helsinki square

Helsinki’s summertime transformation

Helsinki’s summertime transformation

The Finnish capital’s Senate Square has been turned into an open-air food court

As TheMayor.EU reported earlier in May, local authorities in the Finnish capital of Helsinki have been working on ways to transform the city and turn it more social-distancing friendly, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the solutions that were reached by local authorities was the creation of a vast open-air food court in the very heart of the Urban area that would not only protect the health of citizens but would also allow for local businesses to reopen once again, greet customers and generate revenue.

That project has now, barely a month later, come to fruition.

Making quick progress on priority objectives

Local officials were quick to find ways to both design the brand new space and to attract businesses that would be willing to take part in this “experimental solution”. Designed by Linda Bergrothin, the new look of the Senate Square features 16 restaurants, 480 seats and 16 toilets. The venue will remain open until the end of August, operating every day between 9 AM and 11 PM.

“This summer is a critical time for many entrepreneurs in Helsinki. The summer in Senate Square will not only serve the companies and residents of Helsinki, but will hopefully serve as a stimulus for the entire city centre, entrepreneurs and domestic tourism. Exceptional time and location require particularly careful planning. I believe that together we will succeed in creating a safe, exciting and communal summer oasis in the heart of the city” stated the mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori upon the unveiling of the project.

The most important aspect of the new space, however, remains the safety considerations and precautions that were taken into account during its design. The entire square complies with national coronavirus-related policies. It has been designed in such a way to allow for social distancing, it boasts a high number of disinfection points and signposts with safety instruction and, of course, there is strict monitoring of compliance with regulations.



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