Espoon kaupunki - Esbo stad

Espoo’s recreational visions promote the utilisation of local nature as a source of mobility and well-being

The aim of the recreational visions is to create an overall picture of the need for sports and recreation services and to reserve sufficient space for recreation areas in land use planning. As the city grows and becomes more dense, it is important to ensure sufficient local nature and neighbourhood sports areas in residential areas in Espoo. The recreational visions for all major districts are aimed at the year 2050, and the recreational visions for the major districts of Leppävaara, Matinkylä and Tapiola are now being completed.
Leppävaara Sports Park offers a variety of refreshing activities for everyone in every season. Photo: Janne Ketola, Summit Media Oy
Leppävaara Sports Park offers a variety of refreshing activities for everyone in every season. Photo: Janne Ketola, Summit Media Oy

Espoo’s strengths in the Espoo Story include local nature, recreational areas, lakes, the Waterfront Walkway and the proximity to the sea, which are all appreciated by Espoo residents. Recreational vision work focuses on identifying the space needs of sports and recreation services and recreation areas and on forming and developing the network they create. A vision is a planning tool that allows these needs to be considered as part of more extensive land use planning, and the recreational vision should be coordinated with other themes related to land use planning, such as ecological networks, natural values, traffic and construction.

The recreational visions aimed at 2050 will be developed and shaped in connection with master planning work in Espoo for 2060 and at a more detailed planning level. In master planning work, the recreational aspect is coordinated with other objectives and perspectives of the master plan. For example, the locations of neighbourhood parks, places for individual sports, fitness trails or small urban cultivation areas are planned in more detail in town planning and more detailed planning.

Diverse and easily accessible sites for everyone

Nearby recreation areas and services enable a healthy, sustainable lifestyle where recreation is part of everyday life. The closer the nature and local recreational area is, the more likely and frequently it is used. For example, the need for school and day-care centre forests is also supported by the information on the health benefits of green areas, and as the population ages, the significance of high-quality local environment is emphasised, as moving far away from home is more difficult for motor reasons.

The recreational visions of Greater Leppävaara, Greater Matinkylä and Greater Tapiola, which are about to be completed, continue the series of already completed visions. The recreational vision of Greater Espoonlahti and the maritime recreational vision of Espoo were completed in 2018. The preparation of the recreational visions of Vanha-Espoo and Kauklahti is to be launched in 2023. The importance of recreational visions for dense urban areas will be further emphasised in the future, as the population of the city grows and the number of users of recreational services and areas increases.

Local attractions typically serve a wider user base

The recreational vision 2050 is very topical, and the visions have identified both regionally and locally significant recreation sites. These attractions often also serve a much larger user base than the greater district. Such attractions include, for example, the Leppävaara Sports Park, the Waterfront Walkway in the Matinkylä area and the cultural and waterfront sites in the Tapiola area.

The recreational visions prepared by the working groups led by the City Planning Department’s landscape architects are background studies in support of their own work and that of the City Planning Committee. The visions also serve as source data for the launched master planning work, and they will be reviewed and, if necessary, updated.

In preparing the recreational visions, extensive use was made of various source materials and previous resident surveys. In connection with the master planning work and more detailed town planning, opportunities are organised for residents to express their views and influence the planning of their own residential area.



Ina WesterlundLandscape Architect (Leppävaara area)City of Espoo

Tel:+358 40 636 9256

Mari SoiniLandscape Architect (Matinkylä area)City of Espoo

Tel:+358 40 636 9844


Leppävaara Sports Park offers a variety of refreshing activities for everyone in every season. Photo: Janne Ketola, Summit Media Oy
Leppävaara Sports Park offers a variety of refreshing activities for everyone in every season. Photo: Janne Ketola, Summit Media Oy


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A networked Espoo comprising five city centres will be a pioneering responsible and
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