The City of Helsinki was selected for the Ministry of the Environment’s Suburb Programme 2020–2022. The state’s Suburb Programme reinforces the comprehensive development of suburban areas and prevents their segregation. The City of Helsinki’s Suburb Programme projects are located in the suburban regeneration areas.

Functionality and attractiveness

The Suburb Programme, coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, develops the suburbs of the largest Finnish cities. The objective is to achieve positive, long term development that facilitates the residents’ well-being and the areas’ vitality. The Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment also participate in the Suburb Programme.

The Suburb Programme projects in Helsinki are located in the three urban renewal areas: Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, Malmi and Mellunkylä. The project units in these areas feature measures with the objectives of developing the functionality and attractiveness of the residential environment to residents of all ages, improving the well-being of children and young people, and increasing the sense of community and safety.

The project unit is directly linked to the City’s central strategies and programmes, such as the Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021 and the included Project for Youth Social Inclusion (preventing imparity and social exclusion of young people), Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 action programme and participatory budgeting. Additionally, the project unit is linked to the housing and land use implementation plan (‘AM programme’) approved by the City Council on 11 November 2020.

Helsinki is applying for support and subsidies from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland for the development and planning of the suburbs included in the Suburb Programme and for the related investments.

Concrete measures

There are a number of concrete measures planned in the areas based on the Suburb Programme, such as renewing the Ylä-Malmi market square in Malmi, improving the attractiveness of the pedestrian areas around metro stations in Mellunkylä, and developing the areas surrounding train stations in Malminkartano and Kannelmäki. Me (Us) school actions are to be developed in all areas to prevent the social exclusion of children and young people.

The quickest measures to execute have now been launched: the exercise stairs in Malminkartano have been renewed and equipped with lighting. The fixtures, structures and vegetation in and around Kannelmäki as well as Malminkartano train stops will be renovated. The stops' service level will be further improved with new bicycle racks and a bike shelter, and the station platforms will be equipped with benches and railings.

In Malmi, the Traktori play park’s outdoor areas will be renovated, and the playground equipment, vegetation, surface materials and paddling pool will be renewed. An arena with artificial turf will also be built to replace the sand field. The fountain in Ala-Malmi park has already been renovated.

The popular disc golf court in Kivikko will be renovated and new throwing spots will be built, also suited to competitions. A new exercise area will be built in the recreational area on the northern side of Mellunmäentie, with easy to use equipment that is especially well-suited to seniors. The renewal of residential park Luosto in Mellunmäki is featured the plans.

Helsinki will work together with the following research projects funded by the Suburb Programme: 

  • Aalto University: Cornerstone of suburbs – Immigrant entrepreneurs as a part of an urban renewal (MAKU project) 
  • University of Helsinki: Community resilience of suburbs and its segregation – how does civil society support local communities during the coronavirus crisis and what can we learn from this for future crises? 
  • University of Helsinki: Re:Urbia – development trends of suburbs and their re-conception for the challenges of the segregating cities of 2020s. 
  • University of Oulu: New forms of housing – Integrating, living suburbs (AsuMut) 
  • The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE: Good suburb: local knowledge and resident experiences in the assessment and development of attractiveness and vitality (HYVIÖ) 
  • Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL: Migration and social policies as an adapting factor in suburbs’ population structure and social issues 

Contact information

The City of Helsinki’s participation in the Suburb Programme is coordinated by:

Elina Eskelä
Senior Planning Officer
City Executive Office’s Economic Development and Planning Division
Tel. +358 9 310 36083
firstname.lastname@hel.fi