A city plan map survey conducted late last year allowed Helsinki residents to express their thoughts on the city’s future. The survey attracted some 4,700 respondents, who marked approximately 33,000 locations in total on the map.
Residential development was the most popular category with some 8,900 locations indicated on the map. The second most popular category, with approximately 4,800 locations indicated, was unique urban nature.
The survey allowed respondents to mark locations on the map to indicate where they would like to see residential development, which areas need better transport connections, and where the city’s key recreational areas should be located.
Many of the suggestions for residential development were for areas of the city where such development is already planned or under construction, such as Jätkäsaari, Hernesaari, Kalasatama and Pasila. Residential development was also suggested for many areas that are currently used for other purposes, such as Santahamina, Vartiosaari, Kivinokka, Tali, Malmi Airport, Mäntymäki and Laakso. Many construction locations were also indicated along major entry routes, from Ring I all the way to the city centre.
After residential development, the second most popular category for indications made by survey respondents on the map was unique urban nature. According to the respondents, unique urban nature is particularly found in seaside areas such as Kaivopuisto, Töölönlahti, Kivinokka, Vartiosaari and Vuosaari, as well as around Vanhankaupunginselkä bay. Central Park was also highlighted on the map by many respondents for its nature values.
Respondents divided into urbanites and critics of densification
Respondents were asked what kind of city they appreciate and what their attitude towards new construction is. Based on their answers, respondents can be divided into two groups: urbanites and critics of densification.
Urbanites expressed a clear view that the city should be densified and that densification creates a new urban culture. While critics of densification did not completely rule out the densification of the city, they had more reservations about it and would prefer to see new urban development in areas other than the one they live in.
Urbanites were the larger group among respondents under 30 years of age, while critics of densification represented the majority of respondents over 30 years of age. The largest age group among respondents was 30–39, accounting for nearly 35 per cent of the total sample size.
Better transport connections wanted
Respondents to the map survey also indicated many locations where new or improved transport connections are needed, approximately 4,000 locations in total. Many respondents wanted better public transport connections along main roads in the city centre, on Ring I, in Kruunuvuorenranta, Hakamäentie and Teollisuuskatu, as well as between Vallila and Pasila.
The need for better connections for cars was highlighted particularly across the city centre between the Western Highway and the Eastern Highway, as well as between Koskela and Munkkiniemi.
Better bicycle connections were proposed particularly for main streets in the city centre, such as Mechelininkatu, Hämeentie and Mäkelänkatu, as well as in various areas of the city along major roads and railways. The need for better connections for pedestrians was highlighted by respondents for the city centre, as well as over or under the railway in Kaisaniemi and Pasila. Walking streets were mainly proposed for central Helsinki, including Kaivokatu and Esplanadi, as well as in Kallio and Alppiharju, such as Vaasankatu.
Results to be used in workshops in the spring
The results of the survey will be used as inputs for the Spend a moment as a city planner workshops to be held in Laituri in February–March. At the workshops, Helsinki residents have the opportunity to plan what their district of the city will look like in 2050. Registration for the workshops was open until 14 February.
The results of the map survey were presented at an audience event at the information and exhibition space Laituri. The results have also been published as open data to allow all those interested in the subject to make use of them.
The results of the survey can also be viewed in the form of analysis maps published online.
Report on the results of the survey (pdf, in Finnish)