It takes only twenty minutes to ride the metro from Helsinki Central Railway Station to the Espoo Urheilupuisto station in the heart of Niittykumpu. After an additional five-minute walk, you are already home. These arguments were a priority when Jun Yang was looking for a new home for her family.
The family of three moved into a newly built apartment building in May 2021. Construction is still ongoing in the neighbourhood. A crane dominates the landscape while lorries go back and forth on the construction site.
The noise from the site is inaudible in the home of Yang, however. This is important as the Doctoral Candidate from Aalto University works from home a lot. Her husband also works from home.
“We like new buildings,” says Yang.
The new buildings in Niittykumpu are changing the neighbourhood remarkably. Yang understands the pace of construction: the living space must be narrowed down to make it more urban. For the best results, the local nature must be taken into consideration in this.
“There are a lot of small groves in Niittykumpu that are good for peaceful walks. When there is something on my mind which I cannot solve, I go for a walk. This helps me find a solution.”
Yang is from Southwest China, next to Tibet, and she appreciates her own peace and quiet. There is plenty of this available in Finland.
“I may have two personalities, a Finnish and a Chinese one,” she says with a laugh.
Yang has lived in Finland for eight years in various places: In Tampere and in Hermanni and Lauttasaari in Helsinki. Prior to this, she lived for several years in Munich, Germany. There are clear differences between these places.
“In Munich, I liked the historical aspect of the buildings that gave the city its identity. However, I really like living in a new apartment building more than old buildings from the 1960s or 1970s.”
New buildings promote a sense of safety. Yang likes the cleanliness, order and safety of the new buildings in Niittykumpu and their surroundings.
There are a lot of small groves in Niittykumpu that are good for peaceful walks.
Services and free time activities nearby
Public transportation—buses and the metro—serves the residents of Niittykumpu excellently. You do not necessarily need to own a car. The Yang family sold their car recently.
Yang also praises the availability of services nearby. You can buy groceries in your own neighbourhood, but if you are not interested in popping out, you can also have groceries delivered to your home. Yang often orders groceries for a week at a time.
You can walk or jog to the coastline. Yang likes jogging and it only takes half an hour for her to get to the coast in Westend. This is an ideal mode of physical activity to counter the stress of desk work.
“There are many free time activities for children as well. I think it’s great that you don’t need to go to Helsinki for these. The EMMA museum is also nearby. It’s a great place for families with children.”
The couple’s five-year-old daughter spends her days at a day-care centre, which is located four metro stations away. The parents did not want to put her in a new day-care centre, which is why it was important that their new home was located close to good public transport connections. The metro to Lauttasaari takes about ten minutes.
Yang says that living in Niittykumpu is also financially advantageous: the cost of living in the neighbourhood is lower than in the adjacent suburbs.
Favourite places and friends around the corner
Jun Yang completed a degree in landscape architecture in Germany. In Finland, she is doing a dissertation on architecture. She is studying how machine learning can be applied in planning urban environments.
Through the eyes of an expert, there is still room for improvement in Niittykumpu regarding walking routes, for example, but she has already found some favourite places in the neighbourhood for walking. Yang likes to wander in the small groves and the distinct residential area of Tontunmäki with its semi-detached houses at her own pace.
Becoming familiar with the new environment is made easier by a family of friends who moved into the building opposite to the Yangs soon after their move. The children of the families play together. They can arrange a playdate in the playground in the yard between the buildings, for instance.
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