Kivisilta – housing for a new era

A new residential area in Kerava’s Kivisilta district will give visitors a peek into life in a new era. Next summer, the area will host a festival showcasing the themes of sustainable construction and the circular economy.

Read the article in Finnish here.

Opulent views of fields and riverbanks open up from the old stone bridge in this historical landscape. Perched on the highest point nearby, a stately manor and its accompanying barns of red brick overlook the picturesque surroundings. The manor’s history traces back hundreds of years to a time when local peasants cultivated its lands and an important church route to Sipoo ran across the bridge.

Unbelievably enough, this location is only a kilometre or so away from the Kerava city centre and its bustling train station. Soon it will be home to the new Kivisilta residential area. Sustainable solutions and the circular economy have been the area’s key design themes from the very start and include predominantly wooden structures and façades, as mandated by the city’s plan.

Variety near the centre

Construction in Kivisilta is still ongoing, but the streets, light traffic lanes, parks, landscaping, and infrastructure are almost complete. The remaining work is mostly on the actual residences.

The area will offer a variety of housing options for people of different ages. In addition to detached houses, row houses, and small apartment buildings, Kivisilta will have a daycare centre and a block of assisted living facilities. The multi-storey buildings will be in the middle, around Finlandia square and the Pilske water pool.

“The idea is that a person could live in Kivisilta at every stage of their life, with services within easy reach”, explains Pia Lohikoski, a housing specialist for the city of Kerava.

Light traffic routes are particularly well designed in the area, leaving downtown Kerava only 15 minutes away by bicycle. The location near the city ensures an easy and environmentally friendly commute by walking or cycling.

Verdant surroundings with urban services

Kivisilta’s zoning plan places particular importance on natural surroundings, with recreational areas and parks making up an incredible 54 percent of the area. Verdant gardens and yards play a significant role, and various green solutions support rainwater management and general biodiversity. Accessory buildings are topped with green roofs or rooftop terraces with planted vegetation. Residential buildings will have yards designed for planting and cultivation, with a preference for edible or otherwise beneficial plants. Residents are even encouraged to start growing their own food while their homes are still in their planning stages.

Sustainability and the circular economy as cornerstones

The circular economy is a prominent theme in Kivisilta. The aim in both the construction and living arrangements is to enable residents to recycle and share instead of buying newly produced things.

“Renewable energies in heating and the efficient use and recyclability of building materials are good examples of the circular economy at work here,” says Lohikoski.

Even the area’s noise barriers promote the circular economy: a wall built from stone baskets, recycled soil from Kivisilta’s land removal, and 240 decommissioned shipping containers blocks noise from the nearby Lahdenväylä motorway.

A thriving circular economy

On the grounds of Kerava manor, the Jalotus circular economy centre and sustainable living community provides a diverse selection of activities and services to enable the circular economy in everyday life. Jalotus aims to offer research-based, practically tested solutions for a sustainable and prosperous lifestyle.

Festival draws visitors to Kivisilta

The city of Kerava will celebrate its centennial in 2024. One of the year’s main events will be the Festival of New Era Construction (URF) in Kivisilta. The event features the construction of Kivisilta and serves as a platform for sustainable construction, housing, and lifestyle solutions. The program is complemented by various workshops related to sustainable living, information sessions, discussion sessions, concerts, and local food and art all over the festival area.

URF 2024

City festival on sustainable construction and living in Kivisilta, Kerava from July 26th to August 7th, 2024

  • Testing and deployment of sustainable lifestyle solutions
  • Housing exhibition
  • Expert presentations on the new era of construction
  • Workshops
  • Art and locally produced food
  • Concerts by leading artists

For more information, visit: urf.fi