Housing, shops, restaurants and cultural facilities for thousands of new residents are being planned for the Itäkeskus area of Vartiokylä. The city wants Itäkeskus to look more urban than today. New buildings, streets, squares and parks will therefore be built in the area. A large number of pedestrian routes will also be built, as walking is environmentally friendly.
Puhos shopping centre, Cultural Centre Stoa and their surroundings will be developed. Even though something new will be built, the area will retain its unique atmosphere. In the future, the area will be attractive, vibrant and safe.
Puhos shopping centre will be renovated and housing will be built around it
Puhos shopping centre will be renewed in cooperation with the owners of the shopping centre.
The A wing, the oldest and most valuable part of the shopping centre, will be designated a listed building and renovated. After the renovation, the A wing will still house restaurants, shops, commercial premises and meeting spaces.The B and C wings will be demolished and replaced with housing and a variety of commercial premises.
The city is planning new housing behind Puhos. The homes will form a residential block called Helminauhakortteli. The block will extend to the site of the current Orthodox church. The city is planning a pleasant shopping street in between the Helminauhakortteli and Puhos.
Stoa will be expanded and its surroundings developed
The Cultural Centre Stoa building in Itäkeskus will be expanded. The extension to Stoa and a new park will replace the Puhos car park.
The square between Stoa and St Matthew’s Church will be developed into a meeting place for art, culture and different user groups. The Stoa sculpture will be retained, as it is part of the square’s history.
There are a day-care centre and unfinished buildings of the Orthodox church next to the Stoa square, all of which will be demolished. A new location for the day-care centre will be presented. The Orthodox church plot may be used for housing and a music venue. The ground floor of the buildings will include shops and restaurants, for example. This will attract a large number of people to the area, and the square will also remain lively in the evenings.
Services in Stoa will be retained and improved
Stoa will be a cultural hub also in the future. At present, Stoa houses City of Helsinki Cultural Services, the Itäkeskus Library, Kipinä Youth Activity House, an adult education centre and Arbis. When expanding Stoa, the current services will be upgraded and improved. It’s important that Stoa offers the services needed by the local residents.
In the spring of 2023, the City of Helsinki will invite residents to discuss the future of Stoa. Residents have their say on what Stoa could look like in the future and what services it could offer. The city wants Stoa to better serve the local residents in the 2030s.
More information about planning
The city wants Itäkeskus and its surroundings to look more like an urban centre than they do today. It is important to have plenty of good walking routes in the area.
The aim is to ensure that all basic services are close to the residents. Different languages and cultures will also be valued and respected. Listening to the ideas of local residents and operators is important.
One important target is carbon-neutral Helsinki, which is linked to the fight against climate change. That is why land use is one of the aspects to be improved in the Stoa and Puhos area.
The main objective is to ensure that Stoa and Puhos will also be of interest to residents in the future. Making Stoa and Puhos pleasant places to live is important.
The city arranged an international idea competition dubbed Helsinki East Urban Centre. The winner was selected in 2020.
The aim of the competition was to obtain new ideas regarding the future of Itäkeskus.
The city has continued the planning of the area with the working groups that came first and second in the competition.
In October 2022, the City Board decided to reserve areas for two operators.
They will be able to continue with the design of the buildings and their surroundings on city land.
The plans must be complete by the end of 2025 at the latest.
- The draft plan for the Stoa and Puhos area will be presented to politicians, i.e. the Urban Environment Division, in 2024.
- After that, residents will have the opportunity to comment on the draft.
- Opinions will be requested from the authorities.
- The opinions and comments will be taken into account and may lead to changes to the draft plan.
- The amended draft plan and the feedback will be presented to the Urban Environment Division.
- The plan will be discussed by the City Board and approved by the City Council.
Planning principles set out the main planning objectives for an area for the coming years.
In 2021, the city prepared planning principles for the Stoa and Puhos area. Planning principles for the entire Itäkeskus area were prepared in 2022. Politicians, i.e. the Urban Environment Division, approved both principles.
PEP is short for participation and evaluation plan. It’s a plan explaining:
- Why a local detailed plan is being created
- How the planning is progressing
- At which point residents will be able to influence the planning process
The plan for the Stoa and Puhos area will be made available to the public from May 2023.
City residents will be able to view the draft plans at the Idän kyläjuhla event at Cultural Centre Stoa on Saturday, 20 May 2023. The residents will also have the opportunity comment on the plan.
Construction of the area will start once the local detailed plan has entered into force. A more detailed schedule will be confirmed later.