Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2019 - Page 44

Turku Science Park From downtown to Science Park and beyond: Turku Advances on All Fronts Turku is big on future. Growing at the rate of 1,600 residents per year, the city is growing – proportionally speaking – faster than any other city in Finland. To accommodate change, Turku announced a new ambitious vision, Turku 2050, with a key idea of expanding the city center and creating a user-oriented traffic system to support it. A ccording to the Vision, the com- mercial center will expand, and the Market Square will become a multi- use meeting place and the center of various events. The Old Town around the Old Great Square will turn into a “European oasis of encounters” and the eastern bank of the River Aura – delightfully opening towards the evening sun – will function as a vibrant platform for a new kind of combination of culture, restaurants and work. Presently, competition between cit- ies has shifted from national level to global level, with cities fighting over inhabitants, businesses and know-how. At the same time, the emergence of the urban lifestyle has raised the level of expectations in terms of the quality of public spaces. Urban plan- ning is now decidedly more human-scale, 44 Nordicum and this is also a key message of the Vision 2050. Ride the Wave Jouko Turto, Real Estate Development Director for the City of Turku, says that Turku is in a “unique position” to build something truly remarkable here, since the city presently enjoys powerful momentum: “There is positive structural change as old industries keep reinventing themselves, finding new ways to innovate and collabo- rate,” Turto says. A great example of the local innova- tive mindset is the Turku Rail Yard project which aims to transform Turku’s rail yard and train station area into the Finland’s larg- est experience and event center. The Turku Rail Yard project is an ambitious urban development concept for the 2020s, combining top-level technology and service design to create world-class experiences and events as well as boost the wellbeing of the citizens. The total cost for the project is estimated to be approximately €530 million. Let Me Entertain You The project kicked off, as an invitation- only architecture contest was held and Hel- sinki/Shanghai-based architecture firm PES- Architects come out on top with their entry ‘Luoto’ (Islet). According to plans, the con- struction will start in autumn 2020 – and the center could, conceivably, be up and run- ning by 2022.