If anyone can shed light on this weird story, do please let us know.
There have been a few news items recently (here in pay-to-read HS) about a spat in the City Council over parking spaces. Representatives of Kokoomus (whose supporters generally like big cars) are unhappy that representatives of the Greens (whose supporters profess to dislike all cars) appear to be gaining unfair advantage in Jätkäsaari. Bizarrely enough, we know now what cars they all drive (or don’t)!
Jätkäsaari is one of New Helsinki’s building sites now. It used to be a place folks went to swim and hang out. Then it became harbour. Then it became container harbour. Then it became a field of concrete before the builders arrived.
The City is plugging the reasonable idea that Jätkäsaari lends itself to particularly environment-friendly living. One of the buildings will be Sitra’s Low2No project. Another is a communal block being built by the Hem i Stan association for their own needs. As the article in Helsingin Energia’s recent newsletter pdf put it:
Rakentamisen periaatteina ovat yhteisöllisyys, ekologisuus
ja esteettömyys. Yhteisiä tiloja rakennetaan tuplasti sen
verran kuin kerrostaloihin yleensä.
– Kattoterassi ja sauna, pesula, juhlasali ja suurtalouskeittiö
astioineen asukkaiden yhteisiä tai kunkin omia tilaisuuksia
varten, yhteinen olohuone…
The principles of the building are community, environmentalism and access. There’ll be twice as many communal spaces as in an ordinary block of flats.
– A roofterrace, sauna, laundry room, banquet room [juhlasali, anyone?] with a large kitchen so residents can organise shared or even private parties, shared living room…
Sounds great! And since these people have taken on board the hype about green Jätkäsaari being near public transport links, they feel they can survive with fewer cars.
And how this pisses others off!! And the others may yet force the builders to add a million Euro to the budget and remove 22 parking spaces worth of scarce resource to meet Helsinki’s building standards. Legally.
What we don’t understand is how this became a party-political thing. Except that, unsurprisingly, some of the folks involved and due to own property here, happen to be Green politicians. Good for them, say we.
Besides, we had always thought that parking standards are about reducing car-dependency, as it puts a strain on shared resources. But it seems in Helsinki parking standards don’t set maximums but minimums.
The only legal or regulatory info we found was from Finlex, Finnish law. The statutes, from 1958, stipulates that enough (not specified) space must be provided for private vehicles.