Aviapolis’ workplace area on its way to a city where it's fun to stay

Aviapolis center

A new city that attracts residents, businesses and travelers is arising in the vicinity of the airport, in the workplace-rich Aviapolis area.

“The new residential area is located close to the Helsinki - Vantaa International Airport, which is unusual even globally. Aviapolis is located in the armpits of runways which protects it against aircraft noise,” tells Arja Lukin, project director of the area.

Veromies district is the core of Aviapolis’ major region. The first residential blocks are now being built in Veromies and will be completed in spring 2019. At the same time, a private service provider's day-care center and nursing home will also be completed. Of the floor squares of the disposition plan approved in 2016, around a third is designated for housing, the rest for services and workplaces. Building of this 3.5-square-kilometer area will take altogether at least a couple of decades.

“A workplace area that is turning into a diverse urban environment is extensive. We are implementing a project whose extent corresponds to as many as 250 ordinary urban blocks, where people live, work, spend their leisure time, and enjoy good services,” adds Lukin.

“Planning Aviapolis leans heavily on promoting sustainable mobility.” In addition to the three-year-old Aviapolis train station along the Ring Rail Line, a streetcar rail is hoped to be in operation by 2030.

New elementary school and day-care center in the Urban Blocks area

One of the significant novelties in Aviapolis is the Aviapolis Urban Blocks area for around 3 000 residents that will be built based on an international architectural competition. The aim is a central and lively environment.

In addition to housing, workplaces will be built as well as the Atomi multipurpose house with an elementary school, day-care center and various services. The first stage of Atomi is planned to be completed by 2022. A junior high school will be built at a later stage.

Office premises and logistics center will create workplaces

Building of office premises and workplaces in the vicinity of the Aviapolis station will continue at its quick pace. The Aviabulevardi office was completed a couple of years ago , and a corresponding one will be built right next to it. Technopolis is currently building an expansion on Teknobulevardi and Bosch is enlarging its HQ on Robert Huberintie.

The capacity of the Sokos Hotel Flamingo in connection with Flamingo Leisure World will double thanks to the extension to be completed this fall. In the past few years, Clarion Helsinki and Scandic Helsinki Airport, two new hotels, have arisen in Aviapolis.

COOL Nordic Cargo Hub—the most modern air cargo terminal in Europe—has been completed in the airport area. Thanks to the terminal, which is owned by Finnair, the cargo capacity will approximately triple from its current size. The terminal has been awarded an environmental certificate, and it utilizes, for instance, solar energy to a great extent. Finland Post has invested in a new logistics terminal in Viinikkala. The terminal will meet the increased needs of transportation of packages due to ever-growing online trade and logistics.

Where will we find the wow factor?

The conference on developing Aviapolis, arranged in Clarion Helsinki Airport on August 31, presented not only the current projects and global experiences in developing airport cities, but also fresh ideas to make Aviapolis more versatile. In his key note address, professor Max Hirsh of Hong Kong University presented the findings of his research—commissioned by the city—on the potentials of Aviapolis. For his study, he interviewed local actors such as developers working in the area and representatives of the city. Based on his experiences, Hirsh proposes alternative strategies to increase interest in the area.

A concentration of neighborhood services would serve those working in the area. Fast-transaction services that cannot be taken care of during a lunch break or after the workday are in great demand. Tourists would enjoy an experiential center where they could enjoy nature, shopping and various activities during just a short visit. Highlighting the aviation theme, for example, with the help of an international training center is an idea worth pondering. A global artists’ residence would utilize existing premises and enrich Aviapolis’ urban culture.

“We are very enthusiastic about these new ideas and will investigate each idea’s implementation potential,” Lukin promises.

The other keynote speaker at the event—Pieter van der Horst, real-estate developer working on the Amsterdam and Tehran airport cities—presented two different examples of developing surroundings of airports. An attractive and competitive workplace area has arisen near Amsterdam's Schiphol airport that benefits the residents, employees, businesses and airport businesses in multiple ways. Developing the From the Beginning airport area had its starting points in employees’ and businesses’ everyday needs such as lunch places, local stores, gyms, child day care and after-work events. The aim was to determinedly develop a cozy, high-quality urban environment with squares and picnic places in the immediate surroundings of the airport.
“The development of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport convincingly proves that new workplaces rise in places where people like to be,” says Lukin.

Further information: Project Director Arja Lukin, tel. +358 43 825 3621.

Aviapolis - City with Wings video

Website of the airport-city conference held on August 31, 2018, that includes all the presentation materials given.

Read more about professor Max Hirsh’s ideas for developing Aviapolis

Published: 7.9.2018 
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