Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 45

The vision includes the expansion of the commercial centre from the surround- ings of the Market Square towards the riv- erfront and the harbour. The Market Square will become a multipurpose meeting place and a diverse centre of events, with plants and permanent structures increasing its attractiveness. The quarters surrounding the Market Square will form a united net- work of city malls and new business prem- ises and other spaces are built in the quar- ters of the centre. “The plan for the Market Square is based on already existing plans and two thirds of the surface area will remain in mar- ket use,” Hintsanen says. Streamlining Logistics For example, the overcrowded spot of public transportation of Aurakatu and Eerikinkatu will be transformed into new city termi- nals, enabling the development of the Mar- ket Square into a great meeting place for the residents of Turku. The scale of the Market Square will become smaller by building ter- races and stairs to sit on; events and activ- ities will become possible also outside the operating hours of the market sales. Hintsanen comments that the centre will become more accessible and moving inside the centre will be made more con- venient by clarifying the traffic system and use of street space. New city terminals of public transport will make the centre hubs more vivid and guide the flow of people to an area wider than before. “This will, in turn, allows the com- mercial core of the centre to expand. New street sections will gradually shift towards focus on walking and cycling, in accordance with international trends and in the interest of reducing the carbon footprint.” Business Hub Central to the plans is the emergence of the new Design & Finance District. Hintsanen and Turto point out that creating prerequi- sites for business is crucial for the vitality of the city. The Market Hall area will be devel- oped into an active business hub that houses a variety of workplaces, ranging from small- scale design and craft businesses, galleries and cafés to high-profile office spaces for large companies and organisations. “The Design & Finance District could encompass 150,000 square metres of new commercial space and 300,000 square metres of new offices in the city centre,” Hintsanen says. “Already, we have built a concept that emphasises extreme flexibility. This means, for instance, that companies on the growth path can secure space solutions that fit their needs right away,” adds Turto. According to Hintsanen, the vision work is opening up new kinds of ­ evelopment opportunities. The most impor- d tant observation is that controlled growth – or, in accordance with the vision, even remarkable growth – can help increase the attractiveness of the centre and to improve its functionality. Thousand Islands Just like in many other developed harbour cities – in Copenhagen and Hamburg, for example – also in Turku the centre will be expanding to the river delta and the harbour. In addition, the Turku of the future will fur- ther expand to the archipelago and the cen- tre will manifest more features related to the archipelago. “We feel that the Turku archipelago is the most beautiful archipelago in the world – and it’s largely an asset that, so far, has not been linked to the development of the city,” Hintsanen says. The work of the vision group is more about guiding development towards the right direction on a large scale than single actions as such. “What we are doing is looking at the big picture and choosing the way we need to take for the evolution of the city,” adds Hintsanen. Furthermore, Turku recognises its roots as a European city and wants to rein- force that rather unique profile. “Out of all Finnish cities, Turku is the one with the most European identity,” Hintsanen says. l Nordicum 45