An extensive profile report by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council included three of the four most sig-nificant development corridors in Southern Finland, namely the Turku-Helsinki, Helsinki-Lahti-Kouvola and Helsinki-Kotka corridors. The report also examined the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna-Tampere corridor.

The report defined the cities where the development corridors end for the purpose of the study, but in reality the corridors continue onwards from these cities.

The Turku corridor continues across the sea to Stockholm and along the southwestern coast to Naantali, Uusikaupunki, Rauma and Pori. The Lahti region is a gateway to the Finnish Lakeland, Mikkeli and Lappeenranta, while the Kotka region is a gateway to Hamina and Kouvola and further across the border to St. Petersburg and elsewhere in Russia.

Through Helsinki, Finland is connected to Tallinn and from there to the corridor network in Europe. The development corridor in the Tampere region continues further north.

Urbanisation as a booster of a contiguous commuting area

The development corridor network of the Northern Growth Zone comprises central cities that are networked across regional boundaries, the transport corridors that link them and the functional areas formed around them which enable an extensive and diverse commuting, market and cooperation area.

The corridor networks also play a key role in the internationally expanding operating environment: The Northern Growth Zone and its development corridors are linked to international zones, including ones led by the EU, which, while typically focused on transport infrastructure, also increasingly involve different types of functional and strategic dimensions. The Northern Growth Zone is located centrally at the junction of two European TEN-T core network corridors in Finland.

In recent decades, urbanisation and the development of transport systems and services have caused rapid changes in functional areas, which is visible in many things, for example in the expansion of commuting areas across administrative borders and the increase of long commutes.

The changes in the coming decades will likely accelerate this development further, and Southern Finland will likely become one of the functional areas by the 2050s. The corridor profiles outlined for the report are intended to serve as a basis for the future development of the corridor network.

The development of the functional areas, growth zones and development corridor network is based on improving physical accessibility by developing the infrastructure, but what is also needed are more and more new ways to perceive the zones and see new drivers for projects and cooperation that is based on utilising digital technology, new forms and methods of work and mobility as a service, among other things.

Solutions are also sought for these themes in projects that are launched in the Northern Growth Zone.