City planners and decision makers are constantly facing the question of how to improve the quality of life for city residents. I can hardly imagine a better way to offer endless opportunities for enjoying the daily life than opening the waterfront for everyone, to use as they please.
In Helsinki around 20 kilometres of new public waterfront will be opened up for use by all of the city´s residents. This represents a significant addition to the waterfront promenades that circle the peninsula.
The completion of the new harbour has vacated the largest amount of space in a hundred years for constructing new housing and workplaces in the city. Over the next decades the city will have a major task with central importance for the urban structure as new areas are planned and built.
As districts Jätkäsaari, Kalasatama and Kruunuvuorenranta are built, a new public waterfront route is being created. All the seaside will be open for public use. Completing the new districts will take around 20 years, and eventually there will be a wide range of services along the path.
Some brave entrepreneurs already set up temporary services in the vacated industrial land last summer. My favourites were cafe Ihana and restaurant Solar Kitchen in Kalasatama. Both of them took advantage of the unfinished charm of the place, and managed to bring in crowds that normally would hardly leave their favourite downtown city districts.
That is exactly what the new districts need now: people coming and enjoying good life in maritime Helsinki; fulfilling the potential of the areas already now, when they are still in the making.