The Helsinki City Board resolved on 9 December to allot plots for the realisation of three new projects as part of the Re-thinking Urban Housing programme. In sum, these projects will produce 274 housing units.
The EXCESS Plus-Energy House project in the Kalasatama neighbourhood’s Työpajanpiha is set to be realised through the Hitas system for owner-occupied flats. The EXCESS project involves 21 parties from eight countries. It it is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. The four-year project aims at proving the feasibility of transition from low-energy houses to Plus-Energy Houses. A Plus-Energy House is a building that on an annual basis generates more energy than it uses. The project entails the execution of four pilot projects in four different European climate zones.
The other two Re-thinking Urban Housing projects comprise building society housing that will make use of a loan with a 20-year guarantee provided by the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA).
The Village Co-Living + LiM (Living in Metropolises) project in the northern part of Verkkosaari in the Kalasatama neighbourhood is due to produce reasonably priced community living. Village Co-Living, being a Helsinkian community with expertise knowledge in commynity living, and LiM, which is a Europe-wide specialist in affordable and sustainable housing, have forged a partnership to solve the challenge of expensiveness and loneliness in housing. The project’s target group appreciates affordable rents, the support of the community in day-to-day affairs, high-quality premises tailor-made for the community and the opportunity to influence the community’s decision-making.
The Circular City Village in Jätkäsaari involves a project that will promote the construction of ecological and community living. City Village CO-10 is a sustainable development start-up company that develops solutions for the construction of ecological and community living. The Circular City Village is based on the concept of urban community living developed by a British eco-property developer and a Finnish developer and producer of community living. At issue is a community block of flats that will be planned, constructed and inhabited in accordance with ten principles of sustainable urban housing (CO-10). In realising the concept for the block, the intention is to utilise the lessons learned from the One Brighton project (Brighton 2010–2012) and the Generations Block (Jätkäsaari in Helsinki 2017). Circular economy during the construction phase and industrial timber construction in exacting maritime conditions are among the development themes of the Re-thinking Urban Housing programme.
Helsinki’s Re-thinking Urban Housing programme aims at improving the quality and appeal of flat housing and at enabling customised solutions through collaboration. The construction of the rapidly growing city rests on an increasingly dense urban structure and good public transport arrangements. 86 per cent of housing units in Helsinki are located in blocks of flats. The programme provides developers with the opportunity to try new things and receive valuable guidance from municipal experts for their development efforts. For residents, the programme creates new housing alternatives and examples of how to improve the quality of flat housing.