High-Rising Dreams

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Eija Hasu & Aija Staffans

Constructing ever taller buildings is an attempt to endorse urban densification and to diversify the supply of housing. But it can also be seen as an attempt to promote the different dimensions of sustainable development, and this is the case both in Finland and abroad. However, in spite of the increase in research on sustainability and high-rise building, studies of residential expectations in this particular setting are scarce. In this article, we examine the encounter between urban planning and residents’ expectations. Recent studies conducted by a Finnish construction company planning tower blocks in the Helsinki Region reveal the basis on which the potential inhabitants of the high-rise housing place their expectations. The results indicate that the inhabitants are more interested in the apartment and the views than in the shared spaces in the building or the services offered in the neighbourhood. As a result, we conclude that even though the tower blocks are connected to the expectations of liveability and sustainability, the expectations of the potential inhabitants or the current planning documents do not support the realisation of these goals.
Keywords: high-rise buildings, tower blocks, sustainability, social sustainability, liveability, residential profiles

Eija Hasu

maisema-arkkitehti, KTM, tohtorikoulutettava, Aalto yliopisto, arkkitehtuurin laitos