Facing the open sea, the urban Jätkäsaari is a magnificent place to live in. In a very short time, the district has developed a very welcoming atmosphere. People are friendly, the services are diverse and the architecture is distinct and colourful. We residents are eagerly awaiting the completion of the Hyväntoivonpuisto (Park of Good Hope), which will cut across the whole residential zone. It will serve to build up the communal vibe even further as a green oasis with outdoor sports facilities, dog parks, and lawn areas. My favourite spot is the shore bank of Saukonpaasi right at the tip of Jätkäsaari with its amazing views of the sunset.
Jätkäsaari is situated on the southwestern tip of central Helsinki facing the open sea. The area used to host a cargo port and was later turned into a new residential area. The Jätkäsaari complex is scheduled to be completed by 2030. It will eventually house 18,000 residents and have business space for 6,000 office workers.
In 1865, the official number of permanent residents in the area was only 20 or so living in little cabins. The island was a summer villa haven for society, as well as a recreational spot for Helsinkians. By today's standards, the villas on the island more closely resembled humble summer cottages. The construction of the port began in 1913 and the island was joined to the mainland by a bridge wide enough for a railway track. The port traffic was the busiest in Helsinki from the 1960s onwards. In 2008, the freight traffic was relocated to the Vuosaari harbour on the eastern side of the city, and construction began on the new residential area.
The Jätkäsaari of the future will be a melting pot of diverse services, independent shops, as well as plentiful, efficient tram routes, bike lanes, and pedestrian walkways. The area will be around 100 hectares in size, of which one fifth will be green space. The main reason to visit Jätkäsaari now is the busy passenger port of the West Harbour, which has ferry connections to both Tallinn and Saint Petersburg. The old harbour service structure Huutokonttori functions as an info centre and library, and the 16-story Clarion Hotel Helsinki has a rooftop view overlooking the city. Uusi Sauna in Jätkäsaari is a modern neighbourhood sauna, a combination of a public sauna and a restaurant. The disused old harbour railway has been converted into a bike lane called Baana that quickly takes bikers to the very centre of the city.