In the Helsinki of 2050, densely constructed suburban centres will be connected by rail traffic. The downtown area will have expanded along the motorways, which have been converted into city boulevards.
This kind of future outlook is presented in Helsinki’s new city plan vision. The vision describes the desired outcome of the most important land-use solutions in the city plan. It also suggests operational policies that will lead to the achievement of the goals.
The starting point for the vision is the population forecast, according to which Helsinki will have around 860,000 inhabitants in 2050. The Helsinki of the vision is more densely populated in all areas than that of today. New construction is mainly located around the suburban railway stations. The suburbs have become centres of urban living, services and workplaces.
The downtown area has also expanded from its current size. Space for new construction in the downtown area has been taken from along the motorways and motorway-like streets of today. These have been transformed into city boulevards within Ring Road I – the Itäväylä road from Itäkeskus to the city limit. Some parts of the motorways may have been covered or turned into tunnels.
The Helsinki of the vision is a network city, with its several centres combined by rail traffic – the metro, trains and transverse light rail. Everyday services are close to residents, and a broader network of services can be reached quickly by public transport. The densifying public transport city creates a framework for an ecologically sustainable society.
In addition to public transport, walking and cycling are attractive ways to get around throughout the city. More walkable city areas have been created, and new “Baana” bicycle corridors create a smooth cycling network for longer journeys.
In 2050, Helsinki is a green city, the strengths of which include city forests and cultural environments. Recreational areas and services are easily accessible, and broad, continuous green areas have been successfully preserved. Helsinki’s greenery continues on into the extensive recreational areas of the metropolitan area. The significance of Helsinki’s marine setting has also grown: improved waterway transport has enabled the development of marine recreation and tourism services.
In 2050, Helsinki is home to 560,000 workplaces – nearly 150,000 more than today. The centre of Helsinki is a centre of business operations. The city has integrated workplace areas that are also suitable for industrial use. Companies can be offered plots for business premises to suit different needs in good areas around the city.
The draft of the city plan will be ready in 2014
The goal is for the draft of the city plan to be completed at the end of 2014. The draft will be elaborated into a suggested city plan in such a way that it will first be discussed by the Committee in approximately 2015, and then by the City Board and Council during 2016.
The city plan is a long-term land-use plan used to guide the development of the city’s community structure. It affects what Helsinki will be like over the decades to come. One of the reasons a new city plan is necessary is that Helsinki needs to be able to provide reasonably priced residences for its growing population.
The City Planning Committee will discuss the city plan vision on 22 October. The development of the city plan will be continued based on the vision approved by the Committee.