Rich Nearby nature has always been an important factor in Helsinki’s comfort. City decision-makers assure that there is room for compaction construction. What is overlooked, however, is how much the operating pressure from thousands of new residents is changing the nature of green spaces. As the number of users of nearby forests increases, consumption increases and is reflected in the landscape: the trails widen, the terrain wears out, the species becomes one-sided. Those who have lived in the city for a long time notice a change, for example, in Mustikkamaa after the construction of the Isoisänsilla or in the Viikki-Vanhankaupunginlahti nature reserve. In terms of terrain and animals, there is a huge difference in whether there are five hundred or five thousand users on a forest plot.
If new green spaces are not reserved for new residents, the rehabilitation and protection of old ones must be strengthened. Decision-makers need to be able to justify how areas can withstand increasing operating pressures. Helsinki desperately needs a holistic view of the development of urban nature. Current urban planning seems to the layman’s eyes that the only value of green spaces is to serve as a resource for construction, gnawing away at the area and decision at a time.
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