Just take a look at these boats (see more pictures below) moored permanently at the end of Helsinki’s most attractive road called “Bulervadi” and on the edge of our newest city area just 1.5 km from the center of the city.
The boats are all run down unkempt, dirty wrecks that have been given permission to spoil the landscape for every residents and tourists who passes through or lives in the area. Local residents complain and city planners approve this dumping of at least 6 big boats!
The city has posted advertisements about how the development in this area will be the “World’s Best City”! One can only wonder at the disconnect…
This is just another example of the totally useless planning that the Greens, Conservatives and other local politicians here have been doing for years, and continue to do with impunity. Complaints from residents fall on deaf ears, but not lobbying from big developers and construction companies.
Skanska, the Swedish construction giant, has secured a huge area to build apartments right on the waterfront and the city is planning to build even more offices and apartments right on the water. A huge new 7 story block of offices and a new motorway bridge that will be built, if they get their way, right on the water on one of the oldest shorelines here in Helsinki. It means dumping stones and concrete in one of the oldest quays in Helsinki, once used by newspapers to offload rolls of newsprint from barges into the printing workshops on the shore. The quay is one of the most attractive places to sit in the spring, summer and autumn sunshine that will be lost for ever!
Not only are they planning this “Great Sale to Developers” against the interests of local residents, they are also planning thousands of new apartments here on a narrow peninsula that is partly older and partly newer reclaimed land. The area is called Hernesaari.
In other words the City has permitted millions of tons of stone and concrete waste from the construction of the new underground metro tunnels to be dumped into the sea – pollution is not a problem because they said so!
The city has planned that the land shall be used for thousands of apartments, offices and shops with the existing roads in and out of the area taking the full toll of increased traffic. The problem with this plan is that there are no roads designed to take this traffic. They are already blocked in the mornings and evening with commuters, and adding several thousands of new cars will not reduce these traffic jams… City planners must be on some weird drugs because the only other solution is to built a tunnel under the sea – and we all know how much that will cost!
Helsinki has huge areas of untouched land to the North and East of the city. Naturally this land does not yield the sort of prices that shoreline plots produce… but the cost of tunnels and bridges soon deplete the cities coffers if they continue with this psychedelic behaviour!
The above picture was taken a week ago and shows the daily traffic jam from hundreds of lorries waiting to load up onto the ferries.
City dwellers can question whether the above is true but the development of the neighbouring peninsula called Jätkäsaari is identical. So far reclaimed land from metro waste stone has reached unprecedented levels, with many hectares of new reclaimed land dumped into the sea. On the East side of this land is a huge new quay for ferries and super liners whose passengers, cars and lorries fill the roads with diesel belching traffic jams several times a day 7 days a week. Residents have no options but hold heir noses. Getting in and out as a commuter is challenging and getting worse as new giant apartment blocks are springing up faster than road capacity can handle.
The new Mayor of Helsinki, a Conservative, and his Planning Director, a Green, have decided to keep the publicly-funded budget and the environmental planning processes secret until it is almost decided leaving the paying locals in the dark.
Given the undemocratic planning process and the secrecy surrounding how our taxes are being used, one can only conclude that political change needs to occur in Helsinki. This is not the sort of transparency to which Finns are accustomed. It appears that big corporate interests (read five big construction companies and their banks) have taken over the political decision-making process, and that is not good.