An alternative proposal for the city plan outline has been made by an independent expert for planning residential construction in Malmi area.
The new suggestion aims to concentrate construction to areas that have better ground for foundations and are close to the existing centers of commerce or traffic, Jakomäki and Tapanila.
The Malmi neighborhood is hopelessly far away from Malmi Airport at least from a pedestrian’s point of view. The idea is not to build a new center: instead the construction will maintain and develop the present centers’ service structure. For these reasons, the strange boundary of the planning area drawn by Helsinki City Planning Department is overstepped in the northeastern corner of the area.
The building would generally consist of 8-storey closed blocks, the ground floor being commercial premises and the other 7 floors residences. Under the lid of each block’s center would be facilities supporting business activities. The construction would cover a very small area but still provide more residential floor space than the City Planning Department’s proposal, in which the construction sprawls inefficiently over a large area.
Very few new streets would need to be built, and there would be virtually no need for new parks, greens and other outdoor recreation areas, because they already exist in the immediate vicinity.
In addition, none of the important activities in the area would need to be discontinued, and Malmi Airport’s heritage value as a Built Cultural Environment of National Significance as well as its considerable nature value as the “green finger” of northeastern Helsinki would be preserved intact.
Aircraft noise is not an obstacle to building
In the plans of the architects of the City Planning Department, discontinuing the aviation activities has been justified by aircraft noise. In the present proposal, aircraft noise is no obstacle to residential building, as almost all the buildings will be outside of even the presently used 55dB noise contour based on a modelling from 2003. Back then, the most frequently flying aircraft at Malmi Airport were considerably noisier than today. Noise abatement by construction engineering solutions could also be applied.
A new noise modelling is called for in any case as planning progresses, because the presently used official noise impact area of Helsinki-Malmi Airport is of the same order of magnitude as that of the main runway of Helsinki-Vantaa International. After 2003, the operating hours and actual traffic volume have also changed from the predictions.
Update: In the course of preparing the General Plan, a realistic noise assessment for Malmi Airport was never made. In order to shed light on the actual area affected by noise, Windcraft Ltd made in 2016 a professional new noise map using the same modelling software with actual aircraft types flying at Malmi and actual amounts of traffic. Its results are available here.