Mind the gap
The ambitions are high in Helsinki. The community wants to transform the Eastern Urban District into a carbon neutral and vibrant urban center. The biggest challenge: the infrastructure and buildings are totally designed for cars and created a large gap in the urban fabric. In order to achieve the goals, the status quo should not be accepted, and this challenge must be addressed. A successful city development is not car-focused but should prioritize what is most important, its people.
If you plan for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic
If you plan for people and place, you get people and places.
Itavayla as the new urban spine
By transforming the Itavayla highway into the new urban spine of the area, the physical barrier can be removed. In order to prioritize the flows of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport two parallel bridge structures are introduced. By literally lifting them up from the ground the community can strengthen their sustainable ambitions and secure that the car flow and logistics on the ground floor can still fully function. To activate urban life and to guide the transformation of the Itavayla area, the tram will be introduced as the main form of public transport. Within the boundaries of the plan, the new tram line will have three stops. Two stops are connected to each metro stop, to secure the node function of the area. The third tram stop is situated between those other two.
Connecting Itavayla with the surroundings
With the new urban spine in place it is possible to connect the Itavayla area with its surroundings. A series of new north south axis is introduced for pedestrians and cyclists. This network connects the school/ sports/ park area in the northern part of the area with the green and water area at the south of the area. This network of axis secures a safe and attractive framework for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and forms the base for the improved urban fabric.
Show some love – new hearts of the city
New centers of the area will be situated on the crossing points of the Itavayla, the north south axis and the public transport stops. These nodes are the places where people can meet, eat, drink, take a sauna, shop, live and switch from the tram to the metro. In order words, these nodes form the heart of the Easter Urban District. Here the vibrant city life can be created.