Savilahti – the Future Lives Here
Savilahti provides a platform for growth, development, experimentation and inspiring living by a beautiful lake, at the heart of the city. This new and unique neighbourhood responds to our future needs for living, working and communicating.
Savilahti brings together living, studying, working and leisure time in a unique way. It is a place where people get to live close to their jobs and nature, and at the same time be local and global, urban and ecological, and to be an individual yet a part of a community.
Around 15,000 experts from various fields will work in Savilahti, and the number of students in the area will be the same. The area will also provide around 8,000 Kuopio inhabitants with their new homes.
Savilahti is one of Kuopio’s priorities corresponding to the city’s growth targets and aims for serving as a capital for a good life. The development of the area is based on the city’s strengths: competence, communality, and closeness to nature.
– Kuopio needs new inhabitants, students and jobs to attract growth. Savilahti is the city’s most important future project, bringing together strategic priorities, namely growth, wellbeing, resource wisdom and renewal, says Strategy Director Sirpa Lätti-Hyvönen.
AN ENVIRONMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND EXPERIMENTATION
Savilahti will be a communal and ecological neighbourhood where people live, exercise and consume wisely.
This opens up new opportunities for urban planning and the development of communal services. The neighbourhood will serve as a platform for a culture of experimentation used to develop and test various things, such as different housing, transport and sustainable development solutions.
According to Project Director Antti Niskanen, developing the new solutions will be always based on user demands, namely what the people and companies in Savilahti actually need. While smart technology and data will also be harnessed in this development, these stay out of sight in people’s daily lives.
New, innovative solutions are already under planning and construction. The future solutions include cooling down properties using water from the nearby lake and enabling residents to look for a free parking space with an e-service. The aim is that every solution used will improve people’s wellbeing, smoothness of daily life and a community spirit while creating new business.
– Key ideas in the development work include communal and ecological aspects. For instance, an important question in developing solutions for mobility concerns how joining living, work and leisure time in the area is going to influence the way people move between places and whether they will give up their cars, Niskanen says.
Savilahti is not only an inspiring environment, but also an internationally attractive learning and innovation hub. Key agents include the Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Savo Vo-cational College, and various research institutes. Strong areas of expertise include health and wellbeing, cleantech and applied physics.
The high, internationally recognised expertise and available networks in Savilahti provide both startups and large corporations with an interesting operating environment full of opportunities.
When it comes to innovation and business, a lot is already going on in Savilahti. Hundreds of companies with worldclass competence are operating in the area. One inspiring example is Kuopio Health, a company advancing research and business in health operating with a network-like approach.
– Savilahti is an environment whose operators know each other and are engaged in close cooperation. We are certain that new innovations and business will emerge here, and this will attract more new companies and experts from Finland and abroad to the area, Sirpa Lätti-Hyvönen believes.
In Savilahti, open space solutions will also be used to support collaboration between companies and people, serving as a natural meeting place. These encounters will create partnerships and networks – a fruitful ground for new competence.
Right from the get-go, collaboration and partnerships have served as an important premise for developing Savilahti. This has involved sharing information and asking for opinions from various agents, students and others interested in the matter from the very start of the planning process.
– People have been extremely interested in making this our common cause. As a result, commitment to the issue has been broad, Antti Niskanen notes.
ANNUAL JOURNAL OF THE CITY OF KUOPIO: Kuopio by Nature (pdf)