The main goals of plan Proximitis is to enhance the quality of Itäkeskus by providing
ground for urban pedestrian cityscape, preserving and enhancing the identity of the key
areas via bulevardization of the Itäväylä. By enabling a new accessible city centre to be
built right on to the now existing highway, the plan is to battle the existing sprawl,
provide proper connections inside and outside of the competition area and making the
construction of light railways easier in the future.
The plan therefore supports the political will and sustainable goals of the city of
Helsinki. The goal of minimizing the usage of cars towards the year 2025 and beyond
also include the suburban areas surrounding the main city centre of Helsinki itself, so
creating an option that makes a quality public transportation a priority in the area is
considered of utmost importance. The plan also takes into account of the possibility to
construct a light railway to Östersundom and possibly along the Kehä I in the future.
Preserving the identity of the existing built environment is one of key concepts of plan
Proximitis. The area is dominated by large building masses of Itis, Easton and Prisma,
which create non-spatial atmosphere to their surroundings because the inhumane
scale from pedestrian perspective. But the existing gems of the area, Puhos, Stoa and
Helmitorni represent the desirable scale and atmosphere that leaded the way of the
design of this proposal. Therefore the plan is to contrast and take the edge off the large
existing masses with scale of construction that matches to the urban fabric found
elsewhere in Helsinki city centrum. New ecologically built quarters shall contain services
that support also the neighbouring areas, providing mixed use of housing, workplaces
and shared social spaces for inhabitants and visitors alike, all wrapped together with
continuous network of green infrastructure.
Proximitis bases on examples already existing and proven hugely profitable elsewhere
in the world, e.g. bulevardization of San Francisco Embarcadero Freeway.
More space of cars brings forth more cars and more traffic jams. The transition to
public oriented transportation can be achieved in Itäkeskus.