The construction of Jätkäsaari began in earnest in 2009 when Madonna finished her concert which was enjoyed by an audience of 85,000 in August. At the time, the concert held in Jätkäsaari was the largest pop music event ever organised in the Nordic countries.
Since then, a lot has happened in Jätkäsaari. The population in the “new side” of Jätkäsaari passed the milestone of 10,000 residents this year. The number will double over the next ten years as, according to current estimates, the population of Jätkäsaari will be about 20,000 in 2030. This means that Jätkäsaari is already the size of Kauniainen – once complete, it will be larger than Hamina or Naantali, for exampel.
During the 2010s, a total of 5,000 housing units were completed in the area. In addition to this, the construction of 260 housing units was initiated in Jätkäsaari over the course of 2020. In the coming years, the aim is to begin the construction of 800 new dwellings each year. Roughly a half of the residential buildings have been completed, and construction is currently under way on 15 sites.
Two-room apartments, which constitute 40% of the housing stock, are the most common housing units in Jätkäsaari. Studios and three-room apartments amount to about 20–25% each. Compared to the rest of Helsinki, Jätkäsaari is a fairly youthful district: about 50% of the residents are 20–39 years of age, and 75% are aged under 45. A factor in this is that the area contains a lot of student housing.
79% of the people living on the island speak Finnish while about 9% speak Swedish, which is slightly more than the average throughout Helsinki. 12% of the residents speak a language other than Finnish or Swedish.
Jätkäsaari already boasts a wide range of basic services – and more are on the way. The area features six day care centres and two more are being planned. Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School for grades 1–9 was opened last year. Another school will be opened in Melkinlaituri between 2023 and 2024.
Jätkäsaari is covered by an extensive tram network, which is used by three tram lines. The tram network will be further improved in 2021 when the trams can loop around the entire residential area across Atlantinsilta Bridge. The tram network will be complete in 2024. At that point, trams to the city centre will depart roughly every three minutes.
The sports services in Jätkäsaari have also improved in recent years with the completion of the first section of the sports park and the temporary sports hall were completed in 2019. The air-supported hall maintained by football club PPJ was completed in the autumn of 2020. Unfortunately, the sports facilities and indoor swimming pool planned for Bunkkeri have been delayed due to complaints. Jätkäsaari also has a library, which prides itself in an excellent collection of children’s literature.
“The number of residents in Jätkäsaari has increased steadily year by year. We very pleased that the City has been able to meet the service needs of the increasing population by providing day care centres, schools, sports services and parks. The tram network will also expand next year to cover Jätkäsaari’s newest residential areas along Atlantinkatu,” says Max Takala, who serves as the acting project manager for the West Harbour area construction project, visibly pleased about the developmets.
Between 2008 and 2020, the City has invested a total of some 270 million euros in Jätkäsaari. In addition to this, almost 200 million euros worth of investments are still in the pipeline. Tthe most notable infrastructure construction projects for the near future are Atlantinsilta Bridge and Saukonpaadenpuisto Park, which will be completed next year, as well as Hyväntoivonpuisto Park, for which the final northern sections will be completed next year and the southern part is currently in the preliminary construction phase.
Here you can see an impressive drone video showing what Jätkäsaari currently looks like.
Main photo of this article: SRV.