Finnoo centre planning progressing – new plan emphasises bird conservation
The development of the Finnoo centre is progressing in Espoo. The City has prepared a new local detailed plan for the area after the Supreme Administrative Court overturned the plan approved by the Espoo City Council in May 2021.
Planning regulations guide the planning and implementation of the area
The Finnoo centre is a new and distinctive maritime urban area along the metro line west of Matinkylä. Finnoo is being developed as a model area for combating climate change. This involves, among other things, a dense urban structure, walking, cycling and public transport, as well as a residential area focused on sustainable energy.
The planning area of the Finnoo centre consists of a residential area, the power plant area and the area around the Finnoviken bird wetland, i.e. the surroundings of the Finnoo basin. The water treatment plant’s overflow basin has become home to a rich birdlife over the decades. The planned development in the Finnoo centre will bring more residents and recreational use to the area around the bird wetland.
According to the Supreme Administrative Court, the previous planning solution did not sufficiently protect the birdlife values of the area. The court found that the measures in the maintenance and usage plan to mitigate the harm to birds from increased recreational use were not sufficiently binding.
The key measures in the maintenance and usage plan have now been incorporated into the plan as binding planning regulations that will guide the further planning and implementation of the area. No significant changes have been made to the plan for the residential area.
Controlled recreational use and visibility
Espoo’s Urban Planning Department has reworked the plan in cooperation with the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the City’s nature experts. During the preparation phase of the plan in autumn 2021, a planning walk was organised, during which the planners met with residents and representatives of nature associations.
Birds are most disturbed by human activity in the area, especially during the nesting season. The planning regulations direct the recreational use of the area away from the bird habitat. Human activity in the area will be guided by clear routes and signs advising people to move around without disturbing the birds. The existing route around the basin, used by nature enthusiasts, will be maintained as a nature trail, and more extensive recreational use will primarily be directed to other areas.
To protect the bird basin from view, trees will be planted in the nearby recreational area, and visual barrier structures and plantings will be added along outdoor trails. According to the planning regulations, the water quality and quantity in the basin must be maintained in such a way that the habitats of protected and endangered species are preserved.
The City Planning Committee will discuss the plan proposal on 11 May 2022. The City Council will decide on the approval of the plan.
- Urban development