Helsinki mayor to assume part-time role as advisor of urban development with Danish real estate investor and developer

Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori will assume the part-time role of an advisor of urban development with NREP, a Danish real estate investor and developer, after completing his term at the helm of the Finnish capital in August, reports Kauppalehti.

Mayor Vapaavuori said: “It felt natural that the new responsibilities have some sort of continuation from what I’ve picked up along the way. Urban development is about great many different things, but I doubt there’s a single thing with as comprehensive an impact on preventing climate change, for example, as real estate”.

The mayor will observe a voluntary waiting period by refraining from involvement in any projects related to the city for his first month on its payroll, as well as disqualify himself from discussions linked to the investment firm for the remainder of his term as mayor.

Vapaavuori told Helsingin Sanomat that he discussed the issue in advance with a legal counsel of the City of Helsinki. The answer he received was unambiguous: there are no judicial obstacles for the transition.

“Regardless of this, specifically to avoid negative comments, we agreed that for six months I’ll refrain from involvement in anything that’s somehow connected to Helsinki,” said mayor Vapaavuori.

He also stated that although his exact job description remains undecided, his responsibilities will be linked to the group-level development and internationalisation projects rather than specifically to Helsinki.

Daniel Sazonov, the chairperson of the National Coalition on the Helsinki City Council, said Vapaavuori will deliver a great deal of know-how but not a disproportional competitive advantage to NREP.

“I believe, I’m confident and I know that the city’s zoning policy is conducted very transparently. Plots are allocated through tendering and other open ways. This is the way it should be and this is how everyone can be treated equally,” he said. Photo Helsinkitimes