Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 58

Core Values Tampere is reinventing its city centre and waterfront – and it’s just getting started The City of Tampere is looking to retool its downtown area – and use this “core power” to take the entire Tampere Region into a whole new level. The Tampere City Centre already holds plenty of appeal, but there’s much more to come: according to the long term plans, the city centre will feature 15,000 new residents and 15,000 new jobs by 2030. D irector Tero Tenhunen says that the name of the game is making the city centre as attractive as possible by capitalising on the potential of Tampere’s extremely compact structure and unique location. “There are already as many as 40,000 people living in the city centre, so we’re talking about a very significant increase,” he says, adding that the majority of the new commercial development will be in the vicinity of the railway station. There is already a brand new downtown tower hotel just off the railway station – and from the looks of it, the tower may be but the first sample of new “Vertical Tampere”. As the train station will enter a total makeover, an ambitious deck construction will be built over the tracks – and towers will be raised upon the deck. Hybrid Power Tero Tenhunen points out that the deck construction will bring welcome cohesion into the city structure, now divided by tracks. In the process, a totally new city district will emerge. “For the coming development, we feel that the railway station will be the Ground Zero,” he says. Hybrid construction will be one of the key drivers here: commercial use, offices and residential solutions will all be deployed. The City is opting for a well-balanced mix that will add diversity into downtown. Still, vertical dreams are but one element of the big picture. Tenhunen talks of the City’s “Five Star Downtown” concept which calls for urban appeal, high qual56 Nordicum ity, diversity, attraction and originality – all things that Tampere has in spades, but there’s still room to improve: “For instance, we have barely scratched the surface of what we can achieve in waterfront construction. In the coming years, our shorelines will be totally renewed,” Tenhunen says. Reclaim the Shores It is true that for a community founded between two lakes, the shoreline has been rather underdeveloped so far. Tenhunen explains that development plans were delayed for a long time – subject to the completion of the Rantaväylä tunnel. “As the tunnel will take car traffic underground, the waterfront will open in a new way at the Ranta-Tampella District,” Tenhunen says. The tunnel is already half done, with completion scheduled in 2017. “Ranta-Tampella will be a great example of ambitious waterfront construction,” says Tenhunen. Eventually, more than 3,000 residents will make their homes in the new waterfront community, right next to the commercial services of the downtown. Still, Ranta-Tampella is not the only high-profile waterfront project in the making: Tenhunen expects to see the same volume and even higher quality at Eteläpuisto area, just a bit south from the city centre. The Eteläpuisto architectural competition explored the various uses of waterfront – the local Pyhäjärvi Lake – and these ideas are guiding the coming development effort. “With these kinds of sites, there is a big responsibility, since you only get one chance. This is why we want to make sure that everything is top-notch from architecture to services and parks.” Underground Success The role of the Rantaväylä tunnel is crucial, as it will eliminate traffic bottlenecks and facilitate smoother downtown logistics. Underground parking is yet another game-changer: the City wants to remove as much as 60 % of street parking and take the cars underground. The new next-gen underground parking facility P-Hämppi is leading the charge, having won the European Parking Association (EPA) Award in the category of best new parking facilities in 2013. It represents the first \