Residential and commercial development projects fail to take into consideration ongoing public transport projects, such as the western metro extension, two experts view.Although the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) has joined forces with the region's 14 municipalities in order to promote higher-density residential and commercial construction, the results have yet to fully convince experts.

Marketta Kyttä, an associate professor of land use planning at Aalto University, and Pekka Lahti, a former researcher at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), analysed land use plans in the region at the request of Helsingin Sanomat.

Plans for new residential areas, Kyttä and Lahti conclude, encourage the use of private vehicles by not taking into consideration the public transport system.

The land use plans are established on the assumption that the capital region will be home to a total of two million residents and one million jobs by 2050. The objective itself appears realistic in light of the amount of available land in the region, according to Lahti. However, he believes a more cohesive approach to land use planning should be adopted in order to take better advantage of the public transport system.

“At the moment, transport projects are much more concrete. It should be the other way around,” he says.

Marja Salomaa – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva