The 50th Housing Fair will open its gates to the public in Tuusula on 3 August. This year, the fair will focus on safety above all else. A new system for monitoring visitor flows has been introduced, along with the timed entry. This will ensure that visitors have plenty of room to move freely and easily around the eight-hectare Regiment Park, which is home to 33 exhibits and about a hundred other visitor points.
“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome visitors to the Housing Fair in Regiment Park. The exceptional circumstances have posed numerous challenges for everyone – builders, exhibitors and partners alike. Firstly, it was necessary to postpone the event for a month in order to create a brand-new kind of safe visitor experience,” says Anna Tapio, CEO of the Housing Fair Finland Co-op, about the situation in the spring and early summer.
“This is the third time that the Housing Fair has been held in Tuusula, and this year we’re exhibiting a versatile art of living in the village city of the future, where ecology and sustainable choices are as evident as comfort and community. We have the honour to present an inspiring and pioneering fair on this, our 50th anniversary. The first-ever Housing Fair was held in 1970, right here in Tuusula,” says Tapio.
Safety arrangements for a smooth visit
Due to the coronavirus, the Housing Fair’s safety standards have been raised to a whole new level. A safety plan has been drawn up in close cooperation with health and safety authorities.
“The safety plan for this year’s fair will ensure a smoothly running event in which everyone will have enough space to explore the grounds and enjoy themselves. There will be guidance for visitors to ensure that everyone feels safe while walking around the area and visiting the exhibits,” says Heikki Vuorenpää, who is both the fair’s safety manager and the operative director of the Housing Fair Finland Co-op.
“We require all those working in the exhibition grounds to complete safety training so that they can proactively provide visitors with guidance. We’ll also be guiding visitors along pre-planned routes at a safe distance, both in general public spaces and within the exhibits,” says Vuorenpää. Entry tickets must be purchased online in advance.
The village city of the future highlights community and sustainability
Tuusula’s Regiment Park began with a vision of the village city of the future, which combines various types of housing with a strong sense of community that makes everyone feel at home. The August Housing Fair will present a neighbourhood that is densely populated yet still very close to nature, along with a wide range of different living solutions.
“Visitors will be able to explore low-rise urban homes built on small plots. For the first time in the Housing Fair’s history, there will also be some townhouses for even greater diversity. We’ve also built some apartment buildings in the exhibition grounds, complete with brand-new housing services,” says Riikka Uusikulku, who is the project manager for the Tuusula Housing Fair.
The village city also has a strong sense of community, which can be seen in features such as communal yard saunas, remote working areas, plaza-like streets and allotments. At the centre, there’s a quarter shared by children and seniors, providing both a daycare centre and housing for senior citizens.
Along the perimeter of the grounds, you’ll find a park where residents can meet in their spare time, either for hobbies or just to hang out. The area also has its own art programme, and both the Municipality of Tuusula and the fair’s producers/builders have contributed to the kitty.
The Regiment Park neighbourhood has been built to be sustainable in many ways. The exhibition grounds are located near good public transport connections and within easy reach of services in Tuusula city centre.
“We’ve paid special attention to energy solutions from the outset, and many exhibits harness wind, solar or geothermal energy. There are plenty of wooden buildings, and sustainability is also reflected in other material choices. Carbon footprints and handprints have been calculated for all of the exhibits,” says Uusikulku.
Housing Fair kick-off for the Regiment Park neighbourhood
The construction project has taken five years, during which time the Housing Fair Finland Co-op and the Municipality of Tuusula have been working in close cooperation.
The exhibition grounds will act as a launch-pad for developing the whole of Regiment Park, which will eventually be home to up to 15,000 residents. Construction of a second village city next door to the exhibition grounds will begin in the near future. It is one of the largest area construction projects in the Helsinki region.
“Hyrylä’s services are already available to those moving into Regiment Park. You’ll find all kinds of services within walking distance, such as shops, a library, a swimming pool, and a sports centre that promises to be one of the best in Uusimaa. The neighbourhood will also be getting new services, such as a school campus, daycare centres and care home for senior citizens. This neighbourhood combines the best of both worlds: good services with nature on your doorstep”, says Mayor Arto Lindberg.
Living Ideals in Finland 2020 study
In honour of the fair’s anniversary, Housing Fair Finland commissioned Living Ideals in Finland 2020, a study of ideals, requirements and desires relating to housing. The study was carried out with a multidisciplinary approach that was able to delve deep into the factors that shape people’s living ideals and understanding of their homes.
The researchers visited about 40 homes and interviewed about 1,400 Finns. These visits were made during the spring, just before the coronavirus restrictions came into force, and the interviews were carried out during them.
“If Finns could choose, they would live in a home that is spacious enough for different activities to have their own dedicated rooms. Although some of the research was carried out before the coronavirus restrictions came into effect, telecommuters already wished they had a separate room to work in. Half of the men would like their own hobby room. And half of all respondents dreamed of having a separate kitchen instead of an open kitchen – and felt that a utility room is important, too,” says Anne Pallaste Director, Foresight, Insight & Experience at Housing Fair Finland.
Although respondents were generally concerned about the state of the environment, they weren’t so keen to compromise on their own comfort. It was hoped that technology would solve sustainability challenges.
“This challenges us, as industry operators: how can we promote sustainable choices in, for example, materials and energy solutions, while also making these choices as easy as possible?”
Finns want to live in a peaceful environment close to nature and nature trails. A tranquil environment is particularly important for families with children. Access to services is naturally important as well, and all these characteristics are easiest to achieve in low-rise neighbourhoods on the outskirts of a city.
A detached home is the most popular housing choice, as it enables you to be close to nature and gives you the freedom to realise your dreams and give your home that personal touch. An apartment was the ideal home for about a quarter of respondents. This group included slightly older respondents who appreciate the ease of apartment living.
“The things that people hope for in a home reflect an investment in wellbeing. They want a quiet place to relax and recharge – a safe harbour,” says Pallaste.
“The biggest change in fifty years has been a greater focus on individuality. Homes and yards reflect their owner’s lifestyle, and this can also be seen in the choices made by the residents and designers of Regiment Park.”
The Housing Fair will be held in Tuusula on 3–30 August 2020. The Housing Fair will be open every day, 12–8 pm on weekdays and 10 am-6 pm at weekends, with late opening until 10 pm on 21 August.