The Kera component master plan was on the Espoo City Planning Committee agenda on Wednesday 16 November 2016.
Kera set for sustainable growth
The plan for Kera is to create a climate-friendly, bustling neighbourhood that will attract new business activity thanks to its highly competitive transport links. Kera station sits at the very centre of the 230-hectare component master plan area. Previously an industrial area, under the new plans it will be transformed into a diverse new neighbourhood for living and working that stretches from Kauniainen to Leppävaara. The area’s residential properties are expected to consist largely of flatted developments.
Kera – ”the 20-minute neighbourhood”
The new pedestrian centre in the vicinity of Kera station will feature high-density, effectively designed developments allowing residents easy access to shops and other important amenities both on foot and by bike. As Kera will be a densely built area, it will take residents just 20 minutes to cover the distance from the residential areas to the centre on foot. Cyclists will be able to reach Leppävaara and Kauniainen, Tapiola and Espoo Centre in the same amount of time. Overall, Kera will be both easy to get to and easy to get around. It will also be possible to reach the entire Helsinki metropolitan area by train.
In addition to Kera, the component master plan also comprises the areas of Karamalmi and Nihtisilta. Under the plans, the area is due to provide housing for at least 14,000 residents along with some 10,000 jobs. Pekka Vikkula, Project Director at the City of Espoo’s Technical and Environment Services, commented: “Kera offers absolutely first rate potential. It will be possible to create a brand new ”Kera Valley” residential area complete with local services. It will be centred on Kera station, between the new Karamalmi business area, which is currently undergoing rapid development, and Nihtisilta. The area is already home to a number of businesses that have been closely involved in planning the future developments. Thanks to the excellent public transport links, we will be able to pursue high-density urban development, particularly in the immediate vicinity of the station, where we will really focus on catering for pedestrians and cyclists.”
New local park and fantastic recreational opportunities
If the Kera area is to be transformed into a new home for thousands of people, it also calls for the creation of sensibly-designed and well-connected outdoor recreation, cycling and walking routes. Existing natural forests will be retained and all planning measures will take into account key flying squirrel habitats and routes.
“What we have here is a truly unique opportunity for development within the Greater Helsinki area. We have the chance to design truly inspiring and sustainable residential solutions fit for a new era. At Kera, we can create a co-ordinated and holistic new neighbourhood centered on the station that also features urban parkland and a comprehensive range of services and amenities. All the public outdoor spaces will be designed so that they can serve as recreational links between the centre of Kera, Leppävaara Sports Park and Espoo Central Park,” explained Ville Ahvikko, Urban Planner at the City of Espoo.
Industrial romanticism and the new circular economy
The many layers of Kera’s heritage remain very much in evidence to this day and speak volumes about the area’s history. The Kutojantie area in Nihtisilta in particular is a place where old industrial romanticism and the new circular economy come together. The former industrial buildings offer endless potential for new development.
The Kera component master plan area is located between Kilo and Kauniainen. The area is bounded to the north by vanha Turuntie (Old Turku Road), to the south by Turunväylä and to the west by the Ring II motorway.