Our main mission was designing an authentic and engaging development strategy that has at its core the community while also focusing on the location’s cultural heritage and identity. The Yliskyla and Laajaslalo community was at the center of our proposal. The objective was delivering an inclusive and proactive urban platform for a productive community. Laajaslalo has its identity highly connected to the “island” concept and all the attributes that define it: familiarity, community, open green spaces, waterfront accessibility now completed by connectivity to the center of Helsinki (new tram line). Our proposal aims to build upon the existing resources by embracing the community values of equality, familiarity, neighborly, outdoorsy and active people while bringing to the area the benefits of urbanization: higher densification and extended diversity of commercial, public and productive spaces. So, the real challenge was delivering a master-plan solution that emphasized the area’s core attributes and empowered the community to grow organically by embracing an urbanization strategy that was relevant to their values and vision.
The main idea was creating shared value by making sure every commercial high revenue space developed brings added social value to the community. Thus using high valued real estate as a tool of social equality and integration rather than as a social segmentation tool. All over the world, we can find examples of mixed-cities focused on short time high revenue generation (bars, hotels, offices and high end real-estate) without any real community social development efforts. Also, many shore line locations are in danger of becoming examples of social segmentation, exclusive to high end real-estate owners. We strongly believe that the local values and policies of the community are what make this location a strong candidate in becoming a best practice case of a productive and proactive bloc, a progressive core that uses natural and economical resources towards generating a developing community platform authentic to its values and heritage. Solution:Our solution for a progressive space in Yliskyla, was to reimagine the boulevard concept and restoring public space to pedestrians and cyclists by reclaiming it from the cars while also making sure fast mobility to and from the site and commercial cars are not restricted from the area.