Sports facility network update plan

Turku makes everyone move – Future policies for developing the sports facilities network and the sports culture

In the coming years, the City of Turku's sports facility network will have significant update needs, as several central and popular sports facilities reach the end of their life cycle. Additionally, the renovations and changes in the school network reduce the number of gyms and outdoor fields, making it more difficult to implement school sports and the activities of sports clubs. For this reason, Turku has started working on a sports facility network update plan in autumn 2019. The plan is an update to the exercise facility network report published in 2016.

Planning of the sports facility network

Turku has nearly 400 municipal sports facilities. The extensive and ageing network requires maintenance and updates in many respects, and the annual appropriations are not enough to implement everything. In the coming years, the sports facility network will have significant update needs, as several large, central, and popular sports facilities reach the end of their life cycle. The largest targets and entities with an uncertain future:

In addition to the core targets, the planned and sudden renovations of the school network reduce the network of sports facilities and will continue to do so in the future, as the indoor and outdoor sports facilities connected to the schools will be out of order either entirely or for several years. The network of school gyms has decreased due to changes and structural reforms in 2015–2021, as nine gyms have been decommissioned. In 2022–2029, eight more will be retired because of renovations. These gym facilities must be replaced with new sports facilities. This significantly hinders the implementation of school sports and the activities of sports clubs.

In addition to the core targets mentioned above, the sports facilities network also contains other entities and individual sites that need to be examined and updated in the coming years. The ageing of Turku residents, the growing differences in individual wellbeing and physical activity, and the decrease in everyday physical activity also increase the development needs of the sports facilities network. Additionally, the city's sports subsidies and allowances need to be updated, as Turku wants to recognise enthusiasts of different sports and the users of sports facilities more equally than before.

The sports facility network plan is an update to the Sports Facility Plan 2029 service network report published in 2016.

Objectives of the sports facility network plan

Increase movement by consulting users and creating a broader and more versatile network of sports facilities suitable for independent and guided physical activity. The network will be built, updated, and maintained in cooperation with different actors (public, private, and third sector).

A new assistance model will be created

  • to better encourage the creation of private sports facilities
  • to activate and encourage especially children and young people to exercise independently and in guided activities
  • to support sports clubs in an equal, motivating manner and to support their competence to increase the physical activity of Turku residents, and to promote sports and physical activity

Schedule for development work

Phase 1autumn 2021

  • The main guidelines for updating and developing the sports facility network will be created and decided on. They will be introduced at the beginning of 2023.

Phase 2autumn 2022

  • A new assistance and pricing model will be decided on. It will be introduced at the beginning of 2024, considering the entire system of support for physical activity environments, activities, and competence.

Proposed policies for developing the sports facility network

The policies below are proposals that have not yet been decided. The policies are presented to the City Board and the City Council, which will decide on the development policies of the sports facilities network.

  • The relevant sports facilities will be marked on the city's investment lists or, alternatively, the necessary rental or assistance appropriations for the facilities in question will be taken into account, depending on the implementation method of the project. As the space requirement studies and project plans progress, the future plans for the sports facilities will be clarified in detail. For each site, the best form of investment, construction, and management as well as the sufficient resources to maintain the sports facility will be examined.
  • Sports facilities that support independent physical activity (e.g., swimming facilities, outdoor gym facilities, outdoor recreational routes, skateboarding facilities, local outdoor ice tracks, local sports facilities) and indoor and outdoor sports environments in connection with the school network are primarily built as municipal projects. After the needs assessment phase, substitute and new sports training environments will be proposed to be implemented primarily as privately funded projects where sports clubs are the main users of the facility.
  • Renovations and new construction projects related to the school network will account for the situation of the entire sports facilities network and its regional development needs more extensively than before. Additionally, systematic preparations are made for the needs of temporary facilities to guarantee indoor and outdoor sports environments. In the future, more than 1,000 m² of exercise halls will be planned in connection with large multi-purpose centres.
  • The assistance system of physical activity will be reformed. The overall objective is to build an assistance model that supports the use of the 2020s network of sports facilities, which extends the offer of sports facilities, encourages urban residents to engage in physical activity independently and under guidance, and enables the development of organised sports activities. The aim is to introduce a recreational voucher, a situational assistance measure for the use of privately owned sports facilities and assistances for the development of quality and competence in club/association activities.