City of Helsinki's maritime strategy and plan of action has been approved by the City Board. The maritime strategy outlines the development goals past the current strategy period, ending in 2021, until the year 2030. Part of the actions are already being implemented and the development is being carried out with consideration to marine operational environment and the partners.
Helsinki’s maritime location is part of its fundamental nature. The maritime strategy and the plan of action has been drafted to develop the maritime recreation opportunities and the tourist services, and to strengthen the City’s general appeal. The goal is, for example, to improve the accessibility of the marine locations, develop the services in the archipelago and further maritime events.
The strategy sets the following main goals for the maritime development of Helsinki:
– Helsinki is an attractive and functional sea City
– the maritime services and recreation opportunities are accessible to everyone
– Helsinki cherishes its sea nature.
The preparation was guided by the "Most Functional City in the World" City Strategy 2017–2021 and its goals concerning the sea. According to the City Strategy, the City’s maritime traits must be utilised better as a factor of attraction for the City.
“We now have clear goals and a plan of action, through which it is possible to develop Helsinki’s unique maritime character into an even stronger factor of attraction for our City. One significant stage is the maritime Helsinki Biennale of public arts, to be arranged in the summer of 2020 in Vallisaari. It is expected to attract around 300,000 visitors from home and abroad”, says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
The maritime strategy and the actions to implement it were created in co-operation between the City divisions and other partners.
“The maritime strategy is already being implemented. The theme of the upcoming summer is a kind of maritime everyday luxury, when we fix things that make it easier to access the archipelago and improve the services. The planning of the water traffic and service traffic to the top destinations of the archipelago is underway. To support the sustainable development of Vallisaari, the island will be getting municipal engineering. In the upcoming summer, the water traffic schedules will also be included in the HSL’s Journey Planner and, for example, the journey directly from the metro to the island can be made using city bicycles and the new city boats. The conditions for the increasingly popular water sports will be improved as well”, lists Project Manager of the Maritime Strategy Minttu Perttula.
Other improvements include the development of Vasikkasaari into an even better local nature destination as of the summer season 2019 and the digital services of the Boat in Helsinki project for boaters and those interested in boating.
“A lot of effort has also been put into complementing the maritime service offerings. Last fall, the Bout application, also known as the Uber of boats, was launched in Helsinki and for this season, Skipper’s city boats will arrive in Helsinki”, notes Minttu Perttula.
The plan of action for the Maritime Strategy is based on a background study made in spring 2018. The current plans, projects and other initiatives connected to maritime development were gathered from within the City. There were 55 of these in total. Additionally, there was an open questionnaire for ideas from the residents, which generated around 500 maritime development ideas.
The final points of emphasis in the plan of action were laid in a steering group formed by the City and central stakeholders. The implementation of the programme will be made in the different City divisions and in co-operation with the stakeholders, such as public landowners and entrepreneurs in the City’s sea locations.
“The development of Helsinki’s maritime traits means, above all, good teamwork with the partners in carrying out the important, joint goals”, states Perttula.
Helsinki Maritime Strategy 2030 (in Finnish)