Effective traffic planning ensures efficient and safe movement
of people and goods. The City has excellent harbour facilities and the
flow of goods through the Port of Helsinki is constantly increasing.
The Port has a certified quality system (standard SFS-EN
ISO 9002). Certification covers vessel, cargo, internal and technical
services. Every effort is being made to expand the system of feedback
from users so as to be able to take their wishes and suggestions more
comprehensively into account. The quality system motivates Port personnel
to contribute to development work in this area. This, in turn, raises
the standard of commercial management and ensures good environmental protection.
Helsinki City Transport has its own fleet of buses, trams
and underground trains, in addition to which it outsources services. Public
transport accounts for a high proportion of total passenger movement,
close to 70 per cent in the central areas of the city during the rush
hours. In particular, there has been a significant increase in the number
of people using trams in the past few years.
Energy and Water Works
City-owned utilities offer electricity, district heating,
natural gas and related services to companies and private users. With
more than 300,000 clients, Helsinki Energy is one of the largest producers
and distributors of electricity and district heating. Over 90 per cent
of the City's housing is connected to the district-heating network. Helsinki
Energy is now in the process of internationalising and its experts are
working on projects in the Baltic States and Russia.
Both Helsinki Energy and Helsinki Water have made environmental-friendliness
and cost-effectiveness the overriding principles that constantly guide
Helsinki Water has given the authorities in Tallinn, Estonia
expert assistance in their efforts to modernise the water mains and sewer
network there and is also helping them to develop their financial management.
The results have been impressive, especially on the sewage-treatment side,
where effectiveness has risen almost to Helsinki's high level in just
a few years.
Helsinki Water has likewise cooperated with its counterpart
in St. Petersburg to develop water-purification and sewage-treatment facilities,
metering and invoicing systems and financial-management methods. It is
also participating in a long-term project, sponsored by the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development, to develop a water supply system for
More than 2,935 new dwellings were completed in Helsinki
in 1997. The City also continued to invest considerable sums in new housing
and housing renovation. Another main area of focus was public service
buildings, such as schools.
The new home of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma (meaning
"Chiasma"), has been the biggest single public building project in Helsinki
for years. The work began in February 1996 and the museum was opened to
the public on 30 May 1998.