Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 46

Photo: NCC Property Development Oy screens. The result: a real “hands-on” experience with 24/7 access. So it seems that the shopping centres can go “e”, too: E for experience. Juha Tiuraniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Council of Shopping Centres, believes that the shopping centre is enduring as a service concept: services are found under the same roof and they are conveniently accessible. “The business mix changes constantly according to customer needs. Business proprietors are able to operate ecologically and in a socially responsible way, at the same time gaining from the advantages of the mix,” he says, adding that goods flows can be optimised from the environmental viewpoint and recycling can be pioneered together. Heart of the Community Tiuraniemi agrees with international experts that shopping centres can be so much more: the public space in shopping centres is currently finding more frequent and increasingly diverse uses for promotions, events and participatory functions. “The role of shopping centres has gained strength as the beating hearts of communities and as a living room and meeting place for people.” Tiuraniemi also talks about regeneration which is a rising trend, both in Finland and in other parts of Europe. Investments in shopping centres have been the driver in redeveloping provincial city centres during 44 Nordicum the past few years in many towns, including Jyväskylä, Vaasa, Lahti, Joensuu, Seinäjoki, Salo and Rovaniemi, to mention only a few. Energise the City Centre In the Eastern city of Mikkeli, for example, new shopping centres Stella and the Akseli have brought about a broadbased renewal of the city centre, with underground parking beneath the market square. In the south in Hämeenlinna, a shopping centre has been raised over a motorway, linking the formerly divided city centre together. Furthermore, there have been rather sizeable additions to the ranks, with shopping centres Veturi (Kouvola) and Matkus (Kuopio) both placing i