- Underground space planning in Helsinki
- A. Vähäaho
- Year: 2014 , Volume: 6
- Tunneling ; Underground Structures
- This paper gives insight into the use of underground space in Helsinki, Finland. The city has an underground master plan (UMP) for its whole municipal area, not only for certain parts of the city. Further, the decision-making history of the UMP is described step-by-step. Some examples of underground space use in other cities are also given. The focus of this paper is on the sustainability issues related to urban underground space use, including its contribution to an environmentally sustainable and aesthetically acceptable landscape, anticipated structural longevity and maintaining the opportunity for urban development by future generations. Underground planning enhances overall safety and economy efficiency. The need for underground space use in city areas has grown rapidly since the 21st century; at the same time, the necessity to control construction work has also increased. The UMP of Helsinki reserves designated space for public and private utilities in various underground areas of bedrock over the long term. The plan also provides the framework for managing and controlling the city's underground construction work and allows suitable locations to be allocated for underground facilities. Tampere, the third most populated city in Finland and the biggest inland city in the Nordic countries, is also a good example of a city that is taking steps to utilise underground resources. Oulu, the capital city of northern Finland, has also started to ‘go underground’. An example of the possibility to combine two cities by an 80-km subsea tunnel is also discussed. A new fixed link would generate huge potential for the capital areas of Finland and Estonia to become a real Helsinki-Tallinn twin city.