Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 43

The Helsinki Hook-Up The Pasila – Vallila – Kalasatama axis provides a powerful trio – and companies are hearing the message loud and clear The Helsinki downtown area will expand to Pasila which will become a new kind of city centre with e.g. ambitious high-rise construction. Helsinki is in the middle of a massive transformation that is unprecedented in Finland – and, in fact, one would be hard pressed to find an undertaking of equivalent scope anywhere in Europe. The original trigger was this was the exit of all local port operations from central city areas to a brand new port in Vuosaari, east from downtown, in 2008. As a consequence, the field opened up for ambitious waterfront construction like never before: residential, commercial and office construction kicked off along the shores. B ut it’s not all about the waterfront, mind you. Beyond the shoreline, there is plenty of action as well, as the City is taking full advantage of also inland opportunities. But no matter where the City is raising new neighbourhoods, the redevelopment strategy calls for the creation of compact city sections. The development is carried out on the “mixed-use principle”: jobs are mixed with many types of housing for different income groups, to avoid segregation along income lines and long commutes. Jaakko Stauffer, Head of Helsinki’s Real Estate Office, says that the City is keen on increasing the dynamic nature of the city by using all the tools in its disposal: “We feel that as Helsinki keeps growing, we must be able to facilitate this growth by introducing new city districts and by reenergising existing ones,” Stauffer says. The Power of Three A key piece in the City’s plans is the emerging Pasila – Vallila – Kalasatama axis, which runs from Pasila District in the west all the way to the sea in the east. In this area, there are plenty of exciting things going on – and the City wants to make sure that the synergies between the three Districts are explored to the fullest. Minna Maarttola from Economic Development comments that the Pasila – Vallila – Kalasatama is a “strong engine” for the city’s growth in the future. “All the districts have their own profile, but when considered, and then developed as one entity, there’s so much more that we can achieve,” she believes. But what is the Pasila – Vallila – Kalasatama axis all about, then? Well, getting Helsinki keeps growing and getti