A new City Plan for Helsinki is being prepared. The aim is to have the proposed plan submitted to Helsinki City Council for discussion in 2016. The draft of the plan was completed at the end of 2014. The new brochure outlines the contents of the draft.
The plan is more strategic than previous plans. With this city plan, Helsinki is preparing for a significant population growth. The new city plan is based on an estimate which predicts there will be 860,000 inhabitants and 560,000 jobs in Helsinki in 2050.
In order to cope with more people the city has to have a more urban, denser city structure. Densification of the urban structure supports the development of an ecologically efficient urban structure. City plan key themes:
1. Densifying city centre
The city plan will allow a denser urban structure as well as new investments in the city centre. New business premises can be implemented below the street level in courtyards.
2. The Inner City extends northwards and will create more jobs
The city centre will be extended towards Central Pasila, some 3 kilometres to the north of the downtown. A new economic axis along the Pasila–Vallila–Kalasatama areas will become a significant business centre.
3. New housing development in central Helsinki
According to the city plan draft, there is a building potential for about 45,000 new inhabitants in central Helsinki. Hakaniemenranta is one example of the densifying seaside neighbourhoods.
4. New transverse rail connections
Helsinki has a good radial public transport system of trams. metro, commuter trains and busses. The City Plan aims to invest in more rail transport. The traffic net-work in the city plan draft is based on a light rail network. Transverse lines connect the radial lines into a traffic Network.
5. City boulevards
The city plan draft proposes that existing motorway-like traffic routes be turned into urban city boulevards with new mixed neighborhoods of housing and workplaces built around these city boulevards.
6. Network of green areas
Recreational and green areas form an interconnected network. Transverse green corridors link the main green areas, the ‘green fingers’.
7. Suburban centres
The aim is to create lively suburban centres. Important suburban centres include Malmi, Itäkeskus, Herttoniemi and Kannelmäki.
8. A City by the sea
The city plan aims to emphasise the seaside image of Helsinki. The City by the sea offers top-flight recreational areas that are easier to reach than currently. The city’s extensive seaside trail ties all the seaside recreational areas together. New islands opened up for recreational use offer inhabitants and visitors the chance to get to know the Helsinki archipelago.
9. Malmi airport area to be developed
One of the most important future housing development areas is the Malmi airport area. It may one day be a neighbourhood of up to 25,000 people.
10. Areas reserved for industrial and office use
Commercial activities will always be welcome in Helsinki. Even though a mixed urban structure is ideal, areas reserved for industrial and office use are still needed. Examples of important commercial estates include Herttoniemi and Pitäjänmäki.