Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 65

THE ANGLE By Olavi Louko The writer is Deputy Mayor of the City of Espoo On Track for Solid City In Helsinki, and especially in her neighbouring municipalities, there is plenty of potential to solidify the urban structure. Helsinki’s western neighbour, Espoo, has a great opportunity to tighten up the city structure by diversifying the traffic network – especially rail traffic. Espoo is the second biggest city in Finland with the strongest growth, proportionally speaking. A t present, Espoo and Helsinki are building a western continuation line – spanning 14 kilometres – for the metro. Along the tracks there will be eight new metro stations. On top of each station and in the surrounding area there will be new commercial, office and residential construction. The new metroline and its stations will be operational in early 2016. Already in 2014, work will commence to carry the western line onwards, all the way to the Espoo’s western border. The length of this ad- ditional stretch is 7.5 kilometres and it will feature five new stations. Once the extra stretch is completed – before the year 2020 – all of Southern Espoo will be able to access the metro. Running through Central Espoo, there is a railway connection from Helsinki to west. By building parallel rails to this connection, it is possible to enable city train traffic through Central Espoo in fluid motion, quite like the metro. This work should be completed before 2020. After this is done, the aim is to connect the metro line and railroad with three rail connections running north-south – quite possibly trams could be utilised here. As a consequence, Espoo will come to feature a rail network with great coverage. This network is an important part of the big picture: the evolution of the rail tra