Summer streets being built on Korkeavuorenkatu

Summer streets open up in the city centre

Today, 3 June, in Southern Helsinki, four busy streets will be transformed into verdant summer streets today. Kasarmikatu, Pieni Roobertinkatu, Korkeavuorenkatu and Erottajankatu will be places of entertainment for city residents until the end of August.

The summer streets form a uniform walking network from the Esplanade Park towards the Design Museum Square. The first section will be located on Kasarmikatu, between Eteläesplanadi and Pohjoinen Makasiinikatu. The route will continue towards Pieni Roobertinkatu and from there on to Erottaja. On Erottajankatu, one lane has been reserved for terraces and pedestrians.

From Pieni Roobertinkatu, you can easily access Iso Roobertinkatu, which is already a pedestrian street, the Design Museum Square or Korkeavuorenkatu in the south.

Summer streets will make the streets more pleasant and appealing as well as improve the selection of services

You can enjoy the summer streets and city life all the way until the end of August and play, walk, stop to see or sit about on a terrace. In the summer streets, you can also enjoy the wild urban greenery. In the streets, you can look for familiar animals in the nature of Helsinki as well as arts and culture.

“For many people, summer streets are a familiar thing elsewhere in Finland with their markets and local delicacies. Why do we need summer streets in Helsinki? The starting point for planning the summer streets has been encounters between people and city vitality. Summer streets in the Helsinki way make the locals and tourists alike enjoy the streets and services of the city centre. The growingly verdant street space invites people of all ages to enjoy the summer,” says Anni Sinnemäki, Urban Environment Division Deputy Mayor.

“Vegetation has been brought to the blazing hot stone city to improve the microclimate and to increase comfort. City residents have often requested the addition of urban greenery, and so it is great that we can fulfil these wishes. The city offers resting spots, shade and urban greenery. We have utilised structures from last year, such as wooden islets and islands. “I am inviting all city residents to enjoy the summer streets,” Sinnemäki adds.

Summer streets packed with activities

The feedback from the city residents from last summer’s summer street experiment on Kasarmikatu has been noted; children have been taken better into account than before in the summer streets. Various elements are great for building and climbing. In addition to children’s playgrounds, the summer streets offer parklet terraces of local restaurants, wooden seating areas and frame-locking bike racks.

Traffic arrangements on the summer streets will be planned to cater to pedestrians in particular. This means that there will be less traffic, and the noise caused by it, in the local streets. Vehicle access to properties and service vehicle traffic has been provided.

The summer streets and the terraces along them will also offer diverse activities during the summer. The Living Streets of Helsinki range of events invites city residents to enjoy music and performance art. The cultural programme will take place in the Summer Streets from 16 June to 25 August. Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin Goes ROOTS will bring their composition combining flamenco, Balkan spirit and Finnish poetry in front of the Design Museum and put on a fireworks show of modern rhythm music and dance to city residents on 23 June.

In July and August, we will see, among other things, the street theatre performance group Orkestar Strada, the singer-songwriter Leo Stillman as well as the street cartoonists “Secret Cartoonists”, who will be making “secret portraits” of the city residents and then give the portraits to them as a souvenir. The programme will continue throughout the summer on Thursdays from 16 June to 25 August. For more information on the events, please visit tapahtumat.hel.fi.

The summer streets are open from 3 June to 31 August. The summer streets will be dismantled starting on 31 August, after which normal traffic arrangements will again enter into force starting on 6 September.

The city aims to have summer streets every year, which supports the increase of an environment where walking is possible in the city as per the City Strategy. This will also promote walking as the primary mode of transport. The location of the summer streets may stay the same of vary; city residents and companies will participate in looking for suitable places also in the upcoming summers.

Map of the summer streets

Summer street traffic arrangements

Summer streets online

Helsinki summer events

Photo: Susa Junnola