Helsinki Institutes Long-term Land Use Plan

The strategic plan will steer the development of the city to 2050
HELSINKI - Dec. 16, 2016 - PRLog -- The Finnish capital tackles the challenges of growth with a new land use plan that allows the city to grow sustainably over the next three decades. The plan clearly defines the future city structure and underpins the city's future competitiveness by enabling a broad range of economic activity.

The plan, approved by the Helsinki City Council in late October 2016, is based on an estimate according to which Helsinki population will grow from the current 630,000 to 860,000 by 2050, while the population of the Helsinki region will reach nearly two million. The city land use plan is closely integrated with regional plans for land use, transportation and housing.

The main elements of the Helsinki land use plan are increasing density and a comprehensive rail network for public transit. The solutions of the plan are largely dictated by the available space for growth, which is limited in Helsinki because the inner city is situated on a peninsula.

Today Helsinki is served by commuter trains on lines that radiate from the city center, as well as by a comprehensive network of streetcars in the inner city, an east-west metro line, and a bus system. Over the next decades, the rail network will be built up with light-rail rapid transit lines that connect suburban areas directly, bypassing the city center. Most Helsinki residents will live within a walking distance from a rail station or stop.

The dense rail network will facilitate the emergence of strong suburban hubs, to complement the expanding inner city.

Large new areas in Helsinki are currently under construction for housing including inner city districts on former harbor and industrial land, to meet one-third of the city's housing goals. Another one-third will be met with infill construction, and the remaining one-third by turning expressways into "city boulevards."

Helsinki's future city boulevards will be streets and surrounding urban areas built along current expressways that reach far into the city. The city boulevards will accommodate dense housing, services and businesses. They will also accommodate all forms of mobility and so promote Helsinki's mobility goals, which emphasize walking, cycling, and public transit over driving.

The Helsinki land use plan was prepared with extensive citizen participation. Each future detailed area plan based on the land use plan will also be prepared through participation and require approval by the City Council.

City of Helsinki:

Helsinki land use plan:

Johanna Lemola
City of Helsinki
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Tags:Helsinki, Land Use, City Planning
Location:Helsinki - Uusimaa - Finland
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