Casanova+Hernandez architects | U015_Greater Helsinki Regional Plan


U015_Greater Helsinki Regional Plan

Helsinki, Finland

Global strategy

“Symbiotic Helsinki” is a global strategy to develop a sustainable metropolitan region of Greater Helsinki on several scales according to different parameters.

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The scale factor varies from the “reality scale” (1:1) of the new necessities of the citizens and the neighbourhood scale, till the metropolitan and regional scale.

The parameters related with the scale factor that allow achieving a symbiotic relation are:

A. Mix of different ways of living, population groups, ages and cultural identities.
B. Mix of different activities
C. Symbiosis between nature and housing
D. Hybrid infrastructure
E. Administrative symbiosis
F. Flexibility
G. Ecological Sustainability

New ways of living

The future population of Greater Helsinki can be classified in six main groups: students (18-24), singles (18+), couples (25-30), family units (30-50), mature couples (50-65), elderly people (65+).

The elderly people will become one of the most important groups. Living on their own should be promoted including special assistance units in the residential complex.

Singles and people without family have increased in recent times becoming 23% of the population. They need an increment of the size of their living spaces and a wider diversification of the living typologies.

Housing typologies

Panorama apartment, patio-penthouse, container-house, home-office, two-in-one, bungalow-terrace, single house, courtyard-house and 360 degrees-loft are some of the possible housing typologies.

Each typology provides very different kind of open air spaces.

Hybrid unit

Several housing typologies are mixed in a more complex entity called “hybrid unit”.
It is a new kind of urban composite that mix different kind of groups of citizens, different ages, kind of family units and ways of living.

It is possible to share services as storage spaces, sauna, elderly assistance service or guest rooms.
Each hybrid unit is organized around a green area. A net of paths will cross the entire area connecting the different units.

Green cluster

Green cluster is an urban structure based on the organization of several hybrid units around a green area or park. A great diversity of green clusters could be created.
Every house will be located at maximum 300 meters distance from the green zone and more than 50 percent of the hybrid units will have direct contact with the park.
Each green cluster is surrounded by a green boulevard that connects it to other green clusters.

Neighbourhood units

The neighbourhood unit is a large scale urban structure created by organizing several green clusters around a large natural or recreational area. This natural area could be a protected area because of its ecological value, an area with cultural environmental heritage or an area of landscape significance.
The result is a coherent and equilibrated regional entity based on a symbiotic relation between all of its components on every scale.

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Helsinki Region and Finish Ministry of Environment
70 million m²