Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 59

“Parking solutions such as P-Hämppi also support retail in a very effective way,” adds Tenhunen. Walk This Way Safety and service orientation are very much the watchwords that are driving the change in downtown also in a larger context. With cars diving underground, the urban environment is transformed, leaving more room for pedestrians and bicyclists. Tenhunen talks about “Slow City” ideology that is taking root in the city centre: “We want to make sure that the downtown area works from the perspective of the pedestrians. We do welcome cars in the city centre but they have to yield to pedestrian demands here.” And there’s more, too: a light rail transportation system is also being planned for the city centre. Conceivably, tram traffic between Hervanta and Pyynikintori could kick-off in 2019 – with complementary construction and real estate development to take place in the vicinity of these tracks, as well. Light rail systems outside Helsinki are rare, but Tenhunen is optimistic that the project will go on: “We believe that the tram would be a good fit for Tampere and there is also political will behind the plans.” 360° Reach According to Tenhunen, the City must rethink its urban ways, since the city is on the growth path and will remain so for decades, apparently. During the next 25 years, there will be 115,000 new residents in the Tampere Region – and, proportionally speaking, the increase is bigger than that predicted for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Tampere – as the biggest inland city in Nordic countries – also has a catchment area that is different from, say, certain Nordic capitals, since the Tampere catchment area forms a full circle. In addition, in recent years Tampere has clearly been among the winners when it comes to attracting people, companies and investments. Businesses – both big and small – have flocked to the neighbourhood, drawn by Tampere’s great location, traffic connections and versatile commercial services. Furthermore, the two local universities make sure that there is sufficient brain power for the companies establishing operations here. Play It Smart As per City strategy, Tampere has been working hard to make the city a better place for people and business. The central idea of the “Tampere Model” is to establish smart infrastructure that is sturdy enough to enable, for example, digital services and administration. Wide-spanning collaboration is also important to the city. With the launch of the new HHT Corridor (Helsinki-Hämeenlinna-Tampere), attention turns to the rails connecting the three cities – and the possibilities therein. “There is a strong axis in the making and we want be a part of it.” Nordicum 57