Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 33

The game plan for the metro line has been – all along – to view the project as “the great enabler”. As the plans for the new stations were drawn up, the surround- ing communities received a boost as well. For instance, the venerable Tapiola C ­ entre is getting a total makeover and added a new shopping centre; shopping centre Iso Omena received a big expansion in Matin­kylä. New services and apartments have been built along the tracks. Green Rails Launching of the metro also shows that Espoo is serious in pursuing a more compact urban structure that is based on rails. The City expects that development and redevel- opment efforts near the metro stations will continue to be very active for years to come, providing real estate investors and develop- ers many possibilities to participate. The metro extension is a good fit for state’s Climate Change agenda, too. Finland is committed to bringing down the volume of CO 2 emissions and two big culprits in this arena are traffic and living. By build- ing a “green to the core” mass transportation system and launching smart, sustainably-ori- ented communities around the metro stations is an environmental move, as well. As a city, Espoo fits the green bill well, being the first city in Finland to join the Society’s Commit- ment to Sustainable Development in 2015. Niittykumpu Phase II Making Progress Matinkylä Matinkylä But with all the hoopla surrounding the Grand Opening, one may forget that the job is not done yet. The construction crews have long ago pushed past Matinkylä – the cur- rent end-of-the-line – and are looking to add seven kilometres to the metro line. Reach- ing all the way to the municipal border, the Matin­kylä–Kivenlahti stretch of the west metro will introduce five new stations to the metro system: Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti, and Kivenlahti. The Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section is currently being excavated; in fact, the exca- vation work began already in 2014. More than 90 per cent of the tunnels have been excavated so far. According to plans, the entire line from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti will be completed in 2020 – at the earliest. However, not many Finns are holding their breath with regards to that timetable. Still, during the next dec- ade metro will re-energise five new neigh- bourhoods in Espoo. For example, Espoon- lahti – a key station along the extension line – is already a city centre of 55,000 residents and expected to benefit tremendously from better connectivity. l Sami J. Anteroinen Nordicum 33