A Message from the Lord Mayor
Development in the Hands of the City Council
The Lord Mayor´s Sector
A Wide Range of Services
City Planning and Infrastructure
Municipal Business Enterprises and Technical Services
Brief facts about Helsinki



The City of Helsinki owns two-thirds of the land inside its boundaries and is also a considerable landowner in the surrounding municipalities. The City acquires and sells land in order to ensure ideal conditions for its development. It also leases land to companies, for housing production, to industry as well as to private persons. Ecological thinking and environmental consciousness play an important role in urban planning. These principles are applied in regulating construction, developing and maintaining the street network as well as in keeping parks and recreation areas in good condition.

At regular intervals of four years, the City drafts a new general plan setting forth the broader lines that development will follow for a period extending far into the future. Also defined in it are the City's goals and strategies relating to land use and functions. Each revision of a general plan amounts to adopting a position on many of the framework conditions that will determine the shape of residents' lives; indeed, it means taking decisions that will influence the culture of the city in general. The City is also responsible for more detailed plans, which determine where and how various functions will be located and the requisite buildings and infrastructure provided.

A new housing programme covering the period 1998-2002 was adopted in 1997 and emphatically stakes out the new goals to be pursued. The structure of the City's housing production is becoming more diverse against the background of a recognised need to offer both rental accommodation which is granted on social grounds and rental and owner-occupied dwellings financed on the open market.

A new set of principles to be observed in sales of real estate has been adopted. They are intended to support the City's active business-promotion policy. Construction of workplaces on sites provided by the City has picked up again. Examples include the Töölönlahti and Ruoholahti areas in the heart of the city. The latter has acquired a distinct profile as a location offering very advanced standards of technology and research. The biotechnology centre and science park under construction in Viikki on the outskirts of the city as well as the Arabianranta Art and Design Centre will be further additions to the skill centres series.

The area along the shore of Vanhankaupunginlahti Bay in the middle of Helsinki enjoys very beautiful natural scenery. Dwellings for 7,500 people are to built in the district. The first phase of construction is to be completed in 1998-2006, and the second, in the northern part of the area, in 2011-2013.

Parallel to this major housing development, our Art and Design Centre project has gotten under way. When it is completed, industrial art and cultural subjects will be taught within the same large, integrated complex as research, development and production. The centre is expected to create a considerable number of new jobs.

The challenge for the future is to develop Helsinki in a way that preserves its internationally-recognised high-quality architecture and cherishes and complements the city's unique urban character.



Deputy Mayor
Pekka Korpinen

- Urban and traffic planning
- Land purchases and transfers
- Urban surveying
- Real-estate management
- Municipal housing- production and repair
- Building regulation

(FIM = Finnish markkas; 1$=ca. 5.5 FIM)
- Income FIM 1,953 million
- Expenditure FIM 1,653 million
- per inhabitant FIM 1,053
- Investment FIM 273 million
- Personnel strength 1,057
- % of total City employees 2.7

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