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Growing Helsinki

On average, the population of Helsinki has been increasing by more than 1% per year for more than a decade. It seems that the same growth rate can be expected in the future as well. Growth indicates that the city has certain appeal and that people want to live here. For Helsinki, this is both a positive aspect and a challenge that requires planning and resources.

The City of Helsinki wants to build the most functional city in the world for its residents. The city is a significant land owner and has a so-called monopoly on city-planning in its area. Land use and conveyance is planned in a consistent, long-term manner.

There are four key directions for the city’s growth: previous traffic areas, green areas, infill development and upwards. The changes in the purpose of use and the development of the suburbs also play an important role. From the perspective of urban planning, we examine two types of themes.

Presentation packages

1. Expanding city centre

Many Helsinki residents favour living in the city centre. New directions have been developed in the fringes of the city centre for expansion as the transfer of harbours and the arrangements in railway traffic have opened traffic areas for new types of use. The construction of these areas will take years.

According to the recent Urban Plan, the expansion of the city centre will also be directed to the fringes of the current main roads; motorways would be transformed into boulevards while allocating the protective zones of traffic to urban construction. The city is also starting the development of the city centre and zoning underground facilities.
Duration: 1 h. Location: Helsinki city centre.

2. Denser suburbs

About 40% of the expansion of Helsinki consists of infill development. This means constructing new buildings on the fringes of residential areas and existing plots.

The objective of the recent Urban Plan is to create efficient traffic connections based on rail traffic and a network of attractive, diverse centres. At the same time, the suburbs will be improved upon and the diverse urban structure and network of green areas will be tended to in a social manner throughout the city.
Duration: 1 h. Location: Helsinki city centre.

3. Underground City

Finland is a global pioneer in underground construction. City of Helsinki is a good example of systematic planning and implementation. The underground master plan is one of its kind internationally.
Duration: 1 hour. Location: Kalasatama.

Visitation sites

1. Kruunuvuorenranta, previous harbour area: Kruunuvuorenranta is a district of sea views, coastal nature and natural light. Its residents lead an urban life 3 kilometres from the city centre. The 260-hectare area by the sea will have 800 jobs and housing for approximately 13,000 residents. 

Guided tour 1.5 h. The tour will feature the following sites and areas: Borgströminmäki, Koirasaarentie, Gunillankallio, Hopealaakso residential block, Säiliö 468 and the detached houses of Kaitalahti. The tour starts from the Gunillantie 4317 stop of route 88 on Koirasaarentie. Route 88 departs from the Herttoniemi metro station. (This site  is the same as above in “A city by the sea”.)

2. Pasila, previous railway area

Pasila is a key area in the construction of business premises in Helsinki. It is situated along the main track and will become an expansion of Helsinki city centre in the near future. Due to the new traffic projects and considerable additional construction, Pasila is on its way to becoming a vital, vibrant centre. The number of flats and the supply of services will also see rapid growth. The new Pasila will offer jobs, homes and recreational activities.
Duration 1 h, starting location to be agreed separately.

3. Myllypuro

Myllypuro is a metro-served, forested suburb from the 60s that, over the past ten years, has been carefully developed by renewing old structures and constructing new buildings. The centre and green areas of the area have been improved, and Myllypuro will have a significant cluster of secondary-level educational institutions and new flats. With these changes, the price level of old flats in the area took an upturn in 2012.
Duration: 2 h, starting location to be agreed separately, traffic connection eastbound metro

4. Arabianranta 

Arabianranta is located at the shores of the Vanhankaupunginlahti bay, near the waters of the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids, the birthplace of Helsinki. Home to 8,000 residents, the area built on artificial fill also serves as a campus, a concentration of businesses and the first art district built in Helsinki.  Arabianranta hosts the Arabia factory, Arabiakeskus and the Aalto University of art and design. You will discover artworks in the staircases, common areas, yards and parks. The history, nature and homes in the area as well as its atmosphere of design and art make Arabianranta a fascinating destination for visitors.

The Arabianranta tour will feature outdoor artworks, the Tapio Wirkkalan puisto park, the Arabia factory and the Rantapuisto park. Duration 1 h, starting location to be agreed separately.