The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Kaivopuisto

Helsinki

Finland

Contributed by 
Maija Merimaa
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
July 12, 2006
December 14, 2017

One of Helsinki's most well known parks features a walkway around the shore of the Baltic Sea and hosts many popular festivals and events.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Kaivopuisto is one of the oldest and best known parks in central Helsinki. It is located by the baltic Sea in a quiet, wealthy neighborhood. The park offers several hectares of parkland, both on flat ground, and on cliffs. An essential part of the park is also a road and path that goes around the park by the sea shore. The length is approximately 3 miles. The road consists of a peaceful traffic lane, a bicycle lane and a pedestrian walkway. Along the route there are ice cream stands and cafeterias, and within the park there is a restaurant/nightclub.

Access & Linkages

Kaivopuisto is located in the southern part of Helsinki. Although it is in a central area, it is also a bit distant from the busy downtown, in a more quiet neighborhood. It is still within walking distance of the center of the city. The beautiful roadway along the sea joins the park to market square and Esplanadi Park. Those who donÍt want to walk, bike or roller skate, can take tram.

Comfort & Image

Kaivopuisto is well maintained, and clean. It feels safe, and the cliffs offer a nice view to the sea, which is also beautiful at night. Vehicles are not allowed to enter the park, and the traffic along the road by the shore is also very calm, and easy to ignore while watching the sea.

Uses & Activities

Kaivopuisto has a playground for children, chess games that are mainly used by the elderly, and bunji jumping, which attracts young people. Roller skates and jumping shoes can be rented from the park. On May Day thousands of students gather to picnic in Kaivopuisto, and once or twice every summer a free outdoor concert is held in the park. One of the more peculiar uses the park offers are piers for washing carpets; on a sunny summer day, Helsinkians drive to the piers, and wash their carpets in the sea. During the winter people come sledging, and despite the limits of Finnish weather the pedestrian walkway along the shore is popular place to stroll around the year.

Sociability

Especially during the special events _ concerts, May Day picnic and special winter carnival for sledging _ Kaivopuisto is social place, where people come with their friends. Otherwise, people come both by themselves and with friends. People by themselves might be jogging or walking their dogs, or just relaxing among the groups of people.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Kaivopuisto
This image © Hugovk, www.flickr.com/photos/hugovk
Kaivopuisto
Sledging in Kaivopuisto. This image © Guardian Newspapers Unlimited
Kaivopuisto
This image © Photo Guide www.photoguide.to
Kaivopuisto
This image © Photo Guide www.photoguide.to
Kaivopuisto
Kaivopuisto
Kaivopuisto
Kaivopuisto

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
Comments
Related Articles & Resources

More Related Articles

The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design