Four years ago, a group of Turku officials threw a wild idea: even more beaches could be set up in the center of Turku, downstream of the Aura River. The working group had been tasked with preparing general principles for the use of the banks of the Aura River. According to a study, a pop-up beach could be set up in Varvintori, for example. A more permanent beach could be built at the end of the dock.
An extensive memorandum from the officials was approved by the city government as a guideline for the future development of the Aura River. However, the idea of urban beaches spilled into the sand and was forgotten.
Now pounding The Aura River has a topical idea again. Turku is due to find out possible places for new beaches by the end of the year. Already at this stage, the possibilities of the Shipyard area as a beach have been considered, says Merellinen Turku project manager Mervi Lehto.
“A master plan is being drawn up for the use of the dock shore, and discussions have also begun on the use of the shore. That’s a great area and people have already voluntarily used it for recreation. ”
He does not knock out Varvintoria directly, but reminds that no investigation is underway.
“I have talked to museum people and historically there have been various bathing places in Aurajoki.”
An architect who once led a group of officials Mika Rajala estimates that the sandy beach would still be easy to organize, but the occupancy rate of the market has risen sharply in a few years.
“Temporary sand cover and sun loungers would certainly be taken there quickly. But then [vuonna 2018] Varvintori was freer, I don’t know about the current booking situation. In addition, the Sigyn ship has now returned to its place and is floating in front of the market. ”
For a long time, two floating spas have also been planned downstream of the Aura River. Both the Cultural River Ferry and the Vulcan Spa project have been quiet for a couple of years, but at least the former is about to jerk forward.
Coming the original impetus for the beach survey has long been the controversy over the water park planned for Ispoisten beach.
Suomen Vesipuistot Oy from Rovaniemi would like to rent a place for a floating water park in Turku. The Urban Environment Board cranked out the project a year ago. The majority of the board thinks that the beach in Ispoinen is already narrow. Next, a place was sought for the park elsewhere. No such was found, so the matter was returned to the board at the beginning of the year. And we stopped again. In February, however, Chief of Staff Tuomas Heikkinen took the project to the city government for conciliation.
According to the decision, the water park will be turned into a place in Ispois or somewhere else from 2023. At the request of the Greens, it was decided to start looking for places for new beaches and an entire water sports center.
When officials are considering locations for the water park last year, the Aura River wasn’t really even considered, says the site manager Essi Korpela.
“Aura River is a special area in the sense that nothing is placed there without a competition,” he points out.
According to Korpela, swimming pool ideas have been circulated upstream of the river, north of the current railway bridge, but there would be no waterway there. According to the water park company, the water depth must be at least two meters, preferably three and a half, in order for a diving tower to be connected to the track. There is too little water upstream.
“At the moment, you can only go there by canoe, because there is probably no dredging for ages,” says Korpela, and reminds us that a new pedestrian and cycling bridge in Raunistula will soon be built in the same places.
In the dock shore, the water depth would be enough for the water park, but according to Mervi Lehto, due to the currents and busy water traffic, the place is not suitable for a floating bouncy castle.
Its own question is also whether the turbid brown water of the Aura River is suitable for swimming at all. According to some studies, the water in the river today has a better reputation, but not really excellent.
“It is said that certainly the water quality in the river every day is not good enough for swimming. But it’s not even on the shores of Ispoinen, ”Lehto says.
He estimates that the construction of a bathing area in the Shipyard would at least require the removal of the reedbed, but otherwise the work would not be immense. However, Lehto does not dare to speculate on the schedule.
“Now I dare not say whether it will ever become an official beach, but it will certainly continue to be used as a beach resort.”
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