Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2019 - Page 45

to: ‘Luoto’ The experience center is expected to become a significant year-round destina- tion in Turku, with plenty to see: an indoors amusement park, a theme park, activ- ity parks, cultural spaces and exhibitions, diverse events, a multi-purpose arena... From the perspective of the City, the undertaking is a key downtown spearhead project which enhances the attractiveness of the city in terms of events and tourism – along with the vitality of the city center. As the city center expands into Turku’s rail yard, it will also create a new neighborhood of approximately 1,000 residents. Take Me to the River A historical part of the Turku identity is, of course, River Aura and the Baltic Sea. Sit- uated by the river, the Old Town is being developed as an attractive tourist destination and a lively “urban living room” for the stu- dents, university staff, visitors and citizens. The Old Town with its large unified park and pavilions for cafés and galleries will form a vivid platform for the creation of new busi- nesses and services. In the coming years, the downtown area will make the push towards also the river delta and the harbor. In addition, the Turku of the future will bring its the archi- pelago – which is among the most beau- tiful in the world – to the forefront more and more. “With all these elements coming together, we feel that Turku possesses the most European identity of all the cities in Finland,” Turto says. Driven by Science Just a walking distance from the downtown area, we find Turku Science Park, one of the biggest and oldest science parks in Fin- land. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Kupittaa railway station and the Turku– Helsinki motorway, the Turku Science Park is home to the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences and over 400 other organi- zations and companies which employ a total of nearly 16,000 people. Turku Science Park fosters also active start-up culture which is promoted by the start-up community SparkUp, based in Elec- troCity. Furthermore, coworking space Wer- stas opened in 2015 and has been a success story from the beginning. Presently, the coworking space has some 7,600 square metres in three buildings – and all the prem- ises are full. According to Mikko Lehtinen, Man- aging Director of Turku Technology Prop- erties, Turku Science Park could continue its integration into the downtown area by expanding the Turku Science Park area across Helsingintie road, to the present Itäharju industrial district, by 2029. Come Together Right Now This means that the Turku Science Park of the future would integrate working, living and leisure even more closely as part of the existing urban structure and public trans- port connections. “This would be done by building a deck construction from Kupittaa to Itäharju,” explains Lehtinen, adding that the deck is a great fit for all types of hybrid construction, from residential to services to office. “Also, public sector projects, such as schools, could be realized here. The first pri- ority, however, is student housing,” Lehtinen says. “The deck alone could feature as much as 200,000 square meters of new construc- tion and there is another 200,000 square meters likely to be available for develop- ment in the neighborhood.” According to initial plans, different buildings ranging from high to low would provide a varied appearance as well as leav- ing room for large green areas. New bold plans are needed since Nordicum 45