The Helsinki City Council approved a detailed plan for the Vallila tram transport and street and park areas as well as alterations to the detailed plan for the Kumpula park area in the Council meeting of 10 April. The plans enable the construction of a tramline between Kalasatama and Pasila. The City Council also approved a plan for an extensive renovation of Finlandia Hall. The renovation project is scheduled to begin in 2022.
Q&A session focused on physical activity and exploitation of undocumented workers
The City Council meeting included a question-and-answer (Q&A) session, in which two questions were discussed: (1) Councillor Otto Meri’s question about how to increase physical activity and (2) Councillor Heidi Ahola’s question about the exploitation of new undocumented people as workers. Otto Meri’s question was answered by Deputy Mayor for Culture and Leisure Nasima Razmyar. Heidi Ahola’s question was answered by Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
New tramline to run between Kalasatama and Pasila, accompanied by a bikeway
The detailed plan for the Vallila tram transport and street and park areas, as well as the alterations to the detailed plan for the Kumpula park area, approved by the City Council in its meeting will enable the construction of a tram connection between Kalasatama and Pasila. The total cost of the project is estimated to be 79 million euros. A new express bikeway will be built parallel to the tramline.
The new detailed plan covers the railway yard of Vallilanlaakso, which is no longer in use, the Vallilanlaakso park and the edge of the park bordering on the Mäkelänrinne swimming centre site. The plan enables a crosswise rail connection between Kalasatama and Pasila as well as radiating trunk line connections. The tramline will provide a new mass transit connection from the Kumpula university campus and southern Arabianranta to Pasila.
The new tramline will run on a grass tram lane, and no motorized vehicles are allowed on the tracks. The tramline will be conducted through the areas so that it is well adjusted to the park milieu and interferes as little as possible with other uses of the park.
The new bikeway will be a high-standard, express bikeway (referred to as “baana” in Helsinki). It is zoned in the plan to run side by side with the tramline. When bike traffic moves onto this express bikeway, the park’s safety is improved and opportunities to use the park become more varied.
The tramline system is estimated to cost 56 million euros and the related street construction 23.5 million euros. The cost estimate of the express bikeway, 3.5 million euros, is separate from the rest.
Finlandia Hall to go under extensive renovation in 2022
The renovation of Finlandia Hall approved by the City Council comprises extensive upgrades to building technologies and the functions of the building. Building technology systems will be replaced, the building energy efficiency and accessibility will be improved, and the building’s exterior cladding will be replaced. The renovation will also include an expansion of the building’s underground spaces to accommodate technical and support facilities.
Spatial adjustments to be made to the building’s interior will help to develop and streamline operations. Surfaces, interior wall cladding and furniture will be renovated and replaced. The project will also include the replacement of the exterior cladding, roofing and heat insulation. Windows, front doors and structures damaged by moisture will be renovated, and hazardous materials will be removed.
The panels of the building’s exterior walls will be replaced together with their attachment systems and heat insulation. The exterior wall renovation will be carried out with special attention paid to material durability. The material choice will be made in early 2020 on the basis of the results of a cladding material research project. The costs of the exterior wall renovation are included in the project costs.
The total cost of the project is 119 million euros, 12 percent of which, that is, 14 million, will go to the exterior wall renovation. The budget for exterior wall cladding materials is 7 million euros.
The renovation project is scheduled to begin in February 2022, and the project is scheduled for completion in June 2024.
Finlandia Hall plays a significant and positive role in the City of Helsinki economy, as Helsinki is one of the world’s 20 most popular host cities for international conventions. One convention visitor profits the city by an average of 2,000 euros. Success as a convention city is also an important contributing factor in the image of Helsinki.
The project plan was drawn up jointly by the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division and Finlandia-talo Oy. The partners have consulted various experts in the course of their work, including representatives of The Finnish Heritage Agency, Alvar Aalto Foundation and the Urban Environment Division.
All Helsinki City Council meetings are webcast on the City’s web channel Helsinki-kanava at www.helsinkikanava.fi, and they are available on demand. Voting maps and other information on the meetings can also be found on Helsinki-kanava. All City Council decisions can be found on the City Council pages (in Finnish) of the Helsinki website.