Inhabitant Survey in Eko-Viikki, Helsinki
The satisfaction of the inhabitants in the new ecological housing area has been measured by a survey in Helsinki, Finland.
Findings of this inhabitant survey suggest that Eko-Viikki residents at large like living in the neighbourhood, although some discontent in certain respects was expressed.
The experiment with an ecological housing area in the Viikki district is a national project that the City of Helsinki has prepared and carried out through extensive co-operation. The area, called Eko-Viikki, has caught much attention even internationally, of which the number of foreign visitors bears witness. Inp lanning the project, the principles of ecological housing and sustainable development were applied in many ways, and consequently the experiences gained while constructing and living in the area have been recorded. Monitoring comprises many sub-projects, one of which is the present inhabitant survey.
The questionnaire was mailed to all households in the Eko-Viikki area in autumn 2003. The response rate to the questionnaire was almost 70 per cent,which shows inhabitants really took an interest.
According to the inhabitants, the best thing about Eko-Viikki is the classy environment and the common inhabitant pursuits. The majority of respondents felt their home was unique and of high quality. The neighbourhood is felt to resemble a village - in a good sense. Inhabitants appreciate the proximity of nature and want to protect the neighbourhood against excessive construction. The ecological building technology was not such an important reason for moving to or living in the area, but the garden plots were very popular. Many other solutions, such as the functionality and ecological properties of the conservatories were questioned. More facts on the grounds for the ecological solutions were asked for - and on the energy savings these brought.
People are worried about the lack of public services such as public transport, public health and banking services. When services are far away and itis difficult to use public transport, a car of your own is felt necessary, even when you would otherwise prefer to use public transport.
In addition to the present report, the monitoring project includes a summary report focusing on the properties of the houses and dwellings and on the consumption of heat, electricity and water. A report on the surface water system is included, too, and a description of the bio-diversity of the flora of the neighbourhood and grounds.
City of Helsinki Urban Facts, Research Unit
Mr. Erkki Korhonen
Citizen participation, Sustainability,Transport