adding more street greenery and by calming down car traffic. Kasarmikatu will be a so-called living street.

How will the reforms be reflected on Lönnrotinkatu?

The traffic arrangements between Mannerheimintie and Hietalahdenkatu will be clarified. The roadway will be reduced to a single lane and a bicycle lane will be added to the road for bicycle traffic heading west. The arrangements require prohibiting parking on one side of the street.

What other measures will be taken to promote walking in Helsinki in the near future?

Other measures that promote walking and sitting include the relocation of parking spaces for tourist buses in Senate Square, more efficient control of delivery and service traffic on Aleksanterinkatu and improved maintenance of the existing pedestrian streets. However, these matters were not decided in connection with the decision to extend the pedestrian areas on 1 November 2022; they are separate actions.  In addition, the city will implement measures of the walking promotion programme, such as creating a pedestrian network hierarchy and planning guidelines for walking.

When will the experiment take place and how long will it take?

The measures for the expansion of the pedestrian centre will be implemented in the summer season 2023 and are planned to continue until late 2024, but based on the experience gained during this period, the arrangements may be terminated earlier than planned or extended. Permanent solutions will be affected by the overall traffic system plan for the city centre.

Why is the experiment being carried out now and on a schedule that seems rushed?

The city is sometimes criticised for slow and rigid decision-making. This is an attempt to experiment and put goals outlined years ago into practice in an agile manner. The City Board decided on ambitious development of a walkable city centre as early as 25 January 2021. The experiment with the Esplanadi streets is one way of advancing this goal.

In addition, the timetable for the Esplanadi streets experiment is supported by HSY’s combined sewer system separation project which, according to current information, will be launched in the area in the late 2020s. It makes sense to renovate the Esplanadi streets and the nearby streets in the area in connection with the sewer project. The experience gained now can also be utilised in the design of more permanent solutions in connection with the sewer renovation.

Why were these streets and areas chosen for the experiment?

The preparation of the pedestrian centre places emphasis on natural walking routes, central stopping points and the connections between them, as well as the commercial potential created by the pedestrian centre, which is brought to each location by pedestrian streets or improved walking opportunities.

Why were the Esplanadi streets chosen?

The Esplanadi streets and Esplanadi Park are already a popular area for walking and sitting, and their comfort can be improved by widening the walking areas and reducing the emissions, noise and other nuisances caused by traffic. The area also has a lot of brick-and-mortar shops and services, whose viability is supported by the increase in walking flows.

Why were the other streets chosen?

Kasarmikatu, Erottajankatu and the Design Museum square were chosen because they have already provided positive summer street experiences. Pedestrian areas along these streets will create continuity with the Esplanadi streets’ walking connections and connect the southern inner city centre more closely to the walkable city centre.

Lönnrotinkatu was chosen to facilitate bicycle traffic heading west from the city centre. Clarifying traffic arrangements with a clearly designated space for electric scooters and bicycle traffic will also make walking easier.

What is the aim of expanding the pedestrian centre?

The main objective is to maintain the role of the centre as a desirable place of work, services and business and to increase its comfort as a shared “living room.” Improved walking opportunities create a pleasant and experiential city centre that attracts people to spend time and offers a setting for various city events and encounters.

The changes aim at a clearer pedestrian street network and smooth connections between squares and pedestrian areas. The reforms will also increase the safety and smoothness of walking.

The experiment will gather experiences and knowledge for designing more permanent solutions for the Esplanadi streets and their connecting streets. The solutions will be examined in the traffic system plan for the city centre, which will be submitted to decision-making in 2023.

Helsinki has decided to be carbon neutral by 2030, which requires changes in mobility. The promotion of walking is one of the measures aimed at achieving this goal.

How do walking, cycling and public transport increase the viability of the city centre?

Walking, cycling and public transport are efficient and space-saving modes of transport, so they can be used to move people the most efficiently in limited space. 

According to international surveys, improvement of walking conditions and development of the urban environment increases the number of customers by about 20–40% on average. According to a report on Helsinki centre business, 82–90% of customers who make purchases in the city centre use other modes of transport than cars.

How does the promotion of the pedestrian centre support experiences?

Helsinki city centre plays an important role as the face of the entire city and country. In addition to everyday activities, the centre’s public space serves as a venue for festivals, events, demonstrations, processions, encounters and spending time.

At its best, the city centre attracts residents, businesses, service providers and tourists of various ages. This attractive and experiential side of the city centre is to be developed and nurtured. A comfortable and safe walking environment supports this goal.

There is a lot of service traffic and improper parking in the existing pedestrian areas. How can we avoid this in the new pedestrian areas?

Only service traffic is allowed in pedestrian areas. In April 2023, we will launch intensive monitoring of service traffic. The aim is for service traffic to run only at the agreed times and for no cars to stand in pedestrian areas. In addition, summer employees of the city’s traffic planning unit will observe service traffic in the summer of 2023.

How will it be ensured that the new pedestrian area on Pohjoisesplanadi does not become an electric scooter parking area?

The city will negotiate with scooter operators on the rules during the spring of 2023. The negotiations will seek solutions for establishing new rules for parking.

How is walking connected to combating climate change?

Favouring walking contributes to the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2030 goal by reducing fossil fuel emissions. The goal is for activities taking place in Helsinki in 2030 to no longer contribute to global warming. The urban fabric should support eco-friendly lifestyles.

How can people be persuaded to walk in the pedestrian streets in winter weather and slushy conditions?

During the planning of the experiment, we will brainstorm on how to increase the attractiveness of the city centre also outside of summer.

After the summer months, December is usually one of the busiest months for walking in the city centre.

How many people travel to the city centre by car?

According to the Helsinki city centre business report (2019), about 11–15% of the people travelling to the city centre do so by car.

How many come to the city centre by public transport, by foot or by bike?

According to the Helsinki city centre business report (2019), about three out of four respondents travel to the city centre for business by public transport. The percentage arriving on foot is 8–12%. About 3% of the respondents used a bicycle as their main means of transport when travelling to the city centre.

What will be the role of passenger car traffic in Helsinki city centre in the future?

The city centre needs all forms of transport. In the future, passenger cars will continue play an important role as part of traffic in the city centre. However, the smooth flow of traffic and the development of the comfort of the city centre require that most people choose another mode of transport. Helsinki’s climate targets also require that sustainable modes of transport be favoured.

What are the implications of these plans for the number of trips to the city centre by passenger car?

Trips made by passenger cars through the city centre in an east-west direction are estimated to decrease by 10%. It is estimated that passenger car traffic in the Esplanadi streets will decrease by about one fifth. According to estimates, passenger car traffic will not move, at least in full, to bypass routes in the streets around the change areas, especially since Kasarmikatu and Erottajankatu are included in the expansion of the pedestrian areas.

Won’t traffic in the Esplanadi streets become congested when the number of lanes is reduced?

Over the past 30 years, traffic in the Esplanadi streets has followed a downwards trend. The annual traffic calculations carried out on the central transverse line show that traffic volumes have halved since the early 1990s.

The effects on car traffic of the lane reductions proposed for on Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplanadi have been analysed with the help of the Emme transport modelling system (Business impact assessment in October 2022). According to the modelling, the lane changes will reduce traffic on the Esplanadi streets by a total of about 4,000 cars per day, or about one fifth. The biggest impact will be on traffic heading west during the morning rush hour – travel time from Hakaniemi to Jätkäsaari is expected to increase by one minute due to the lane changes.

Will traffic shift from the Esplanadi streets to, say, the narrow side streets of Kaartinkaupunki?

According to the Emme transport modelling, the streets involved in the summer street experiment of 2022 will continue to play an important role because they prevent traffic from shifting over to the local streets of Kaartinkaupunki.

Approximately half of the cars that decrease from the Esplanadi streets during each working day would seem to move to other streets in the area, namely Kaivokatu (about 700 cars) and side streets in Kaartinkaupunki (about 1,500 cars).

Will there be fewer parking spaces on the Esplanadi streets?

The number of parking spaces will be reduced to about one third. The number of lost parking spaces will be small in relation to the total parking capacity in the city centre.

How will the increase in traffic on other streets affect them?

On streets where traffic increases, any negative effects will depend on the nature of the street (Business impact assessment, October 2022). On Kaivokatu, the increase in traffic will be marginal compared to the current car traffic volumes of the street (about 18,500 cars per working day).

The increased traffic load on the Kaartinkaupunki street network, if it materialises, will weaken both traffic safety and comfort. The additional load of less than a thousand cars per day is quite small, but the direction of the impact is clear. However, if necessary, rapid action can be taken to reduce the attractiveness of driving through the area.

How will the changes improve the conditions for cycling?

The impacts of the Esplanadi streets’ traffic arrangements for cycling may be minor.

In the current situation, the main route of bicycle traffic runs on Eteläesplanadi on the side of the park as a narrow two-way connection. However, additional space for cycling can only be allocated on the current unevenly paved roadway. The materials for the surfacing of the bicycle lane have not yet been decided but will be considered in connection with the planning.

The new bicycle lane running west on Lönnrotinkatu Street will improve the conditions for cycling westward.

Will new bicycle parking spaces be built on or near Pohjoisesplanadi?

There are already plenty of bike racks in the Esplanadi streets, the Market Square and the Kaartinkaupunki area. You can view their locations in the Map Service: bicycle racks in the Map Service(Link leads to external service)

The Urban Environment Division is examining the possibility of adding more bicycle parking spaces, for example at the beginning of Keskuskatu or near the corner of Pohjoisesplanadi and Mikonkatu. Actual bicycle parking areas will continue to be located at public transport stations and hubs.

How will the bicycle lane be delimited and what kind of surface will it have?

A two-way bicycle lane will be built on Eteläesplanadi with asphalt pavement. It will be separated from the roadway with a separation lane.

Will the travel times of motorists in the city centre increase?

Travel times by car may slightly increase during peak times. The biggest impact will be on traffic heading west during the morning rush hour – travel time from Hakaniemi to Jätkäsaari is expected to increase by one minute due to the lane changes.

How can I get to the city centre smoothly if I leave my own car at home?

Most people are already arriving in the city centre by public transport. Public transport is still evolving, for example with new rail connections, which effectively connect the city centre to places near and far. Feeder parking is also a good way to shorten travel times.

How is accessibility being considered in the planning of the reforms?

The Esplanadi streets belong to the special area of accessibility, and this must be taken into account in the planning of temporary structures. The plans will be discussed with the Council on Disability, for example. The Council will also be asked for experiences on the functioning of the experiment.

Where can motorists dodge emergency vehicles on a single-lane Pohjoisesplanadi?

The functioning of rescue routes will be ensured during the detailed planning phase in cooperation with the Rescue Department.

Could the speed limit on Pohjoisesplanadi be 20 km/h?

In Helsinki, the speed limit of 20 km/h is only used on courtyard streets. The speed limit of 20 km/h has not been used for other areas. The speed limit on the Esplanadi streets is currently 30 km/h, and there is insufficient justification for lowering it. In practice, the narrowing of the roadway on the Esplanadi streets will in itself reduce speeds.

How will driving from Katajanokka change?

It is true the flow of road traffic westwards will be the most heavily impacted by converting the Esplanadi streets into single lanes.

The smooth flow of road traffic on the single-lane Esplanadi streets has been assessed during the preparation of the temporary measures. The smooth flow of the Esplanadi streets is largely determined by the arrangements of the connections on Mannerheimintie and around Havis Amanda. The aim is to maintain the transmission capacity of these connections close to the current level even though the number of lanes in the Esplanadi streets will decrease. It is estimated that driving through the Esplanadi streets during the worst rush hour will take about a minute longer.

How are traffic flows in the city centre planned to be controlled when several traffic redirecting street renovations and other changes are carried out at the same time?

There are many projects going on and coming up in the city that will have an impact on traffic in the area.

The experiment of the Esplanadi streets and their connecting streets is planned to last from early summer 2023 to late 2024. The renovation of Kaivokatu will begin only after that, at which point two lanes each way can be restored on the Esplanadi streets for the duration of the renovation.

Traffic on the Esplanadi streets and on Mannerheimintie mainly come from different directions, so the temporary arrangements of these locations will not affect the journeys of many people. It is estimated that the temporary arrangement of the Esplanadi streets will slow down traffic to the west by about one minute during peak hours, so there will be no excessive delays.

What impact could the extension of the pedestrian areas have on businesses in the area?

The impact on businesses operating in the area is likely to be moderate.

Businesses can expand their operations more into the street space. On Lönnrotinkatu, the number of cyclists will increase, bringing more potential customers to the street. The reduction in parking spaces will affect the customers arriving by car.

Messages from operators in the area will be listened to with a sensitive ear. However, planning the urban environment always requires compromises, especially in the city centre, where space is very limited and there is practically no free space at all. During the temporary arrangements of the Esplanadi streets, their impact on the city centre operators, the attractiveness of the area and the flow of traffic will be monitored. We want to hear from business-owners and businesses in the area, both during the planning of the temporary transport arrangements and their use. Based on these experiences, permanent solutions for the area will be planned later.

How many companies will be affected by the changes in traffic arrangements on the Esplanadi streets?

The effects are limited to a relatively small area in the immediate vicinity of the Esplanadi streets but potentially affect a large number of companies. More than 600 businesses operate on the Esplanadi streets, and most of them will not be significantly affected by the experiment.

What do international studies say about the relationship between mobility and the viability of companies?

International examples and studies have observed that increasing pedestrian areas and improving street environments increase the number of pedestrians, customers and people spending time in the area. In some cases, these changes have been found to have increased net sales in the area. Studies show that the number of customers arriving by car is often overestimated.

According to the report “Kävelystä elinvoimaa” (Vitality from Walking) by the University of Tampere (2013), international studies show that the improvement of walking conditions increases the number of pedestrians. In addition to the increase in visitors from further away, locals have been observed to shop more in their neighbourhood.

How will the city centre’s brick-and-mortar shops compete if they cannot be reached by car?

People can come to the city centre by car and park, for example, in a paid multistorey car park, which are numerous in Helsinki. On the other hand, most people already travel to the city centre by public transport.

Additionally, it has been observed in international examples and studies that increasing pedestrian areas and improving street environments also increase the number of pedestrians, customers and people spending time in the area.

According to the report Vitality from Walking (2013), international studies show that the purchasing power of walkers and cyclists appears to be at least as high as that of motorists. Even if the one-time purchase is smaller with these modes of transport, they make more visits.

Who is responsible for the appearance and furnishing of the valuable pedestrian and sitting areas?

The Esplanadi streets area is a unique and historically valuable environment. The aim is to achieve a uniform, aesthetic and finished implementation in terms of both fixtures and structures. Fixtures on different street sections will be planned in cooperation with the city, consultants and operators in the area. The experiment aims for a temporary solution of the highest possible quality, although it cannot correspond to the quality level of permanent street structures.

Where will you find more people to walk and spend time on the summer streets and other central areas?

The number of visitors to the summer streets increased in the summer of 2020 and 2021. In 2022, they remained relatively unchanged. People have spent significantly more time on the summer streets during all experimental summers. People spend more time in pleasant areas.

The purpose of the summer streets is not to draw large masses of people like an event, but to offer places for people to rest and enjoy the summer.

It may take time for people to find new routes. The longer the changes are in force, the more likely people are to find their way there, unless it is a special destination like the Senate Square or the Kasarmitori market terrace, which people go to see specifically. 

What kind of feedback on the summer streets have you received from local businesses?

In an oral survey of the area’s brick-and-mortar shop owners, most of the respondents wanted the summer streets to return.

In 2021, the summer streets were organised in cooperation with the Kasarmitori terrace. At that time, most business-owners had a positive attitude towards the streets and the terrace and felt that they had a positive impact on business.

In a survey conducted in 2022, slightly more than half of the companies wished for more summer streets. Feedback from business-owners was more critical than in the previous year, especially in relation to the implementation of the summer streets. A number of companies have reported a clear positive impact on sales in the summer, but many companies have not seen any impact on sales.

What kind of feedback have residents given on the summer street experiments?

An online survey on the summer streets had 950 respondents. The survey gave the opportunity to evaluate the previous summer streets organised by the city. Some 85% of the respondents want the city to continue conducting experiments like the summer streets.

Will people be attracted to the Esplanadi streets with new events?

The city strives to create a framework and enable events based on the proposals of other parties. The aim is to keep the city centre alive throughout the year.

How can we make Keskuskatu a more attractive and natural part of public events in the city centre?

Keskuskatu has been identified as a bottleneck during events in the sense that the wide rescue route limits the ability of events to spread to this pedestrian street. We will examine the possibilities for more active use of Keskuskatu in cooperation with the Rescue Department.

The city develops the network of pedestrian areas in the city centre as a whole and understands the importance of its continuity, especially during events.

Will the widened pedestrian area on Pohjoisesplanadi be well maintained also in winter?

With good planning, even temporary structures can withstand winter maintenance. As a rule, the operator who has rented the area also maintains it in winter. The city is responsible for pavements and roadways.

How will businesses in the area be involved in the planning of the reforms?

The planned use and furnishing of the pedestrian and sitting areas in the Esplanadi streets will be planned in joint workshops between November 2022 and January 2023 together with the key businesses and property owners in the area.

Feedback on the design solutions will be collected from property owners, businesses and residents so that permanent solutions can be designed to best serve all parties.

Representatives of businesses in the area can register for a private interview about their company’s needs and wishes regarding the experimental areas at the workshops or by email at opens default mail program).

How can city residents participate in the planning of the reforms or express their opinions?

An open workshop has been arranged for the residents (14 December 2022). There will also be open café discussions.

A panel of city residents has also been assembled to develop plans for the pedestrian areas together with the city’s experts, to consider ideas for improving the urban environment and to test the new pedestrian areas in the summer. 

You can read more about the events and the panel above on this page under the topic Businesses and residents are invited to join in

You can also express your opinion and make requests by email at opens default mail program).

How do you collect feedback on the reforms?

Throughout the process, the results of various surveys and interaction sessions will be carefully documented.

In addition, in the coming years, experiences and opinions will be collected extensively from both operators in the area and city residents.

On which decisions is the promotion of the pedestrian centre based?

On 15 November 2022, the Helsinki Urban Environment Committee decided on an experimental expansion of the pedestrian, sitting and cycling areas in the city centre.

On 25 January 2021, the City Board decided on further planning for the expansion of the pedestrian centre. The decision proposed that a proposal for the expansion of the pedestrian city centre be made for decision-making, and one area to be considered in the planning was the Esplanadi streets area.

In January 2021, the City Board also approved the Helsinki centre vision, which outlines, among other things, land use and traffic planning in the city centre.

The vision outlines, for example, that an extensive pedestrian centre increases social interaction and encourages mobility, outdoor activities and encounters. The use of the street space will be prioritised from the point of view of sustainable modes of transport. See the Helsinki centre vision >

What other strategies or policies are behind the promotion of walking?

The Helsinki City Strategy 2021–2025 requires the planning of a central pedestrian zone and the development of traffic arrangements to support the city’s vitality and growth.

The above-mentioned decisions and the city strategy are based on a considerable number of other decisions, policies, strategies and reports that have been taken into account in their formation.

  • The land use development picture of the city centre until 2032 (not yet approved), which also guides traffic solutions.  
  • A report on Helsinki centre business commissioned by the City of Helsinki, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce and Helsinki City Marketing in 2019. It looked at who makes purchases and uses services in the city centre, how they travel there and how much money they spend.
  • Numerous international reports, studies and experiences from reference cities contribute to the decisions made in Helsinki.

What are the next steps in the development of the city centre?

Temporary expansion of the city centre’s pedestrian areas will begin in summer 2023. The traffic system plan for the city centre will be included in the decision-making process in 2023. It defines the objectives, guidelines and measures for the development of the transport system in the city centre. The plan draws on information from the extension of the pedestrian centre, such as experiences and opinions gathered from the experiment, and puts forward permanent proposals for pedestrian areas.

More detailed implementation plans will be drawn up later the basis of the traffic system plan for the city centre.