Olli Isotalo, Head of Technical and Environment Services: Jokeri Light Rail to promote sustainable urban development

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2019-05-08 10:41

The Jokeri Light Rail line is expected to have significant positive effects on Espoo’s urban development and vitality. Jokeri Light Rail will enable new housing for 22,000 Espoo residents as well as 20,000 new jobs. The Espoo City Council approved the detailed project plan for Jokeri Light Rail on 29 April 2019.

Havainnekuva: Raide-Jokerin asema Leppävaarassa

The Jokeri Light Rail station in Leppävaara. Illustration: Jokeri Light Rail

“Jokeri Light Rail continues the growth development brought to Espoo by the metro in a sustainable manner,” says Olli Isotalo, Head of Technical and Environment Services at Espoo.

While Espoo’s population is still growing rapidly, the development relating to land use has also been quicker than expected. In practice, this shows as new residential buildings, business premises, services, hotels and growth in the customer volumes of shopping centres.

According to Isotalo, experiences from the West Metro line give reason to expect that the volumes of land use development will also grow along the Jokeri Light Rail line. Espoo’s housing production goals were exceeded in 2018, and the same development will continue this year. Jokeri Light Rail will bring services, workplaces and hobbies closer to the residents in an environmentally-friendly manner.

“Espoo’s networked urban structure based on rail traffic promotes the city’s sustainable growth economically, ecologically and socially, as the services, workplaces and housing are located near good public transport connections,” Isotalo emphasises.

Rail traffic increases the attractiveness of the city

The new light rail line will interlink Espoo’s most significant high-technology employment areas: Keilaniemi, Otaniemi and Leppävaara. Jokeri Light Rail will also connect the West Metro line and the train tracks at Leppävaara, Espoo’s main railway station, into a combined system. You can travel by rail from the Jokeri Light Rail terminus in Keilaniemi all the way to the airport. You can also transfer between the metro and the light rail line in Otaniemi.

Jokeri Light Rail has boosted the revamping of Otaniemi and Keilaniemi, which are growing towards each other. Important to the competitiveness of not only Espoo but also the whole of Finland, the area houses several head offices of large listed companies as well as the internationally renowned scientific and research community of the Aalto University campus. Keilaniemi is turning into a unique seaside centre with its residential, office and hotel towers.

Jokeri Light Rail has also accelerated the construction of entirely new areas. Espoo’s all-time record in new construction projects was broken in Vermonniitty in the Leppävaara area in 2018. The new residential area of Vermonniitty is built along the Jokeri Light Rail line.