Itäkeskus is a changing, developing and growing area. The name Itäkeskus literally means "East Centre". More business premises will be built there, where people are moving about. Jokeri Light Rail will bring new customers to the area, the population of which may grow by as many as 20,000 residents.

Centre of East Helsinki

The City of Helsinki organised an open, international ideas competition regarding plans for the central quarters of Itäkeskus and the area of Puotila metro station. The objective of the competition was to find innovative and inspiring proposals that support climate change mitigation and on which the further planning and construction in the area can be based.

Itäkeskus is the primary centre in East Helsinki. The area’s accessibility via both public transport and private cars is excellent as it is, and its number of commercial services is significant. Within 500 metres of the two metro stations, there are multiple commercial centres and hypermarkets.

In terms of commercial offering, the area is significant at the level of the entire Metropolitan Area. It is a transit station for tens of thousands of passengers and customers every day. However, there is something essential missing from outside the shopping centre’s walls and the metro trains and cars rushing by: an urban environment with people.

The objective of the competition and the further planning initiated after it is to bring new operations close to public transport and commercial services and turn the area from a transit hub into a lively urban space – the centre of East Helsinki.

The winning entry was JALAN JALOIN. By a narrow margin, the second place was awarded to ITIS SITI. The competition jury recommended the use of both entries in the further planning of the area.

Planning principles of Itäkeskus and its surrounding area

The preparation of planning principles is underway to lay the foundation for the future detailed planning, traffic planning and public area planning for the area. Goals and principles will be defined regarding the following topics, among others:

  • development of the Helsinki East Urban Centre competition area based on the award-winning works (land use, transport, public spaces)​
  • infilling of existing residential plots
  • the areas for new housing construction designated in the city plan (current area of Mustapuro Playground, between Puotinharju and Myllypuro)
  • development of the existing school centre area
  • development of the traffic environment (walking, cycling, public transport, car traffic)
  • development of parks, green areas and other public areas and securing green connections.

Planning principles for the Stoa and Puhos areas

At its meeting on 18 May 2021, the Urban Environment Committee approved the planning principles for the Stoa and Puhos areas. The planning principles define the key goals of the area’s planning for the coming years. Based on these, changes to the detailed plan, plans for public outdoor spaces and traffic plans will be prepared for the area.

The principles direct aspects such as land use and the scale of the construction, the nature of the street network, the quality of the urban environments and the area’s connection to the surrounding city structure and environment. At the same time, the planning principles illustrate the identity and characteristics of the area.

The oldest section of Puhos shopping centre to be renovated

The goal is social and architectural urbanisation of the area, architecturally sound complementation of the existing cityscape, improving the quality and comfort of the public environment, preserving and renovating the oldest and most valuable section of Puhos shopping centre, facilitating the expansion of Stoa’s cultural services and efficient urban infill and the resulting increase in population in this key area. 

In Puhos shopping centre, a unique commercial centre run by immigrants has been formed, unprecedented in Finland. In addition to various immigrant-run businesses, such as grocery shops, restaurants, barbershops and travel agencies, it will have various activities for communities, associations and religious groups.

The City aims to preserve the conditions in the Puhos area for the existing kinds of business and meeting places of the immigrant community, even when the shopping centre is renovated.

The competition entry developed further

The goal is to improve the conditions for walking and cycling and also the accessibility of public transport. The intention is also to develop parking through compact solutions suitable for an urban centre.

The Stoa and Puhos area is a part of the ‘Helsinki East Urban Centre’ idea competition, which was finished in November 2020. In the competition, the entry ITIS SITI took second place. The jury recommended that this entry be used as a premise for the further planning of the Stoa and Puhos areas.

Girls at Puhos shopping centre

Updated 23.8.2021