Jätkäsaari – Seaside City Appeal

Jätkäsaari is all about urban life by the sea. Overlooking the open sea, the district is currently under intense construction on a southern peninsula recently vacated by a cargo port. By 2030, Jätkäsaari is estimated to have 21,000 residents and 6,000 jobs. This growing district is located only minutes away from the centre of Helsinki, on the western side of the downtown area.

The local Länsisatama harbour is a lively passenger port. The route between the “twin cities” Helsinki and Tallinn is one of the busiest in the world, and could conceivably hit nine million passengers by 2030.

Jätkäsaari: Becoming a New Part of Downtown

Jätkäsaari is the “hidden pearl” of Helsinki that served as an active international cargo port for years. Now, thanks to the new plans, the local residents will get to live and work in an enjoyable, high-quality urban environment.

The new modern cityscape is achieved by the use of compact city blocks and “Parisian-style” roof-level apartments. Great services, street-front shops, sidewalk cafés and an effective tram network – as well as comprehensive pedestrian and cycle routes – all contribute to the feeling of being right there in the thick of things.

The proximity and sounds of the sea, the spectacular view from the parks and the waterfront, the boat marina and the passenger ship terminal – these are all elements that add their distinctive flavour to the area.

Why don’t you walk along the shoreline and enjoy the panorama of the open sea? Or go strolling through the considerable park areas – almost 20 hectares, all in all – that wind through the area? Jätkäsaari offers all this.

Versatile Housing Options

People of all ages make their home in Jätkäsaari, enjoying a well-balanced social structure. Also, there’s various kinds of housing here: it is possible to rent or buy, and both small apartments and family-size homes are available.

Jätkäsaari is currently home to 10,000 residents. The construction of Jätkäsaari commenced in the autumn of 2008, with its first building project being the Crusellinsilta Bridge which connects the area to neighbouring Ruoholahti.

The construction of residential buildings began in 2011 and the area will be ready in 2030.

Public Services Taking Shape

In the near future, services available in Jätkäsaari will include two schools and several day care centres as well as a sports park, an indoor sports centre and a swimming hall.

The new school wias opened in 2019 next to a big sports centre, on the east side of Jätkäsaari. Already there are also four day care centres in the area.

In addition, one of the old buildings in the area has been renovated and now serves as a library and an information centre on the construction process of the Jätkäsaari area.

The City of Helsinki has decided that in all new waterfront areas, the shores will remain accessible to everyone. Already, there are some pedestrian paths which offer great views of the open sea hugging the coast. This genuine, maritime feel of Jätkäsaari is further boosted by the marina and a small bay area.

Jätkäsaari Transportation

In the planning of Jätkäsaari, particular attention has been given to the development of a comprehensive network of pedestrian and cycle paths, as well as a smooth public transport system.

Jätkäsaari can be conveniently reached by tram, with also a metro station located close by in the neighbouring area of Ruoholahti. A tramline links Jätkäsaari to the Ruoholahti metro station, with all trams having their own lanes in the middle of the main streets to facilitate the flow of traffic. This traffic solution meets both the needs of the growing area and the passenger boat harbour.

A compact, safe network of pedestrian and cycle paths is in the works. The main pedestrian and cycle route will pass through the one-kilometre-long park in the centre of Jätkäsaari. Parks are connected to the waterfront and other parks by routes using pedestrian and bicycle bridges.

A popular pedestrian and cycle route, by the name of Baana, allows residents to bicycle from Jätkäsaari to the city centre in just ten minutes. Originally, the passageway in which Baana runs was built for trains servicing the old cargo port. As an important link to Helsinki’s history, the exposed section of this route that links with the underpass will be conserved.

Twin Port project

Twin Port project supports development and harmonisation of harbour functions in Helsinki and Tallinn

Annually, almost 9 million passengers travel by sea between Helsinki and Tallinn. Helsinki’s West Harbour and Tallinn’s Vanasadam (Old Cityd Harbour) together form a functional pair and a common area for entrepreneurship and jobs. The Twin Port Project, supported and co-funded by the European Union, is one of the most significant joint projects between port cities. Its main emphasis is on cargo traffic. The EU is currently creating – using the TEN-T (Trans European Transport Network) projects – a comprehensive network of transport corridors in Europe. To Finland, overseas transport is of particular importance.

Twin Port focuses on developing Helsinki’s West Harbour and Tallinn’s Vanasadam (Old Cityd Harbour) and on harmonising their operations. The goal is to create a harbour suitable for various kinds of traffic and whose operations are efficient and environmentally sustainable. The primary measures are:

In Helsinki’s West Harbour:

  • to further develop street traffic arrangements, signposts and signboards
  • expand car park capacity
  • develop automation
  • build new pier space and berths
  • improve ships’ fairways and routes.

In Tallinn’s Vanasadam harbour:

  • to make investments in smoothened peak traffic flows between the harbour and the city centre and in harbour logistics.

The partners in the Twin-Port Project are the City of Helsinki, the Port of Helsinki, and AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn). The European Union co-funds the improvements made in West Harbour and Vanasadam. The lion’s share of this funding is currently used for the West Harbour.

The project is part of the EU-wide TEN-T (Trans European Transport Network) network is a cross-national whole of traffic and transport projects through which the Union co-funds improvements of traffic corridors – roads, railways and shipping infrastructure – in EU member states. Read more about the projects within the TEN-T.

Jätkäsaari in a nutshell

  • Land area: 100 hectares
  • Parks: 19,8 hectares
  • Travel time to Helsinki centre: 5–10 minutes
  • Total floor area: Residential buildings 850,000 m2
  • Business and services 400,000 m2
  • Residents: 21,000
  • Jobs: 6,000
  • Construction period: 2009–2030
Updated 22.10.2020