Esplanade Park, Helsinki23.08.2007 at 10:56 | Posted in HSS | 6 Comments
by HSS student Valdet Tahiri
Helsinki is a city where green areas (naturalness) are very imprtant for the its citizens. As the city is growing in high rate, many green area is sacrificed for the further development of the city. However, there are several urban parks in Helsinki urban area which serve to the citezens. When I first came in Helsinki, the Esplanade Park left a big impresion to me. It was interesting for me as it was located between two roads which are crowded with traffic. In the first sight it seemed to me as A boulevard-like park in the city centre.The park is built on east-west direction, so the sun shines nicely on the park throughout the day. The park is centrally located, and can be considered as the borderline between the most active commercial centre and the more peaceful, southern part of the city. At the east, the park ends at a fountain, behind which opens up the view to the market square of Helsinki and the sea. At the western end the Esplanade green space is closed by the Swedish theatre, behind which runs the busiest street in the centre of Helsinki. The theatre building acts as a wall blocking the traffic noise, so the Esplanade Park is at the same time both close to the busy city and a calm resort.
The park is one of the main public spaces of Helsinki and it attracts both residents and tourists. Also, the statues located in the middle of the pedestrian road are very attractive, especially for the tourists. In the centre of the park stands Helsinki’s first public monument, the statue of Finland’s national poet J.L. Runeberg. At the western end of the park are statues to the writer Zacharias Topelius and the poet Eino Leino. In my opinion the landscape design, that is the hard landscape elements (the statues) and the soft landscape element (the green areas) in the park is in a highly level integrated.
Esplanade Park is a popular meeting place. In a way it has a become a landmark for the city. People gather at the eastern end of the park for concerts during the summer. Plenty of people sit on benches or on the grass in small crowds. In the scale of Helsinki, Esplanade Park and the streets surrounding it can be considered exceptionally lively places.