Espoo is growing sustainably – the master plan for the northern and central areas will steer the city’s land use towards 2050

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2020-05-25 10:50

Over the next few decades, the northern and central areas of Espoo will also experience growth, even though most of it will take place along the metro line. The proposed master plan for the area aims for the new development to be sustainable for people, nature and the economy. 

The plan area covers approximately 170 square kilometres, more than half of the city’s total land area. It will provide homes for nearly 60,000 new residents and roughly 11,000 new jobs by 2050.

A vision of the developing residential centre in northern Espoo.
A vision of the developing residential centre in northern Espoo.
Image by: Espoo’s Urban Planning Department.

Vibrant centres and nature   

Espoo will be developed as a network city of five urban centre. One of these, Espoon keskus, is located within the plan area. Kalajärvi is one of the local centres, and new centres will also be developed in Viiskorpi, Hista and Myntinmäki. Urban centres with a sufficient number of residents will provide suitable conditions for the existence of good services too. 

The residents of Espoo value nature. The vast green areas and bodies of water in northern and central Espoo form an ecologically and culture-historically important whole and are a pivotal part of the region’s green area network. Focusing the construction of residential buildings in the vibrant centres leaves more room for protected and recreational areas. This will promote biodiversity and Espoo’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2030. 

Good transport connections and employment areas   

Functioning transport connections are an essential feature in a network city, and the master plan supports the further development of public transport. The rising number of residents and commuters creates a solid foundation for increasingly good public transport services. Because Espoo’s sustainable growth is based on rail transport, the extension of the City Rail Link to Kauklahti and the construction of a fast railway line from Espoo to Salo are important. The master plan enables local train connections to be extended to the new centres of Hista and Myntinmäki and the building of a public transport bridge across the western end of Pitkäjärvi, which will decrease travel times. 

Jobs form the basis for the city’s financial sustainability. In the proposed plan, they are located in the centres and along good transport connections. The areas around Lommila and the Kehä III beltway will gain importance as part of the metropolitan industrial zone. Other employment locations will include the Ämmässuo area, where an eco-industry estate, focused on recycling, is being developed.  

The residents of Espoo can have a say in the plans while they are being displayed 

Urbanisation is a global megatrend and has its impact on Finland too. Migration to the Helsinki region will also increase the population of Espoo. The proposed master plan for northern and central Espoo is part of the land use plans for the entire region. For example, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency is in charge of the route plans and construction of the Espoo–Salo railway line, i.e. the One Hour Train, but Espoo must facilitate this with its master plan. 

The master plan proposal is based on extensive reviews regarding the urban structures, transport and the environment, which have been published on the city’s website. Once the master plan proposal is put on display, the residents, businesses and other involved parties may make objections, which will be taken into account in the master plan’s preparation and decision-making. 

More information:

Espoo City Board’s meeting on 18 May 2020. (in finnish).
More information about the master plan for the northern and central areas.