‘Summer streets’ coming back to Helsinki this year


The Finnish city of Helsinki, led by mayor Juhana Vartiainen, plans to introduce the ‘summer streets’ in the centre this year as well, it was announced on the city’s official webpage.

Inspired by the success of last year’s project, Helsinki is planning four ‘summer streets’ in the Kaartinkaupungi district. Running from the beginning of June to the end of August, these streets are meant to provide a pleasant walking environment for the residents of the Finnish capital.

As part of this project, the traffic arrangements and services are being altered to make the district more walking-friendly and encourage residents to spend time outside. 

An integrated pedestrian network will be created between Kaartinkaupungi and Ullanlinna. The first segment is in Kasarmikatu, between Eteläesplanadi and Pohjoinen Makasiinikatu, identical to last summer.  From Kasarmikatu, the route continues to Piene Roobertinkatu, and then on to Erottaja. On Erottajankatu’s Kesäkatu, one lane will be set aside for terraces and pedestrians.

Additionally, the Finnish capital is also marking 10 years since it was named the World Design Capital together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, and Lahti back in 2012. 

Design has become an essential component of numerous projects and activities that are done in the Finnish capital. By increasing the attractiveness of the streets and smaller squares, this project is also meant to generate even more permanent suggestions on how to increase the attractiveness of the city in the long term.

Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor of the Urban Environment Industry, stated: “Summer streets are also an excellent implementation of the city’s new strategy. The strategy clearly outlines how we invest in a good urban space, which invites us to linger and stay, and also creates the conditions for the success of commercial services.’’

The city plans to use the feedback of the residents who visited the ‘summer streets’ last year in order to make this year’s project even more successful. The ideas will be further discussed at online meetings for entrepreneurs and residents in March. (photo credit: Tapio Haaja/Unsplash)