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Picture: Harri Haarala

The online game is a new way of generating ideas for complementary building

YIT and the City of Helsinki has jointly created an infill development game. The online game, set in the northern Helsinki district of Siltamäki, can be played on mobile and desktop devices. Players get to examine how various options affect, for example, the opportunities for development of the shopping centre or recreational services.

The game on the “Old Siltamäki” and the areas of the shopping centre. The region was built in the 1970s. Players can build new buildings, or add extra storeys to existing buildings. The points collected from construction can be used to obtain new services for the area, or for instance to renovate one’s own housing cooperative.

“Siltamäki is an ideal region for piloting an infill development game,” explains Project Manager Ritva Tanner of the Executive Office of the City of Helsinki. “Various examinations have been done in the area in the past on where new buildings could be constructed, but unfortunately no projects resulted from them. The game makes it easy for residents to test the effects of housing construction, and at the same time to express their own vision of how Siltamäki should develop. Playing is fun, and the benefits are a by-product,” Tanner says.

YIT Corporation is interested in establishing discussions with housing cooperatives on possible infill development.

“With the aid of infill development and area of emphasis repair, old residential areas become increasingly attractive and valuable, becoming a fixed part of a sustainable and lively city,” says YIT’s Juha Kostiainen, who is Senior Vice President for Sustainable Urban Development. “The key thing is cooperation; to be an all-round success, the future of the area must be envisioned together with the residents and service providers.”

Siltamäki is a part of north-eastern Helsinki that has reached the age were comprehensive renovations are necessary. The demographic development of the area has in recent decades been negative (-700 persons in the period 1990–2015), and the population is ageing. The current population forecast for the area does not promise any new residents for the next decade.

The infill development game becomes active on 20 March, and can be played until 10 April 2017. When the playing period is over, an evening event will be held for the area’s residents to discuss the results of the game with experts.

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