Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 54

Maximising Momentum New Growth Corridor strategy takes Turku to another level There is a strong Growth Corridor emerging along E18 motorway from Turku to Helsinki and onwards to St. Petersburg. The key hub in the master plan is Turku, centrally located on the southwest coast, which has great connections to both Stockholm (via sea) and Helsinki. New growth contract with the State – first of its kind – will help focus appropriate resources to the development of the Growth Corridor. J ouko Turto, Director of Turku Municipal Property Corporation, points out that the growth contract with the State represents a significant strategic move: “The growth contract is the only agreement of this kind that is launched under present Government’s reign,” he says, pointing out that the contract goes way beyond mere logistics in its scope: “The Growth Corridor means that we have people, goods and expertise on the move – and real estate development is used as a tool to strengthen the corridor.” Competitive Edge Under the Growth Contract, Turku Region aims to enhance its competitiveness, 52 Nordicum develop community structure in a sustainable way and safeguard social cohesion. The set targets will be achieved in collaboration with the State and neighbouring municipalities. Both the City of Turku and the Government recognise that the full potential of the Growth Corridor will require some retooling with existing infra and city structure. For the City, there is a stated interest to keep developing the role of key industries – such as biotech / Life Sciences, ICT and marine – and get the universities and research organisations to commit fully to the master plan. According to the vision, the Growth Corridor is to become a platform which will allow companies to explore innovations – ranging from digital media to cleantech – and create market opportunities through pilot projects and cooperation. Perfect Timing Jouko Turto believes that the timing for the Growth Corridor strategy is an excellent one, since there are various underdeveloped areas within city limits that are being freed from former activities – and can now be utilised to launch innovative, diverse business. But it’s not only business interests that matter here: “We want to promote the cause of urban culture, recreation and versatile residential solutions, as well. All these things are linked in a variety of ways,” he says, pointing out that the City has a strategy to