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Turning industrial areas into residential areas


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The City of Helsinki is turning its waterfronts from industrial areas to residential areas. As a part of this development, The City Council decided in December 1986, that the Herttoniemi Oil Port shall be developed to be a residential area for approx. 9500 people.The City Council stated, that the Herttoniemi Oil Port itself is surrounded by traffic, its nature is poor and the industrial production there causes environmental harm to people living in areas nearby. But, since the area opens to the sea and is located only a walking distance from the metro station, the City Council saw the possibilities for developing the oil port and its industrial area to a new residential area. The planning and designing of Herttoniemi Waterfront was started at the City Planning Department, the Herttoniemi Project was formed at the City Development Unit and in 1990 the City Council approved the general master plan of the so called Herttoniemi Port waterfront.

Design competitions in 1991+1992 were held to get new ideas and visions of housing and the environment of the old oil port area. The aim was to create a high quality, city-like area, of multi-storey buildings in such a way that the surrounding attractions - the sea and the park as well as the old Herttoniemi Manor rom 1700ies- can be utilised in the best possible way.
The first residents moved there in 1994 and since then Herttoniemi Waterfront has grown rapidly.
The Herttoniemi Waterfront beach has become very popular among the residents of the area, the Tuorinniemi Park with dancing pavillion and sport facilities are right next to it. Next to the beach is also an elementary school and a kindergarden.

  • sustainable urban planning

Objectives of the Good Practice

The objective was to turn an industrial site into a liveable area for citizens.

Participants of the Good Practice

City of Helsinki

More Details of the Good Practice

Because the Herttoniemi Oil Port had existed already from the 1930’s, the soil of the area was badly polluted due to the chemicals used in oil refining. By 1992 the Oil Port was closed down, the railway was demolished from the area and the soil ex-change project was started. During 1993-1997 in the Herttoniemi Waterfront 200.000 m³ polluted soil was removed and replaced with clean one. Systematic and still on-going follow-up studies began in 1997, and the have proved that the cleaning-up operation has been successful. The soil exchange project and the “environ-mental hygiene works” were organised by the Port of Helsinki. It also organised the soil filling of the waterfront, which amounted to 6 hectares (the whole area Herttoniemi Waterfront is 60 hectares).
Herttoniemi Waterfront is located close to the metro station and also to the motorway. There are also three big supermarkets close to the metro stations.

Available files

Contact details

Sirpa Kallio
Project Manager
Tel.: +358 9 169 2484

Data sources and references

UBC Environmental Award 2001