A unique feature of Helsinki is the city’s 130-kilometre-long waterfront route open to use by citizens and service providers. It will be increasingly easy in the future to develop services for waterfront areas. A new charting of service sites compiled in the summer of 2019 currently contains 120 possible sites for various activities such as cafés and water sports. In addition, waterfront route signage is being tested and under public evaluation.
In accordance with the Helsinki Maritime Strategy, services in waterfront areas and signage on the waterfront route will be improved on the basis of resident feedback and feedback gathered through participatory budgeting.
The charting of new service sites on the waterfront route is based on interviews of waterfront area zoning representatives and area planners, as well as on detailed plans, reports and other plans. The data, gathered for the first time for the entire length of the waterfront, eases the work of City experts, entrepreneurs and other actors looking for suitable sites for their operations. New sites for operations will be handed over mainly through public application procedures.
Six new signage models have been created for waterfront signage, and these models are now on public display and can be commented on, for example, on the social media accounts of the City of Helsinki Urban Environment division. Public feedback will be used as a basis for the design of the signage, which will be placed on waterfronts in the summer of 2020. The first routes with signs will be a tour of the inner city and a tour around Laajalahti.
“Shorelines form the forefront of Helsinki’s maritime region. They are now being strengthened to serve everybody by improving signage, by easing the operations of entrepreneurs and by other means. Entrepreneurs have requested from us a better overall picture of what operations are suitable for different sites on waterfronts. The goal of the maritime strategy work now under way is to strengthen opportunities to increase services on waterfronts and, at the same time, to attract investments and to create jobs,” says Minttu Perttula, project manager for the Helsinki Maritime Strategy.
Helsinki’s maritime areas planned comprehensively
The charting of maritime service sites combines the visions of planners, the ideas of entrepreneurs and the wishes of residents.
“Possible sites for new services on Helsinki waterfronts are now for the first time compiled onto the same map, to be available for all. The planning of waterfront areas is a balancing act between nature conservation values and the appeal of recreational uses. It is of utmost importance to secure the conservation of fragile maritime nature and, bearing that in mind, planning must recognize sites on waterfronts that can withstand recreational uses. Other sites are marked unavailable for active use,” says Meri Louekari, an architect for maritime areas.
The charting was conducted especially to serve entrepreneurs with the objective of continuing the work later on.
“The charting serves as a new tool that eases cooperation between entrepreneurs and the City. It helps us to diversify and to increase waterfront services,” says Suvi Tuiskunen, a business liaison at the City of Helsinki Economic Development division, who works with maritime and other entrepreneurs.
Sites for new services on the Helsinki waterfront route – a brochure in Finnish