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Finally, a piece of construction worthy of praise

February 8, 2008
I remember running across an article in Helsingin Sanomat’s International (online) edition awhile back, that some European agency was criticizing the capital region for its unsustainable pace of construction. A search in the HS archives revealed nothing unfortunately. I like to back up my arguments with facts – but you’ll just have to take my word for it this time. And it’s true… spend any time driving around the capital area and you’ll see dozens of new apartment buildings, row houses and single-family dwellings being built all over the place. On top of that, new schools, office buildings and shopping centres are appearing on the landscape as well. I never believed that the pace of growth is so high in the Helsinki area to warrant all of this construction, it’s just unbelievable. Then again, I come from a town in northern Ontario that has always fought for its survival, it hasn’t grown in years.
 
Here in Espoo, the next big project is the development of the Suurpelto area beside ring II, which has already started. Supposedly houses and related infrastructure will be built for some 10,000 people over the next few years. I just wonder whether the road infrastructure will also be developed to accommodate all of these cars that will be on the road… Closer to my home there is talk of residential development for some 10-15,000 people over the next few years. As it is the line-up of traffic heading in to Helsinki every morning is getting worse and worse. The Mr. insists on driving and public transit is way faster… but don’t get me started on that…
 
Anyhow, what is worthy of praise is a new extension to the park trail system in Espoo. The 1.8 km extension is lit and offers a safe way to cross Finnontie in the form of a gigantic culvert. The result is a uniting of the Latokaski trail system with the Espoo central park trail system, from which you can get all the way out to Oittaa, Pirttimäki, Solvalla and Nuuksio. Mind you, you may have to cross a few roads to get there… It is worthy of checking out if you like being in the bush. The extension cost some 500,000 EUR (with excerpts from Liikkuva Espoo Talvi 2007-2008, Espoo’s sport newspaper, 100,000 copies published twice a year, I believe)
 
For more on "moving around" in Espoo, see www.espoo.fi/liikunta (click English), though the Finnish pages have way more information.
 
And for more on the extensive trail system in the capital area see this article from Helsingin Sanomat International
http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Nearly+700+kilometres+of+ski-tracks+in+Greater+Helsinki+area+/1135218150397
 
culvert new_trail new_trail2
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