Turku National Urban Park
Turku National Urban Park is the prestigious core of the city’s recreation areas, and it extends some 15 kilometres from Airisto to Kylämäki Village of Living History. The heart of the park is the River Aura milieu. The urban park areas reach from Kylämäki Village and the cultural landscape of the River Aura through the Student Village, the old City Centre of Turku, the Chiewitz switchback and former Kakola central prison all the way to Ruissalo island.
The decision about establishing Turku National Urban Park was made in June 2013. The Turku national urban park is based on Turku’s historical status as the oldest city in Finland, a Baltic harbour city and a centre of administration, church, sciences, commerce and industry.
What is a national urban park?
National urban parks are a network of valued urban landscapes that cover areas that are deemed essential for urban culture and nature. In the Turku National Urban Park, many nationally valuable sites of architectural significance and other important public spaces surround this green lung that reaches into the heart of the city centre. A maintenance and utilisation plan has been drawn up in order to further develop the park area and to protect the values behind it.
Turku National Urban Park is the sixth national urban park in Finland. National urban parks are jointly founded by the cities in question and the Ministry of the Environment. The objectives of national urban parks are defined in the Land Use and Building Act. The Ministry of the Environment has set four requirements for urban parks regarding their area, their extent and entirety, ecology, continuity and urban location.
In addition to Turku National Urban Park there are nine other national urban parks in Finland: Hämeenlinna, Heinola, Pori, Hanko, Porvoo, Kotka, Forssa, Kuopio and Kokkola. The first national urban park in the world was established in 1995 in Stockholm.