Urban nature “Really exceptional” – Vanhankaupunginkoski dam to be demolished, rejoiced Jasper Pääkkönen is already attracting international attention to Helsinki

Jasper Pääkkönen has demanded that the Vanhankaupunginkoski dam be demolished in 2014.

Helsinki the urban environment board made a historic decision on tuesday when it proposed to the city government the demolition of the vanhankaupunginkoski dam.

Read more: Helsinki plans to demolish Vanhankaupunginkoski dam: “This will not be a simple process”

The future of the dam has been debated in the city’s institutions for nearly a decade. In the past, decisions have always been made in favor of maintaining the dam. Now, for the first time, natural values ​​seem to have passed the built environment of the area.

“This is a huge step in this saga,” commented actor and hiking fish activist Jasper Pääkkönen.

For years, Pääkkönen has been demanding that the Vanhankaupunginkoski dam be demolished. In an article published in 2014 Pääkkönen comments that the liberated rapids would become a wonderful landscape.

We want to demolish the Old Town Dam.

Even international Pääkkönen, who has gained a reputation as an actor, has become known to Finns as an advocate for fish and water bodies alongside big screens.

However, according to Pääkkönen, the demolition of the Old Town Dam is not just about fish, even if the fish are one of the biggest individual beneficiaries of the liberated rapids.

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“Fish are only a small part of the thing in the end. The winner would be the whole streams. The comfort of the city would also increase in one fell swoop if the dam were demolished, ”Pääkkönen describes.

The decision to demolish the dam has not yet been made. The matter is still being discussed in the Helsinki City Government and City Council, but a political majority now seems to have been found. In the board’s vote, only the Basic Finns voted in favor of maintaining the dam.

However, the situation of the dam and the impact of its demolition need to be investigated before demolition can take place.

Board The studies proposed by the Old Town are not the first to be carried out on the Old Town Dam. In 2016, surveys were carried out on the dam and the rapids, but the claims of these surveys, among other things, about the lowering of the water surface have been considered later. incomplete and partially incorrect.

According to Pääkkönen, the 2016 survey has received a lot of frost.

“False claims about toxic sediments or the drying up of the Vantaanjoki River have sparked opposition to the dam being dismantled. These allegations have also been used as weighty arguments against dismantling, ”says Pääkkönen.

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Advocates of the dam have been particularly concerned about the important nature of the area’s urban history.

Helsinki was founded in 1550 at the mouth of the Vantaanjoki River. The area’s historic buildings date back to the 19th century and are protected as a nationally significant cultural environment.

“If anyone opposes the demolition of a dam because they think a stone wall built by man more than 100 years ago is unequivocally worth preserving, then I understand that argument. It is a choice of values, ”says Pääkkönen.

However, he thought it would be important to remember that the rapids were present before the dam. The free-flowing rapids have great historical value in themselves. After all, Antoih touched the name of the capital.

But it is also about those fish. The sea trout that are already rising in the Vantaanjoki River, as well as the migratory whitefish, the rise of which has been tried to make it possible, are very endangered.

Pääkkönen is passionate about the nature of running water, which is endangered in Finland as a habitat. Finland’s flowing waters have been and continue to be threatened above all by man-made power plants and dams.

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In recent years, however, the situation of flowing water bodies has changed. In April last year, HS visited Kumiankoski, where the endangered rapids are revived by, among other things, dismantling the dam.

Read more: The demolition of the dam unleashed Kumiankoski

Tikkurila was partially demolished Tikkurilankoski dam in 2019 and so on. The dams are now being demolished all over Finland.

Pääkkönen is satisfied with the situation. According to him, the “rewilding” phenomenon that is already rampant in the world now seems to have arrived in Helsinki. Pääkkönen also sees potential in the city’s future. Rewilding refers to the principle of nature conservation, which seeks to rehabilitate natural areas that have become one-sided due to human activity.

“It’s really exceptional to have a destination in the world’s capital where a dam has destroyed bubbling rapids in the middle of the city. Even more exceptional is that it is dismantled and the rapids are released. Restoring the ecosystem is guaranteed to receive a large amount of international attention, ”says Pääkkönen.

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