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FRONT / OPINION

OPINION

Coastal connection Adapting and opening up urban harbours to contemporary needs is vital to improving resilience and wellbeing, says Hanna Harris

ABOVE Makasiiniranta South Harbour in Helsinki

ABOVE RIGHT Ice swimming at the Helsinki ‘s Löyly sauna

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WHEN I MOVED from London back to Helsinki some years ago, one thing was clear: I wanted to live within walking distance of the sea. Located on a peninsula and surrounded by the sea from three directions, being in Helsinki just made sense. Here, everyone lives less than 10km from the sea, and it plays a significant role in daily life, from swimming to travelling across the city’s archipelago. The connection to the sea and marine areas is a crucial characteristic and benefit of life in Helsinki, a life that builds on the city’s harbour history.

Over the past 15 years, the City of Helsinki has gradually transformed several of its formerly industrial harbour areas into new residential neighbourhoods. Today, we are in the process of turning one of the last remaining city-centre shorelines – Makasiiniranta at South Harbour, which is currently cut off from public access IMAG E S

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