Underground master plan of Helsinki
Underground master plan of Helsinki is well-known project of complex use of underground space. This remarkable master plan, being first of the kind in the world, demonstrates successful example of favourable geological conditions usage. Being restricted by the seashore in its growth Helsinki wisely relocated underground parking, serving tunnels, bus central station, coal storages in order to make Helsinki center more comfortable for its citizens.
The underground master plan was designed to manage all the construction below the city surface, significantly increased there. And the city uses it to enlarge pedestrian zones by placing service traffic underground in the center. This problem having been solved, engineers went further with planning of relocating plants and waste treatment facilities underground. New office and civil buildings will be constructed instead with parks and pedestrian zones around.
And more traffic goes underground the city according to the plan. With already completed projects of placing underground bus tunnel and two major bus terminals in Kamppi in 2005 and tunnel for service traffic, more minor tunnels, there are several new projects under construction.
Tunnel for service traffic and several underground parking places nearby changed the face of the city dramatically making main trade street more like pedestrian zone and leaving it without lots of parked vans, lorries and private automobiles. Bus terminals being underground are safe for environment. Still located in the very heart of the city huge platforms invisible and does not produce a usual smog. Citizens and guests appreciate this project and it should be a great example for decision makers all over the world as an example of a great step to the sustainable future.
Future projects include metro lines extension to Espoo (already started), with 8 new station being planned. The construction was started in 2009 and will be finished in 2015. Also construction of a bus tunnel under Central Park is planned to start in 2014. Some quite long tunnels for rail connection also are considered to be planned in the nearest future. Road and street tunnels are at different stages of being approved at the moment but generally citizens may expect soon less traffic in the centers of different districts with main transport arteries placed underground for environmental benefit and in favour of pedestrian zones.
The underground master plan of Helsinki prepared by best Finnish engineers keeps increased construction under control by defining special areas for different type of construction. Underground reservations and existing facilities/tunnels have been divided into the following categories on the basis of their main purpose:
1. Community technical systems
2. Traffic and parking
3. Maintenance and storage
4. Services and administration
5. Unnamed rock resource (does not yet have a designated purpose)
Underground Master Plan of Helsinki is to reserve designated space for public utilities and important private utilities in various underground areas.