I found what I thought I had lost, older pictures of Helsinki. Here, for example, are some pics of Eiran Ranta and its ads for “star homes” from 2007. This one shows Helsinki folks doing what they’ve been doing on their extensive, if rocky, shoreline for decades – grabbing some rays and relaxing. In the background you can see the rise of an exclusive piece of residential development/regeneration/renewal, very much in line with the international trend of “capturing” value from nice views and wealthy lifestyles.
Moving along a little, to the right of where the picture above was taken, is the row of older buildings from when Eira was planned and executed as a Finnish version of the garden suburb, though not really in the suburbs, just a few kilometres from the town centre but, indeed, on what would now be called “green field”, that is, previously unbuilt-on land.
Here, ladies and gentlemen, you can see what we mean in Helsinki by mansard roofs (as in my earlier post) – these things that fold in the middle as it were. Not quite the French chateau-look, but the principle is the same.
And here the adverts for the “star homes” on land that was, as most would admit, for years a bit of an eyesore, land in-between nicely manicured park and garden in Eira and the slowly emaciating harbour functions of Hernesaari. It needed something doing to it clearly, but there were more alternatives than homes for the super-rich vs. age-old eye-sore.
Exlusive is what we got (=it is not for everybody) but at least a doggy park is to be constructed next to it, and the former SLOAP (“space left over after planning”) to be landscaped for more inclusive use. The photo below is from 2009.
Inequality will, as a famous Jewish man once sort of said, always be with us. I just never thought that the super-rich would be so well catered for in this particular place. But then that’s why the news about Jätkäsaari (see yesterday’s entry) was so interesting.
And, finally, because I’m happy with the images, here, in the same place last week, a sign of our times: the secure vehicle for transporting that expensive commodity, one’s offspring.
These are couple of images of folks watching fireworks on this land, whose future is still rather obscure to too many of us.