Elävät kaupunkikeskukset: Kaupunkiympäristön monipuolisuus ja laatu verkostokaupungin keskuksissa

Translated title of the contribution: Vibrant Centres: Diversity and Quality of the Urban Environment in the Regional City’s Centres

Panu Söderström

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The urban structure of the Greater Helsinki area is taking a multi-nuclei form. Commuter flows are increasingly moving towards centres and locations in the city region other than the old city centre. At the same time, the housing structure is spreading into more distant and sparsely populated areas. This new kind of urban structure is more challenging to connect together as an integral part of a sustainable traffic system, in which pedestrian traffic, public transport and cycling take centre stage.

A possible strategy for promoting transit and non-motorised transport modes in the regional city would involve developing the metropolitan sub-centres as local “pedestrian pockets” – as vibrant, quality zones for pedestrian traffic with major concentrations of workplaces, services and housing mixed together. These subcentres would act as the main nodes of the regional transit system, which connects the focal points of the whole city region.

In this study, a ten-point set of criteria was created to function as a tool for assessing the diversity and quality of the urban environment in metropolitan centres. These criteria were based on a city development strategy, which promotes vibrant public spaces as a key element in pedestrian-friendly, socially functional and safe city

The study focuses on three centres in the Greater Helsinki area: Itäkeskus in Helsinki, Leppävaara in the city of Espoo and the town centre of Kerava. All of these centres are connected to central Helsinki by a frequently
operating local train or metro service, with concentrations of housing, services and workplaces around the rail stations. The results of the analyses revealed major differences in the diversity and quality of the urban
environment, both between the centres and between different parts of the centres.
Translated title of the contributionVibrant Centres: Diversity and Quality of the Urban Environment in the Regional City’s Centres
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherSuomen ympäristökeskus
Number of pages132
ISBN (Print)978-952-11-4079-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-11-4080-8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2012
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameSuomen ympäristö
PublisherSuomen ympäristökeskus SYKE
ISSN (Print)1238-7312
ISSN (Electronic)1796-1637

Fields of Science

  • 519 Social and economic geography
  • urban environment
  • urban structure
  • sub-centres
  • regional city

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