Kuopio by Nature 2022

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2022

KUOPIO

TOP 10 hiking trails and routes Ari Lahti – The glory days are back My kind of Savilahti

by

NATURE


E D I TO R I A L

“In Kuopio, it seems as if everyone knows a secret about life.” KUOPIO by NATURE ANNUAL JOURNAL OF THE CITY OF KUOPIO Editor-in-chief Kirsi Soininen Executive editor Reetta Airaksinen Visual Designer Jenni Loimulahti, Ahooy Creative Oy English editing ELSA kielipalvelut, Satu Heikkinen

Our strenght lies in community

Journal texts Kumu Communications osk, Akiola Media Oy, Tekstimies Oy, KMG Turku Cover Spring day in Valkeisenlampi. Photo Wille Markkanen Special thanks to: Anne Vänttinen, Satu Hilden, Henna Lindroos, Raija Korhonen, Soile Nevalainen Printed by Grano Editorial office City of Kuopio / Marketing and Communication Tulliportinkatu 31, P.O. Box 228, FI-70100 Kuopio Feedback editor@kuopio.fi www.kuopio.fi www.kuopiohighlights.fi www.kuopiotahko.fi

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KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022

Imagine a freezing night of biting frost when the deep black sky is dotted with brightly shining stars. I’m skiing leisurely through the silence of a frozen lake on off-track skis. The snow creaks under my skis in the frosty night. There’s no need for a headlamp; the moon lights my way as a ski along the ice. I smile to myself, thinking that just a few kilometres more and I could be at the airport, lean my skis against the wall of the terminal, change into my business clothes and fly off to the capital region or even one of the metropolises in Central Europe. This region provides a variety of opportunities to work and enjoy your free time in a communal atmosphere where there is plenty of room for new ideas. High-quality educational institutions educate new talent for the region, while events enrich life throughout the year. Work and leisure

intertwine and support each another, giving you the opportunity to build a life that works for you in both respects. For instance, you can easily cycle to work. When your time is not spent stuck in traffic, you can dedicate your after-work hours to studying, being creative or enjoying life. Kuopio has the freedom and passion to change the world, address problems and make things right. This is the way it has always been and still is. Kuopio provides a setting for living a life that looks like you. It lends a platform for growth and interactions, for good life. This is a city with a strong passion for life, the ability to live in the moment while working together to build a better tomorrow for everyone. Kirsi Soininen Marketing Director, City of Kuopio


CONTENTS

Nature 04

Fall in Love with the Glistening Natural Waters and Strong Ice Cover of Lake Kallavesi

09

Taste, Smell and Feel the Lake

10

TOP 10 Hiking Trails and Routes

15

Numbers: Nature & Travel

16

Under the Stars

18

Frogs as Ambassadors of Good Luck

My Kind of Life in Kuopio PAG E 3 0

10 Insights on Life

Future Kuopio

PAG E 25

Live Like Local 20

When a Savonian Speaks, Go on and Give yourself into the Adventure

38

What Makes Kuopio so Irresistible?

42

Explore the Developing Urban Areas

44

My Kind of Savilahti

48

Concept of Light – The Creative Equation of the Savilahti Area

50

Open, Inspiring Climate Action with and for Residents

54

Cooperation and Wellbeing are Intertwined in Kuopio

25

10 Insights on Life

What Makes Kuopio so Irresistible?

26

The Glory Days Are Back

PAG E 3 8

29

Numbers: Everyday life & Studies

30

My Kind of Life in Kuopio

34

Hybrid Work and Coworking are the Buzzwords of the Day

57

Numbers: Working life & Business

36

Art and Design Make Spaces More Functional

58

Kuopio – the Capital of Good Life KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022

3


Fall in Love with the Glistening Natural Waters and Strong Ice Cover of Lake Kallavesi Waterways have been an essential part of life in Kuopio throughout history. Locals have always headed out on the lake, whether to go boating or fishing, or to ski. What is it that makes these lakes so fascinating?

T E X T R I I T TA J U S S I L A P H OTO S W I L L E M A R K K A N E N A N D V I C E N T E S E R R A

ISLAND HOPPING IS EASY IN A CITY DOTTED WITH LAKES “Kuopio is known for its extensive network of lakes. You can see it clearly from a plane: Kuopio stands out as a city surrounded by lakes,” describes COO at Peeässä Ville Puustinen who enjoys boating and fishing in his free time. A quarter of the total area of Kuopio is water, and the city has a coastline of more than 6 000 kilometres. There are a whopping two thousand islands or so in Lake Kallavesi – with several districts in the city located entirely on islands. “Getting to a lake in Kuopio is exceptionally easy,” says Seppo Jauhiainen, Forest Administrator at the City of Kuopio.

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In addition to recreation, the lakes also provide livelihood to fishers and tourism service providers. For example, Soisalo – the largest inner island in Europe – is still home to professional fishers.

EXCURSION HARBOURS MAKE INDEPENDENT ISLAND HOPPING POSSIBLE In the summertime, Lake Kallavesi is frequented by swimmers, rowers, canoeists, paddle boarders and geocachers. There are also numerous boaters, because Kallavesi has the largest network of excursion harbours in Finland. “There are about forty city-operated excursion harbours in the Kuopio region that are all natural


Kuva

Kuopio's beautiful city harbour


One of the most loved island in Kuopio – Hietasalo is a perfect place in summer. »

and spending time together,” says orienteerer harbours. Most of them are located in the southHannu Airila. ern parts of Lake Kallavesi, but you can also find excursion harbours every 5–10 kilometres or so near Tahko and the area of Riistavesi-VehmersalWINTER EXPERIENCES ON THE mi,” says Jauhiainen. LAKE BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER Exploring the islands has been made easy for visitors. Going ashore takes little effort, and all Kuopio provides excellent opportunities for outthe basic needs of island explorers have been door winter activities on the lake, because wintaken care of. The excursion harbours have places ters here are snowy and the lakes freeze. for a campfire and toilets, some With its ice cover, Lake Kalla­ also have a lean-to and a couvesi in the winter is an incrediple even have a sauna. The city ble experience. You can go skisupplies the firewood to the ing, ride a fatbike, speed across “Kuopio is campsite for visitors to use. the ice on a kicksled or walk on a boater’s paradise” In addition to excursion harsnowshoes – all on natural ice! bours, there are guest marinas There are separate trails for snowmobiles. The many campand yacht clubs’ home bases fire sites near beaching spots in the lakes of Kuoin the region. The Pirttiniemi home base of the pio are comfortable places to get warm and eat a Kuopio Yacht Club is located in Lake Kallavesi snack while enjoying the outdoors. near the city centre of Kuopio. The island bases The most popular place in Kuopio for outdoor are on Iivarinsalo and Jänissalo in Lake Suvasvesi. “Kuopio is a boater’s paradise. The Saimaa Cawinter activities is the 12-kilometre Nordic skating, or tour skating track on the natural ice of nal can take you all the way to the sea and you can Lake Kallavesi, which is also used in Finland Ice navigate anywhere from there,” says Secretary Marathon, an event organized in February. General of the Kuopio Yacht Club Jani Kelo. You do not even need your own boat to go is“On the sunny days of late winter, an incredi­ land hopping, because you can choose one of the ble number of people gather on the ice of Lake lake cruises organized by cruise companies or the Kallavesi. They embody the essence of Kuopio: hop-on hop-off city boat. everyone from babies to the elderly are on the “My favourite islands are Hietasalo and Iivarinice, each with their chosen means of transport,” salo, because I associate them with a great sumsays Airila. mer mood: travelling there by water, swimming 6

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You can skate, ski, walk, ride a fatbike or just speed on a kicksled – all on natural ice! This campfire is only a few kilometres from the city centre.

Orienteerer Hannu Airila enjoys a peaceful natural environment and unspoilt forest trails in Neulamäki and Puijo. »

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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Saaristokaupunki is one of the districts in the city located mainly on islands. Amazing late-summer view of the bridge to Saaristokaupunki.

NATURE PROMOTES WELLBEING The health benefits of nature are undeniable: simply spending time in nature relieves stress and lowers your heart rate. Nature provides balance in our hectic lives and exercising in nature also helps you get in better shape. Research shows that people living near water report better wellbeing – simply having a view over the water prevents depression. “Doing something active in a peaceful natural environment is a combination that makes me feel good and helps me think. A walk in one of my favourite places, the forest trails in Neulamäki or Taivaanpankko, helps me work things out,” says Airila who often exercises in nature.

FRESH WATER IS A RARE NATURAL RESOURCE Many tourists are amazed by the fact that tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Finland. The lively 8

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city nestled in the lakes is also an exotic experience. “Fresh water and the ease of experiencing the lake are some of the key tourism products of the region. Water is never far in our daily lives: fresh water runs from the tap. In the summer it sparkles in the lakes, and in the winter it forms an ice cover over them,” says Puustinen. Kelo also thinks of the clean natural waters as a tourist draw. “The yacht club has paid special attention to the cleanliness of the lakes. We have, for example, prepared instructions on how to clean boat hulls in an environmentally friendly way.” Just three percent of the earth's water is fresh, but there is no shortage of this natural resource in Kuopio. More about the Blue space, health and well-being study by the University of Exeter: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32971082/


Kuopio National Urban Park • Finland’s 9th urban park • urban nature as an extensive and integrated entity

Taste, Smell and Feel the Lake T E X T R I I T TA J U S S I L A

• national urban parks tell the story of how Finland has grown in terms of e.g. culture, education, industry and national defence.

Northern Savo Lakeland 2 project • internationalization project that promotes global awareness of the region • helps turn tourism experiences into products

P H OTO J U K K A TA L L I N E N

• produces marketing materials

The inner archipelago is a distinctive feature of North Savo that appeals to both locals and tourists. As a sign of its uniqueness, the area bears the title of National Urban Park, granted by the Ministry of the Environment in 2017. “The National Urban Park of Kuopio tells the story of a city that grew in the inner archipelago, a place where the majority of the area is made up of lakes and rivers,” says Head of Master Planning Heli Laurinen from the City of Kuopio.

“FIND YOUR OWN PIECE OF LAKE” Cleanliness, safety and the peace and quiet of nature are the tourist draws of the region. The goal is to make North Savo the number one lake destination in Europe. “We give tourists reasons to come to North Savo. We help business

owners turn their services into products, such as experiences on and around the lake,” says Sari Hytti­nen, Project Manager of the Northern Savo Lakeland 2 project. The overall idea of the project is that the lake experience is always there with you in North Savo – in the form of, say, vendace from Lake Kallavesi on your plate in Restaurant Sampo. The waterways in the region and their natural and excursion harbours combined with a compact city and exciting leisure services make the region a true gem in lake tourism, as well as a destination that appeals to travellers worldwide.

THE URBAN PARK IS OPEN TO ALL The cultural heritage of the region is used in lake tourism in various ways. For instance, you can go on a fishing

• in the future, the aim is to increase the capacity of international tourism, and the plan is to also conduct another ecosystem project in lake tourism coordinated by Savonia with the aim of developing the regional ecosystem under a common theme.

trip to an old hideout formerly used by fish poachers or take a walk along the historical routes of the urban park. “The archipelago provides nourishment to the mind and soul of modern-day people. The urban park maintains and preserves these ar­eas for future generations, in addition to offering recreation and cultural knowledge,” says Laurinen. The national urban park helps promote biodiversity and the preservation of the local nature and cultural environment and their sustainable, year-round use. KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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TOP 10 Hiking Trails and Routes

It takes little effort to enjoy the great outdoors in Kuopio. Since there are a lot of pedestrian and bicycle routes, it is easy to go cycling no matter which part of the city you live in. Many routes run along the shores, which is a great motivator for residents who appreciate spending time near water. T E X T R I I T TA J U S S I L A P H OTO S R E E T TA A I R A K S I N E N , R I S TO H A L L M A N , W I L L E M A R K K A N E N A N D V I C E N T E S E R R A

“There are marked outdoor recreation routes and forest trails all over the city. Everyone can choose whatever type of outdoor exercise they prefer,” says Manager of Civic Services Kati Vähäsarja from the City of Kuopio. You can choose your route based on how much time you have and your fitness level and abilities.

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If you want, you can go for a walk or a run on a trail running near your house. If you want a more intensive workout, you can head to the trails of Puijo or Neulamäki-Vuorilampi. Longer hikes are possible in the local national parks, Southern Konnevesi and Tiilikkajärvi.


Favourite lakeside and summer terraces There is an outdoor recreation route that runs along the shore from the passenger harbour via Väinölänniemi and Haapaniemi all the way to Saana and Bellanranta. The route is ideal for

people living in the city centre and for tourists. Instead of walking, you can also explore the route in the summer on a Vilkku bike, which is an electric city bike.

1. WANHA SATAMA Wanha Satama is a summer restaurant located in an old customs warehouse in the passenger harbour. The restaurant is a nostalgic venue with live music in the weekends. The large, sunny terrace invites visitors to spend the summer day next to Lake Kallavesi. raflaamo.fi/fi/kuopio/ wanha-satama-kuopio

2. CAFE VÄINÖ Cafe Väinö is a summer café in sunny Väinölänniemi, also known by its nickname Vänäri. The café and its palm trees offer visitors a chance to enjoy a tropical beach atmosphere on the best beach in town. You can also rent a paddle board and other equipment from the café. cafevaino.fi 2.

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3. SAANA

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“Saana” is how you pronounce “sauna” in the Savonian dialect of Kuopio – and Saana is also a modern sauna world opened in 2019. It is not just a sauna, but also a restaurant and a terrace on the lake, plus a versatile recreational centre. Saana is located in the area of Bellanranta near the beginning of Saaristokatu. kuopionsaana.fi KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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TO P 1 0 H I K I N G T R A I L S A N D R O U T E S

Local cruise destinations 5. ALAHOVI WINERY

4. HIETASALO You can indulge in beach life on the island of Hietasalo, also known as the Riviera of Kuopio. The distance from the passenger harbour to this island in southern Kallavesi is about five kilometres. You can get there by your own boat or a cruise ship in the summer. “We have organized cruise concerts where passengers get to enjoy good food and drink in addition to live music during their cruise. In the summer of 2021, we took the boat to shore on Hietasalo Island where passengers had a chance to swim,” says CEO of Kuopio Roll Cruises Noora Kivi.

Kivi reminisces about the cruise that spontaneously turned into a fun beach party. When the ship docked in Hietasalo, there were other swimmers and campers on the island already, so they too got to listen to Tero Vaara perform evergreen hits by the band Mamba. kuopio.fi/-/presentingkuopio-s-nature-destinationshietasalo-island-and-beachand-karhonsaari-island

Alahovi Winery produces wines, ciders and beers, and is located on the island of Vaajasalo, east from the centre of Kuopio. The Alahovi winery shop was the first of its kind in Finland when it opened in 1995. The winery also allows you to taste the local cuisine of Savo. The ships of Kuopio Roll Cruises carry passengers to Alahovi during the summer season. “We offer four cruises a day to Alahovi. You can choose to buy only the cruise or an all-inclusive service package from us,” says Kivi. alahovi.com

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Must-see hiking trails Neulamäki-Kolmisoppi and Puijo are valuable examples of the fact that nature reserves can also exist near a city centre. These areas successfully combine the protection of nature and recreational use.

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6. PILPPA 7. NEULAMÄKI-KOLMISOPPI Neulamäki-Kolmisoppi is a 230-hectare nature reserve located in the recreational area of Neulamäki. The gently rolling hills and rocky terrain of the area offer a challenge for friends of outdoor exercise, in addition to some of the most incredible views. The nature reserve is located just four kilometres from the city centre. In the winter, there is a ski café at the Tervaruukki outdoor hut, run by the orienteering club Kuopion suunnistajat.

Located in the district of Neula­ mäki, Pilppa is a great family outing destination throughout the year. The area has two lean-tos, which you can also reserve in advance for private use.

puijonlatu.fi/yhdistys/pilpan-maja

8. PUIJO Located 2,5 kilometres from the city centre, Puijo Lodge and Puijo Tower on top of the Puijo hill are must-see places for travellers. And no wonder, as the 75-metre tower offers stunning views in all directions. The area contains some 200 hectares of protected forest and three nature trails, of which the entire Puijo trail runs through the nature reserve. You can choose one of the trails to admire the old primeval forest or traditional Eastern Finnish hillside settlements at the Konttila farm. You can also enjoy various types of exercise in Puijo, such as disc golf.

kuopio.fi/en/kolmisoppi-neulamaki

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The association Puijon Latu ry takes care the Pilppa area and its buildings and runs the outdoor café at the hut known as Pilpan Maja.

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kuopiotahko.fi/en/places/ nature-trails-in-puijo/ KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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Local national parks 9. SOUTHERN KONNEVESI Southern Konnevesi National Park is located an hour’s drive away from Kuopio in the municipalities of Konnevesi and Rautalampi. The national park features rugged cliffs and rocks, hills and clear-watered lakes. The trails are challenging due to the large differences in altitude.

The park is suitable for both boaters and those without a boat. The Vuori-Kalaja area has an accessible short trail that is suitable for wheelchair users. nationalparks.fi/ southernkonnevesinp

10. TIILIKKAJÄRVI Tiilikkajärvi National Park is located in the municipality of Rautavaara about a 1,5 hours’ drive from Kuopio. The terrain is easy enough to navigate and suitable for hikers of different skill levels. The national park allows you to explore lake sceneries and esker formations in the wilderness. The area is surrounded by aapa mires with cottongrass. Tiilikan kierto is a circular trail that includes the crossing of Selkäsalmi Strait by rowing boat. Of the many natural beaches in the area, the most magnificent is Venäjänhiekka (“Russian Sands”). The name is associated with a border stone in Tiilikkajärvi marking the Treaty of Teusina (1595). The symbols of Sweden and Russia have been carved in the stone. nationalparks.fi/tiilikkajarvinp

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KU OP IO BY N U M B E R S

Nature & Travel THE

In Kuopio people get to live as they like – at their own pace, in the middle of nature and city, while always surrounded by human compassion.

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Under the Stars

Some things appear even brighter after the lights go out. The dark nights of late summer may still be warm and add a whole new dimension to what is already a breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape.

TEXT TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO P H OTO S W I L L E M A R K K A N E N A N D V I C E N T E S E R R A

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Sleeping outdoors on a bright summer night in Finland can be an exciting experience for a foreigner.

Such experiences were up for offer in August gust night with its star-filled sky was absolutely 2021 by what was already the sixth Sleep Outperfect and showed off its best features to those doors Night (“Nuku yö ulkona”), organized in who stayed up late. Eventually, the group got to Kuopio by Puijon Latu. Secretary of the associa­ enjoy a good night’s sleep in a tranquil atmo­ tion Kirsi Tuppurainen says sphere with a hint of lingerthat the fine weather brought ing summer as a magical dew up to fifty people to the idylsettled over the former farmThe ten-degree late lic environment around the yard. August night with its hut known as Pilpan Maja. The next morning, it felt Everyone could choose their good to go over the night tostar-filled sky was preferred style of slumber: at gether over a shared breakleast tents, hammocks, leanfast of porridge. Kirsi Tuppuabsolutely perfect. tos and boats were actively rainen says that everything used. went without a hitch. Sleep “During the day, we organized all kinds of acOutdoors Night is an event that can be recomtivities outdoors”, says Kirsi Tuppurainen. “In mended to absolutely everyone – even a traveller the course of the afternoon, we helped those who happens to visit the region of Kuopio at the planning to stay the night to find suitable spots right time. and pitch tents, and warmed the sauna. As the “The event is open to everyone, and the posi­ evening grew darker, we naturally had various tive, encouraging spirit of the group will make shady activities in store for children and those everyone feel welcome. There is no need to fear young at heart.” having to spend the night alone in a dark forest.” As the lights gradually went out, it was time for The next Sleep Outdoors Night will be orga­ the main show to start. The ten-degree late Aunized on 27 August 2022. KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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Frogs as Ambassadors of Good Luck In the eyes of outsiders, the inhabitants of Kuopio seem to have an air of happiness about them that is borderline mystical. Their expressions are bright, they are never at a loss for words and their hospitality is top notch. One cannot help but wonder if there is something in the genetic ancestry of North Savo that other Finns, let alone people coming from abroad, have missed out on. This may just be the case. Or then it really is something mystical. TEXT TIMO MANSIKKA-AHO P H OTO S A D O B E S TO C K , K A R I J Ä M S É N A N D K U O P I O C U LT U R A L H I S TO R Y M U S E U M

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Long into the 19th century, black magic was a common practice throughout North Savo. It was referred to as the frog coffin, named after its concrete manifestation. Museum Educator Sanna Reinikainen from the City of Kuopio says that it all came down to a search for good fortune. “People believed that each person in the world had been allotted a certain amount of good fortune. If a person wanted more good luck, the only way to get it was to steal it from others.” People living near large lakes were always on the lookout for more fishing luck. The resourceful folk of North Savo often turned to their neighbours for help in this matter, but without asking their neighbours’ permission. In the cover of night or when­ever the opportunity presented itself, they would cut a piece off their neigh-

bour's seine fishing net and take it to a folk magician – another popular “occupation” back in the day. The magician would carve an alder coffin about 17 centimetres long and, having stocked up for regular demand, they would often have frogs ready in a tub, waiting to meet their fate.

"People believed that each person in the world had been allotted a certain amount of good fortune." The piece of net was placed in the coffin and a frog was splayed on top of it. Using wooden poles, the closed coffin was then pushed through the vent holes under the floor of a church, as close as possible to the altar.

This was followed by a series of complex charms and spells, from crawling in an ant hill to breaking branches off a rowan tree. Then all there was to do was wait for the magic to take effect. Frog coffins were also used for many other purposes besides stealing some fishing luck, but the pieces of netting found in the coffins clearly show how important fishing was to the people in North Savo already back in the olden times. A huge number of frog coffins have been discovered during church reno­ vations: about 200 under the Tuusniemi Church and bell tower, dozens in the Kuopio Cathedral and several in the Nilsiä Church. The most recent coffins have been placed there in the late 19th century, so there may just be some truth to the claim that there is something magical about this region.

An alder wood coffin roughly 17 cm long, found under the Kuopio Cathedral during renovation at the end of the 19th century. There is a frog inside, secured in place with pins.

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / NATURE

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When a Savonian Speaks, Go on and Give yourself into the Adventure Travel guides may not mention it at all, but the local way of speaking is one of the most striking things travellers can experience in the Kuopio region. The best way to prepare to meet a Savonian person, i.e. someone from the region of Savo, also known as Savonia, is to make sure you have plenty of time, know the right places to go and be there early. TEXT ELINA KALLASAARI P H OTO S K U O P I O -TA H KO M A R K K I N O I N T I , PA C O N U C C I A N D O L AV I R Y T KÖ N E N

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A true master of Savonian small talk, Olavi Rytkönen.

TO BE EXPECTED IN THE KUOPIO REGION: SMALL TALK Jokes have always portrayed Savonians as jovial and talkative – and folk that will rarely give you a straight answer. To an outsider, the dialect sounds funny and it has been used for humorous effect, especially in entertainment in the past. Host and media service entrepreneur Olavi Rytkönen knows the local dialect and mentality well. He believes that the impression of Savonians as sneaky is a misconception, but willingly admits that the locals do have a habit of starting conversations with strangers out of the blue. “Savonian small talk is all about being spontaneous and seizing the opportunity. The search for the right detergent in a supermarket aisle can suddenly spark a long conversation,” says Rytkönen. “Even the classic situation where Finns are waiting for a bus at a bus stop can take an un­ usual turn in Savo and lead to a lengthy discussion about buses, their routes, the drivers, the weather and so on.” “Savonian people do talk about climate change and world politics as well, but they will usually link

these topics to their everyday life, sometimes meandering along some strange paths,” Rytkönen continues.

SO WHERE ARE YOU OFF TO AND WHAT WILL YOU DO THERE? When you run into someone from Savo, you may end up answering questions straight away about yourself and your ancestry. Don’t worry – this just means that the person is trying to connect with you. This special interest is a sign of caring rather than hostility. According to Rytkönen, curiosity helped Savonians navigate new situations throughout history. “For centuries, people in Savo have had to learn to get along with different kinds of people. The Savonian coping mechanism is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers to find something in common with strangers.” Rytkönen also encourages tourists and visitors to try to connect with Savonians and ask for their advice. You can always start a conversation by asking if the person is a local.

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Paco Nucci, originally from Naples, won the Savo dialect championship in 2016.

Principles of Paco Nucci’s Neapolitan-Savonian customer service

“I tell my servers to dress however they want and act in whatever way feels most natural to them. That’s what I do too.”

“Savonians are happy to provide guidance to others; both in their original dialect and in English plus with a bit of fairly fluent gesture language thrown in here and there,” says Rytkönen with a smile. You should still make plenty of time for the conversation. “Savonians have a colourful way with words and enjoy stories that get side-tracked and are more than just a little embellished. Giving one-word answers and being in a hurry may seem rude to locals.”

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TRUE SAVONIANS ROAM IN THE MORNINGS

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WELCOME THE CUSTOMER AS IF INTO YOUR HOME.

“The idea for my restaurants originally came from locals visiting us on Restaurant Day. I still continue to treat customers with this thought in mind. I want to be close to people.”

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BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF.

SERVE CUSTOMERS EQUALLY.

“Ambassador or student, everyone gets the same treatment.”

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STAY RELAXED.

“Sometimes I take my relaxed attitude to the extreme. I’m not trying to shock people, but deep down I’m still a Neapolitan street boy and the same punk rocker that came to Pielavesi 31 years ago.”

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In Rytkönen's opinion, the Savo dialect is at its best when speakers born and bred in Savo bandy words with each other. If you want to enjoy a match or two of this verbal ping-pong, you need to wake up bright and early. That’s when the most leisurely individuals are out and about. “Great places to find speakers of the dialect are the cafés in the Market Hall and the morning sauna at the public swimming pool. The sauna is the place where Finns start to chatter, if they are the chattering type,” says Rytkönen.


W H E N A S AV O N I A N S P E A K S , G O O N A N D G I V E YO U R S E L F I N TO T H E A D V E N T U R E

SAVONIANS ARE EASYGOING CUSTOMERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS Can you learn the Savonian mindset? Paco Nucci, a restaurant owner in Kuopio, is strong proof of this. Originally from Naples, he moved to Finland and Savo already back in 1990. In 2016 he impressed locals by winning the Savo dialect championship.

"Great places to find speakers of the dialect are the cafés in the Market Hall." “Despite not being Finnish or Savonian myself, I appreciate the local culture. I have truly wanted to learn the local habits and language,” says Nucci. “My job is to serve customers, so language is my only tool. It is easier to attract the interest of Savonians if you speak their dialect.” Nucci’s experience of Finns does not match the stereotype of a shy, quiet sort of folk. The jovial nature of Savonians makes him feel at home, because similar characteristics are associated with Neapolitans in Italy. He entertains customers in his Sorrento restaurants by giving gesture language courses, for example. “It is important to me that people feel good, and I find great pleasure in making them feel good by serving them in my own way,” says Nucci.

1897) who lived in Kuopio. She was a prominent social critic who tirelessly defended the freedom of speech, women’s and girls’ rights, social equality and improving the conditions of the poor. “The works of Minna Canth provide an excellent cross-section of the Savonian society and its issues at the time,” says acting Museum Director Helka Väisänen from the Kuopio Cultural History Museum. Väisänen warns against overinterpreting Canth’s writings from a contemporary point of view, but still believes that readers can find the familiar jovial nature of Savonians and their easygoing approach to life in the characters of Canth's plays and stories. “Canth was curious, active and extremely sharp-sighted when she described the people and phenomena of her day.” Minna Canth can also be seen in modern-day Kuopio in the form of a statue, buildings and place-names. For those interested in Canth, Väisänen recommends a visit to Minna’s salon at the Old Kuopio Museum where you can step inside social life in 19th century Savo for a moment.

GET TO KNOW HISTORICAL SAVONIANS Savo in the 19th century was home to many significant thinkers and cultural figures. One of the best-known Savonians is the author, newspaperwoman and businesswoman Minna Canth (1844– KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / LIVE LIKE LOCAL

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Mika Sutinen

Tarja Tikkanen

Satu Nisu

Roope Hakkarainen

Mikko Isotalo

Aki Hurula

Hanna Kumpulainen

Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen

Lila Watanabe

Jade Jiminez


10 Insights on Life What is the secret to a good and balanced life when you work a demanding job? The answer to this question is explored in a series of short films where talented and influential people in different fields each share a part of their life and their thoughts about life in the Kuopio region. TEXT ELINA KALLASAARI

The videos give us a glimpse of the favourite pastimes of glass artist Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen, Concertmaster Lila Watanabe, CEO Mikko Isotalo, guitarist and singer Roope Hakkarainen, designer Satu Nisu and triathlonist Aki Hurula, among others. In addition to leading professionals in six different fields, four younger up-and-coming talents share their stories in the videos. The videos are made by documentary film-maker Jukka Tallinen from Tallistudio Oy. He says that the inspiration and the tone for each video came from getting to know the main characters. Many of them inspired a

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desire to continue telling these stories. “Meeting all kinds of people is the best part of my job,” says Tallinen.

“BEING ABLE TO ONCE AGAIN CALL ALL THIS MY HOME, MY OH MY” Most of the stars in the video series draw their sense of well-being and inspiration from the nature of the Kuopio region. One clears their mind by ice fishing in perfect silence, while another enjoys the feel of a drumming heart on steep running trails. Nature seems to have an almost sacred

meaning for many, but at the same time it is also an everyday playground that is always within reach. “The same goes for me, I think the best thing about Kuopio is how easy life here is. One everyday example of this is the network of narrow pedestrian streets, known as rännikatu in Finnish, which help you get anywhere in the city centre by bike in no time,” says Tallinen. Where do some of the talented and influential people in the Kuopio region draw their strength from? Take a moment to immerse yourself in their world at youtube.com/user/ kuopion­alue/playlists.

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COLUMN

THE GLORY DAYS ARE BACK I remember walking to the Kuopio Market Square for a cup of coffee every time I visited my mother at the start of my summer holidays. The Market Square, or “tori” as we call it in Finnish, sits in the heart of Kuopio and is the place where you can hear the “truth” and the “rumours” of what is going on in town. TEXT ARI LAHTI P H OTO S A R I L A H T I A N D J U H A L E S K I N E N

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COLUMN

Mr Ari Lahti hopes that the success of KuPS team gives young locals a reason to be proud of their home town.

"Football has developed a lot in Finland in the last 40 years." Football was always a common topic of conversation at the coffee tables there. The weekend match of KuPS, the local football team, was anal­ ysed thoroughly down to the finest detail. The team and its success were always compared to the 1970s KuPS team. Why? Because the 1970s was the golden age of football in Kuopio. When I took over ownership of the KuPS team in 2006, I found this slightly annoying. Not because I did not respect the achievements in the 1970s, but because football has developed a lot in Finland in the last 40 years or so. Just as it has everywhere in the world. For example, in the 1970s KuPS only used local players. They were excellent players as such, but football has since become a more competitive sport worldwide and players move from country to country, from continent to continent. I then started to wonder if it would be possible to regain the former success and relive the glo-

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COLUMN

The women’s team of KuPS was crowned the Finnish Champion in the National League in 2021.

ry days of football in Kuopio. We wanted KuPS Football has brought fame to Kuopio also in to succeed and play not only in Finland but also European stadiums. The men’s team of KuPS in European competitions. We got down to work has played against 15 European teams in UEFA in the club, building the capabilities of the mancompetitions since 2010 and next summer both agement, the coaching team and the players. We the men’s and women’s teams will play in Europe. started to actively gather knowledge and tried to This is our concrete way of reinforcing the interimprove year after year. We national image of Kuopio as a trained talented home-grown sports city. players in addition to bringing What does this success in players from Europe, Africa mean for Kuopio? I hope it "We wanted KuPS to and the Americas. gives young locals a reason to succeed and play Today, the glory days of be proud of their home town. football in Kuopio are back! And keep them running after not only in Finland." KuPS won the championship the ball – i.e. living a healthin 2019 and has been one of ier life. As for older people, I the top three teams in the hope the success will bring Finnish Football League for the past five years. new memories to talk about around the coffee KuPS also won the Finnish FA Cup title in 2021. tables of “tori” in the years to come. But this is only half of the story when it comes to Kuopio’s success in football. The women’s Ari Lahti team of KuPS was crowned the Finnish ChampiOwner, KuPS Oy on in the National League in 2021! CEO, ICECAPITAL Seurities Ltd. 28

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KU OP IO BY N U M B E R S

Everyday life & Studies APPROXIMATELY

THE HAPPIEST RESIDENTS AMONG THE L ARGEST CITIES IN FINL AND

76%

3,200

FOREIGN NATIONALS LIVING IN KUOPIO

STUDENTS

FOREIGN STUDENTS

HAVE A DEGREE FROM A HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTE

76%

FROM SECONDARY EDUCATION

3

112

DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES LIVING IN KUOPIO

32%

TOP

AROUND

OF YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SATISFIED WITH THEIR LIVES

25,000

Kuopio is a genuinely international city and provides unique opportunities for living, studies and business alike.

1,000

A UNIVERSIT Y CIT Y AMONG THE TOP

300

IN SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL RANKINGS

THE MUNICIPALIT Y WITH THE MOST SUMMER HOUSES IN FINL AND

10,800

MIGRATORY MUNICIPALIT Y IN FINL AND

77%

OF THE POPUL ATION LIVES IN THE URBAN AREAS

23%

IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

A

10

-MINUTE

WALK FROM ONE ’S FRONT DOOR TO THE NEAREST OUTDOOR SPORTS FACILIT Y


My Kind of Life in Kuopio

When you come from a different culture and environment, starting a new life in Kuopio can seem exotic, even a bit intimidating. There are many reasons for moving to Kuopio, and every new citizen has their story to tell. Here are two of them. T E X T M I K KO J A A K KO L A

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SUSANNE CSADER, JUHA LESKINEN AND VICENTE SERRA

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Summer is a busy time for the women’s championship team midfielder Lavdije “Lavi” Begolli.

Football brought Lavdije Begolli to Finland In 2021 the Kuopio KuPS football club had a near perfect season, as the women’s and the youth teams won their respective championships and the men’s team finished second in the league. One of the mainstays of the women’s championship team is midfielder Lavdije “Lavi” Begolli. But how did an Albanian become a Savonian in the first place?

THE FINNISH CHALLENGE Lavi is a professional footballer who moved to Finland in 2017. She spent three seasons in Jyväskylä before transferring to KuPS. “Last year I got an offer from KuPS, which I knew was a good team and had a chance to win the championship. And championship was my ultimate goal.”

But why choose Finland in the first place? “In Albania I was studying at a sports university, playing football professionally and helping with a family business. So, when my agent told me about the option to come here, I knew it would be a challenge, but that’s what I was looking for, so I decided to take it on.” “I had absolutely no idea what Finland was like and spoke just a little bit of English when I arrived in 2017. It was cold and dark, and the first weeks were really hard. I thought about quitting and going back but decided to tough it out.”

COLD AND DARK WINTERS, WARM AND BUSY SUMMERS As spring turned to summer and her language skills improved, life started to get easier for Lavi

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MY KIND OF LIFE IN KUOPIO

and she realised that she really enjoyed being in Finland. “I like it here, not so much the winter when it’s cold and dark, but the light summers when it’s nice and warm.”

"I knew it would be a challenge, but that’s what I was looking for." “Of course, summer is a busy time for a football player. We have a lot of games and practice twice a day, and then there’s school, but afterwards I like to go hiking or spend time with my friends.”

A CHEF IN THE MAKING As Lavi mentioned, she also studies in Kuopio. “I have studied to be chef for 6 months now. My goal is to graduate in about 3–4 years’ time and start working in a restaurant after my sports career and later maybe open one of my own. That’s my dream, or maybe I should call it a new challenge.” “But for now, I want to focus on my first career. I still have many years left as a football player and hope to win more championships with the team. The next challenges come only after that.” What about Kuopio – are you going to stay? “Yes! I like it here and I’m even learning Finnish. I have no plans to move.”

Susanne Csader discovered her inner nature lover Susanne Csader from Germany is a PhD student whose area of research is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When she spotted an opening at the University of Eastern Finland, she naturally applied for it. It was only after being invited to an interview that she googled “Kuopio”.

INTO THE UNKNOWN Finland was not really on Susanne’s list before, and she didn’t have a very clear idea of where she was headed. “I didn’t know that much about Finland and nothing at all about Kuopio. All I knew were the usual stereotypes: snow, drinking and darkness.” 32

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“The only city I knew was the capital, Helsinki, and I figured that Kuopio can’t be that far away from there. Then I opened a map of Finland and zoomed out and out from Helsinki and realised – oh, it’s up there, 400 km or so from Helsinki!” “In any case, I wanted to visit the place. And right from the beginning people were so nice and the facility was great and all. I decided to move here right then and there.”

ADVENTURE IN FINLAND Susanne moved to Kuopio in January and has not regretted the choice. “I’m really happy about the decision I made. I didn’t really experience cultural shock of any


Susanne Csader has grown into spending more time in nature in Kuopio.

kind. Right from the start, I felt welcome and at THE FUTURE IS OPEN home, so for me it’s been more like an exciting adventure. I’ve made a lot of friends and met new Susanne has now spent three years in Finland colleagues, and the people here are so kind and working on her PhD. At the moment she is stayhelpful.” ing in Hong Kong for a project. “Of course, there is the language barrier. I’m “I just received further funding for my work studying Finnish, but the language is so hard, in Finland, which means that I’ll be staying for a harder than I imagined. But if I want to learn a new while longer, but after that my future is open.” creative hobby, for exam“Before the COVID-19 ple, almost all the courses pandemic I was thinking are in Finnish.” about maybe finding a job "And right from “Apart from that, my here, but because of the the beginning people time in Kuopio has been current situation I haven’t really nice. Especially the been able to visit my famwere so nice." summers when there’s so ily and friends as often as much to do.” I would have liked. That is “I wasn’t actually that keen on spending time in also something to think about when planning my nature before, but now I’m really into biking and future.” I often go canoeing with my friends. It’s so easy “But never say never, and if the right opportuto just go outside in the summer and do stuff. I nity comes by, I could see myself staying in Kuoguess in Kuopio I have grown into it and apprecipio for a while. Only the future will tell.” ate nature more.” “This year (2021) I spent a week in Lapland with friends and enjoyed hiking. That might become a new hobby of mine.” KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / LIVE LIKE LOCAL

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Hybrid Work and Coworking are the Buzzwords of the Day Instead of offices, people can work from homes, summer cottages and coworking spaces. Reduced commuting has given people more free time and improved work safety. No wonder remote and hybrid work are seen as opportunities to be capitalised on. The working environment has changed permanently due to COVID-19. T E X T M I K KO J A A K KO L A

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A whole new coworking concept was created in KPY Novapolis, in Savilahti campus.

TOWARDS FLEXIBLE WORKING Even though the trend was towards flexible working even before the pandemic, the shift from offices to homes happened quickly. HR Development Manager Saija Rahkonen from the City of Kuopio was positively surprised by how smooth the transition was. “Certainly at first, we were all a bit afraid of the change. There were technical difficulties and people needed to learn new ways to interact, but all in all we have been able to combine the best practises of both worlds,” she says. Even though the remote work recommendations have mostly ended, there is no intention in Kuopio to go back to the old habits. “Shifting to a hybrid model naturally requires trust from the employer, but we have found that in the absence of

commuting and the distractions of the office, work efficiency is in fact higher than before,” Rahkonen points out.

NOVAPOLIS IS MORE THAN JUST A WORKING SPACE The biggest office space provider in Kuopio is KPY Novapolis. The company has created a whole new coworking concept in the Savilahti campus. “We turned the first two floors of the tower at Microkatu into a large coworking environment with various work and meeting spaces, a lunch restaurant and a café,” says Silja Huh­tiniemi, Development and Communications Director of Novapolis. “But Novapolis is not just a working space, but rather a work experience,” she adds. “Employers still want their personnel to visit the office and meet with colleagues. We provide a range of

services from a restaurant to padel courts to help improve employee job satisfaction,” says Huhtiniemi. As Novapolis is mostly located in the Savilahti campus area, it also provides a natural meeting place for companies and potential future employees from the local universities and schools. A real all-in-one solution.

WORK REMOTELY IN THE KUOPIO REGION Novapolis is by no means the only coworking space available in Kuopio. You can choose to work in a hotel, a library or various other working spaces Or perhaps you would prefer a spa or a farm? No problem! The remote work listing for the Kuopio region has you covered. Check out all the options: kuopionalue.fi/en/remote-work/

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The Palad Showroom is a space that combines the art, design and presentation of Palad furniture by the design and architectural firm Partanen & Lamusuo.

Art and Design Make Spaces More Functional Art, design and functionality are all entwined in the urban planning of Kuopio. Good examples of this include the Art Plan, which adds artistic elements to town planning, and Kantti, the home of facts and fantasies linking the museum and the library. The functionality of the new district of Savilahti has also been enhanced through design. T E X T M I K KO J A A K KO L A

SPACES FOR INTERACTION Local design company Hiili & Timantti has designed premises for KPY Novapolis. It has played a key role in projects such as Origo Cowork, which aims to create a new type of attractive work environment that inspires interaction between those working and studying in the area. 36

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“COVID-19 and the subsequent shift to remote work were a turning point in office work. The new circumstances force us to rethink the environment that should encourage people to return to their workplace after working remotely. We cannot just continue established practices,” says Managing Director of Hiili & Timantti Tiina Mielonen.

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / LIVE LIKE LOCAL

“Our design was inspired by the thought that people with different jobs and roles have different needs when it comes to their working spaces. Some need a place where they can concentrate in peace, whereas others want to interact and connect with others.” “The design of Novapolis aims to provide appropriate spaces for differ-


The premises were designed by the architectural design company Partanen & Lamusuo.

ent needs. In addition, the overall design guides people to naturally come into contact with each other. The goal is to increase interaction and thereby produce new cooperation opportunities and synergy benefits,” Mielonen sums up.

A SPACE, A WORK OF ART AND A LIVING ROOM FOR LOCALS The creative work of another local design company, Partanen & Lamu­ suo Ltd., can also be admired at KPY Novapolis. In addition to the interior and the free-standing furniture of

multi-purpose Restaurant Round, the architectural design company has designed the Origo Coworking and restaurant oasis, set to be completed in the beginning of 2022. Founders of the company, architect Heikki Lamusuo and artist Jaana Partanen, are known for their public art, such as the works created for Kuopio University Hospital and South Karelia Social and Health Care District Eksote. One of the most recent projects is Palad Showroom in the centre of Kuopio, which is not only an exhibition space, but also a living room for locals and an installation art piece in itself. “Palad showroom was born the way art often is, from inspiration. We have made all the surfaces with our own hands according to the artistic method. As we were building each wall, we did not yet know where the next one would go,” say Partanen and Lamusuo.

RECOGNIZED PERCENTFOR-ART PROJECTS The pair have also been involved in several percent-for-art projects and have received recognition for their work: Partanen & Lamusuo Ltd. was selected as one of the three finalists to receive the Percentage Culture Award presented by the City of Jyväskylä. Among other factors, the award panel noted the company’s public artworks with international appeal that often combine design, art and architecture.

Design company Hiili & Timantti aims to create a new type of attractive working environment.


What Makes Kuopio so Irresistible?

The statistics speak for themselves: a huge number of people want to move specifically to Kuopio. In the first part of 2021, Kuopio had the second highest net migration rate among all municipalities in Finland. What is the secret to its appeal? The recipe for success does not consist of just one crowd-puller, but is the sum of many parts. TEXT AULI TUOMI

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W I L L E M A R K K A N E N A N D J U K K A TA L L I N E N


When you are planning a big life change, such as moving to a new city, the decision is rarely made solely on the basis of a good job opportunity or an interesting education programme. Other factors also play a role, such as a comfortable living environment, the mover’s impressions of the place and their personal history.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO KUOPIO

leisure services, the atmosphere and interesting events. The location and traditional transport connections also continue to contribute to the attractiveness of a city. Although the geographical location of Kuopio is somewhat remote, it is easy to reach by plane and the train connections are also good. “The size of the catchment area is also a key element of location. Kuopio draws in population from all across eastern Finland,” Aro says to sum up.

Regional researcher Timo Aro describes regional appeal through six pull factors. The pull of a city refers to how attractive it is in the eyes of out­siders. It can consist of CITY OF FUTURE hard and soft factors, locaTALENT "Kuopio is a wonderful tion, reputation and identity. There are also so-called wildcombination of hard and You cannot talk about Kuopio without mentioning its stucards in the pack that add a soft pull factors." dents and universities. surprise element to the mix. “The cornerstones of the “A place can appear attracappeal of Kuopio are its universities, the univertive to a mover, a traveller or a company for a wide sity hospital (KUH) and the business hubs built variety of reasons. Kuopio is a wonderful combiaround them,” says Aro. nation of hard and soft pull factors,” says Aro. The district of Savilahti brings together the Hard factors include jobs, the business climate, campuses of three levels of education in a unique education and innovations. Soft ones can include KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

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way. It takes no effort to exchange ideas, because the facilities of Savo Vocational College, Savonia University of Applied Sciences and the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio are all located close to each other. This hub of excellence and talent is complemented by the wide array of businesses in the area. The University of Eastern Finland is one of the most multidisciplinary scientific universities in Finland. Research done in Kuopio is characterized by effortless collaboration and an encouraging atmosphere. Some of its greatest assets are the cooperation opportunities between the university and KUH.

They also provide good conditions for research. “Kuopio is a unique place to live and work. The incredible nature guarantees that work and leisure remain in balance,” says Kaarniranta.

“A CITY I COULD SEE MYSELF MOVING TO”

Reputation factors refer to the impressions people have of a place. The importance of such factors has continued to grow in recent years. Kuopio is proud to be often ranked among the top cities in surveys asking Finns which city they would like to move to. Aro points out that once a good reputation has been esSINFULLY tablished, it is easy to mainINDULGENT LIFE "Kuopio is a unique tain and improve. Changing a Hard pull factors, such as bad reputation is much harder. place to live and work." education and jobs, are not However, the toughest situenough on their own to guaration is when a city does not antee regional success. The trigger any emotions at all. importance of experiences, services and the loIdentity factors and personal reasons, on the cal atmosphere cannot be overstated. other hand, are important for many returning “The younger the age group, the more they migrants. The local history and dialect leave a value their free time, hobbies and living environstrong impression on people. ment. If the place cannot offer them anything but “Finns love their home districts. It feels nice to a job, they will not move there permanently,” says find your way back to the place you spent your Aro. childhood or where you studied,” says Aro. The quality of life and the comfort of the living And what about the final pull factors on the list, environment live up to all expectations in Kuopio. the wildcards? 40

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“These are unpredictable, local elements that may appear trivial at first, but can develop into something significant over time. It could be an event or an up-and-coming, fast-growing industry. For example, health and wellness technology may become a wildcard industry in Kuopio,” says Aro.

FASCINATING RESEARCH: HABITS OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS Professor Timo Lakka and his team are conducting an extensive study on the health effects of physical activity and nutrition in children and ado­lescents. The habits of an entire age group have been monitored from when they started school until adulthood. “The aim is to identify risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, all the way from childhood,” says Lakka. Over the past 10 years, the study has produced more than 100 international scientific articles and several doctoral theses. It has also inspired a number of health promotion projects both regionally and nationally. According to Lakka, the best outcome is that the lessons learned can genuinely be applied in society. Based on the knowledge, recommendations have been made for the nutrition and physical activity of children and adolescents. The focus is on a healthy future.

FASCINATING RESEARCH: AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION A research group led by Professor Kai Kaarniranta has made breakthrough discoveries in the mechanisms underlying age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the most significant eye disease that causes visual loss in people. “The most important job an eye doctor can have is to prevent people from going blind. There was no treatment for this condition before, but nowadays we can effectively help prevent visual loss,” says Kaarniranta. Kuopio provides excellent settings for conducting world-class research. “Our cross-disciplinary research collaboration is open and active. Research groups are encouraged to work innovatively. It is easy to find researchers from all around the world who want to come to Kuopio,” says Kaarniranta. Rector of the University of Eastern Finland Jukka Mönkkönen also warmly welcomes all Finnish and international researchers and students to the university. “We will continue to need people to uphold the strong expertise at our university. Welcome! We also hope that you will choose this region as your permanent home and place of work.”

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Explore the Developing Urban Areas

Areas around the centre of Kuopio are bustling and growing. What are the top three most interesting developing urban areas? There is something for everyone to discover here, regardless of your interests and preferences. Have you already checked out these places? TEXT AULI TUOMI P H OTO S A R K K I T E H T I TO I M I S TO A J A K , K U O P I O -TA H KO M A R K K I N O I N T I A N D V I C E N T E S E R R A


Savilahti is becoming the home of ideas and individuals in the middle of nature by a lake, right next to the centre of Kuopio. With a campus of three levels of education, Kuopio University Hospital KUH and a large hub of businesses, the area will be an exceptional site for leading expertise, inspiring cooperation and new innovations. Bellanranta, the former factory area in Siikaranta, has turned into an oasis of experiences: a paradise for anyone looking for recreation, exercise and adventure. Whether you come with your family, friends or colleagues, you will want to take your time enjoying the range of activities in the beautiful lakeside landscape of Kallavesi. Kuopion Saana also pampers all your senses with its sauna, spa, restaurant and meeting rooms. Tahko and its stunning natural ar­ eas has been developed with sustainable travel as the top priority. The aim

is to achieve the Sustainable Travel Finland label by the year 2024. Here, the wellbeing of nature and visitor enjoyment go hand in hand. You are welcome to the magical landscape of Tahko, whether you are a winter sports enthusiast, cyclist, hiker, golfer or attending a major event!

“Kuopio provides an excellent setting for entrepreneurship! There are educational institutions and research activities, national parks and sport and cultural services. The city appeals to a wide range of individuals and families; it's a great place to live for everyone.”

“OUTRAGEOUS” PROMISE OF GROWTH

TAHKO SKI LIFT PITCH – THE NEXT SLUSH

High-growth entrepreneurship is free of hassle in Kuopio. Both the helpful people and the encouraging atmo­ sphere give wings to strong growth. “Everyone here knows each other. There’s always someone who can help you find the right networks and business premises. We put a lot of effort into communal activities,” says Managing Director of Kuopio Region Chamber of Commerce Kaija Savo­ lainen.

Companies with their sights set on growth and internationalization may want to head out to Tahko in April. This casual startup event is like nothing you have seen before, with pitches made in a real ski lift, after first preparing them, naturally in “ski schools”. The next Tahko Ski Lift Pitch will take place from 6–7 April 2022.

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My Kind of Savilahti

Savilahti provides a platform for growth, development, experimentation and inspiring living by a beautiful lake, at the heart of the city. The new, unique neighbourhood responds to our future needs for living, working and communicating. TEXT MINNA AKIOLA P H OTO S B A L I N T C Z U C Z A N D S A N N A P I E T I K Ä I N E N

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Communality is the driving force of Savilahti. At the Joy and Light event, the teamwork showed itself at its best.

Savilahti combines living, studying, working and pio University Hospital and the 200 companies leisure in a unique way. It is a place where you can operating in the area. live right next to your job and study opportuniThe area is also home to international comties and cherry-pick the pieces you need to build panies that are leaders in their fields, and some a good, balanced life for yourself. In addition to of the more than a thousand international stuexercise facilities, the recredents in the city also live in ational opportunities of Lake the area. The business sector "Companies give students and study opportunities also Kallavesi and local forests are located close by – and yet lend support to each other. opportunities to take Savilahti is right next to the Companies give students part in inspiring work centre of Kuopio. opportunities to take part in “After a day’s work in Savi­ inspiring work trials or even trials or even find a job." lahti, you can grab your skis find a job. On the other hand, and swoosh a few kilometres the companies benefit from to the Tervaruukki hut or take part in a guided having access to fresh talent graduating from the tour organized by the Kallan Melojat kayak club or educational institutions. enjoy a cup of soot pot coffee at one of the leantos or campfire sites nearby,” says City of Kuopio JOEL NAUKKARINEN ENJOYS Project Manager Antti Niskanen. THE IDYLLIC ENVIRONMENT OF According to Niskanen, Savilahti gives busiSAVILAHTI nesses access to a bunch of networks with comOne of the students in the area is Joel Naukkaripanies in different industries, the research sector nen. His main occupation is sport, but his studies and schools. As a learning and innovation enviin medicine have been a fascinating part of his life ronment, Savilahti is in a league of its own. It links for nine years now. the campuses of three levels of education, KuoKUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

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M Y K I N D O F S AV I L A H T I

Savilahti provides a platform for growth, development, experimentation and inspiring living by a beautiful lake, at the heart of the city.

Joel Naukkarinen enjoys the inspiring environment of Savilahti, where studying and working are seamlessly combined.

He has completed on-the-job learning modules as part of his studies at Kuopio University Hospital in Savilahti. Being able to study and complete on-the-job learning in the same area has been very helpful, because there is a lot of moving from place to place. “I like how Kuopio is structured as a city: everything is within walking distance. When walking from one place to another, you can mentally prepare for the next task at hand. Such moments are important both in terms of studying and in sport”, says Naukkarinen. Naukkarinen competes in three rowing disciplines: Olympic classes, indoor rowing and coastal rowing. He has worked on his performance and technique measurements in cooperation with 46

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

the Department of Applied Physics, which can also be found in the Savilahti area. “The idyllic environment of Savilahti and the campus with its student community also allow me to enjoy the student lifestyle, despite not having been able to attend all the student events due to sport,” says Naukkarinen.

SAVILAHTI IS A NEXT-GENERATION URBAN ENVIRONMENT Antti Niskanen believes that people want to belong to the multidisciplinary, colourful community of Savilahti. The area provides excellent synergy opportunities, and knowledge only attracts more knowledge. Savilahti features just the right


M Y K I N D O F S AV I L A H T I

Savilahti is characterized by a special Savilahti spirit, meaning creative and open atmosphere, and openness and interaction in every encounter.

Various investors have already committed more mix of contrasts from business buzz to lakeside than half a billion euros to the area, and the numnature and from student parties to high culture. ber of people involved has increased by thouA versatile exercise and event centre is being sands in the last few years. built in the area. It will accomSavilahti is a next-genermodate events of up to 2,500 ation urban environment, people. The centre has been "Savilahti is an all-in-one area for living, designed so that the same faworking and leisure. Savilahti cility can be adapted to meet a next-generation has an abundance of posithe needs of as many types of urban environment." tive curiosity and a fresh way users as possible, and the faof doing things, combined cilities can be partitioned into with rock solid expertise and several spaces. research. Above all, it is an area whose story is “Shared use and flexibility are featured in all co-written by residents and operators together. construction in Savilahti. Not every operator is building their own parking area or civil defence shelter, but they will be shared,” says Niskanen. KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

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Concept of Light – The Creative Equation of the Savilahti Area The Concept of Light is an overarching idea of light everywhere in Savilahti. Light can be seen in the names, art, design and lighting in the area as well as in how natural light is optimized. It ties the area together and highlights its distinctive features and identity. TEXT MINNA AKIOLA P H OTO S W I L L E M A R K K A N E N , J A A K KO N I E M E L Ä , PA R V I A I N E N A R K K I T E H D I T, S A N N A P I E T I K Ä I N E N A N D PA S I R A U H A L A

Pulssi (“Pulse”) is one of the biggest artworks in Savilahti. The light art piece will be constructed in front of the sports and event center.

The Concept of Light in Savilahti is not only a branding tool for the area, but also a lighting, design, culture and art programme. The unique natural light in Savilahti has inspired designers to utilize light in the development of the area and help create life in Savi­ lahti 24/7 and 365 days of the year. As the light changes throughout the day and the seasons, it lends a rhythm to the life of the people living, studying and working in the area. “Light in Savilahti does not only mean artificial light brought into the area, but making art and special lighting features available to everyone 48

moving around the area. They will become a part of everyday life for the people in the neighbourhood,” says

"The wide range of events in the area are part of the Concept of Light." Coordinator Heini Orell at Frei Zimmer Oy, the company implementing the Concept of Light art programme. Darkness is also a part of the concept – some areas will be intentionally

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

left dark. According to Orell, the light theme also means that light will not take over everything, but you will for example still be able to see the stars in the sky clearly.

LIGHT BRINGS LEADING EXPERTS AND EVENTS TO SAVILAHTI Light is also closely linked to the cutting-edge expertise of the educational institutions and businesses in the area. One of the disciplines where cutting-edge research is conducted at the University of Eastern Finland is


The new bridge railing in Savilahti changes colour. Most days the bridge is illuminated in white, but on special days it shines in selected colors.

«

«

Events are a key part of the Concept of Light. Fire artist Salima Peippo performed at the Joy and Light event. « In 2022, Savilahti will have a magnificent landmark, the Landscape column Viäntö (”Twist”).

in the area are part of the Concept of Light. They bring people together and activate operators in the region,” says Orell.

SAVILAHTI IS A SOURCE OF COMMON INSPIRATION photonics, the study of light and the related technologies. In addition, Savonia University of Applied Sci­ences and the University of Oulu collaborate on a project called OSAaValo, aiming to develop lighting knowledge and culture in North Ostrobothnia and North Savo. “Light in Savilahti is also about feeling emotions and taking action: the light of life, brilliant ideas and bright moments. The wide range of events

In addition to general lighting that has been designed with exceptional care, Savilahti will also have special lighting features and art that utilizes light. For example, bridges with integrated lighting may soon provide information about the surrounding weather conditions. One of the biggest works of art in the area, Pulssi (“Pulse”), is practically a landmark. The light art piece will be constructed near the event and ex-

ercise centre. The work is designed by media artist Pasi Rauhala and visual artist Jaakko Niemelä. Pulssi is a work of art where the pulsating movement of light plays an important role. Orell is delighted that Savilahti has become a source of common inspiration. The strong sense of community can be seen in the fact that operators in the area are actually volunteering to help turn the Concept of Light into reality. “The Concept of Light is a shared passion for everyone involved in the Savilahti area. People are excited to take part and come up with various ways to give expression to light in terms of lighting, art, knowledge and events,” says Orell happily.

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Open, Inspiring Climate Action with and for Residents The City of Kuopio is a forerunner in smart mobility and in collaborating on behalf of climate-smart solutions. Kuopio is one of the first to invest in electric traffic and is currently launching an international cooperation project to address the challenges of extreme weather events. TEXT MINNA AKIOLA

|

P H OTO S K U O P I O -TA H KO M A R K K I N O I N T I ,

WILLE MARKKANEN, SANNA PIETIKÄINEN AND VICENTE SERRA


The vision of the City of Kuopio for 2030 is to use as much renewable energy as possible and to bring energy consumption down to a sustainable level. The goal is to create an urban structure that supports carbon neutrality and smart mobility, the environmentally friendly production and consumption of food and resource-wise consumption. In the upcoming years, Kuopio will invest in the transition to renewable energy, such as solar electricity and district cooling. In addition, the carbon footprint of construction will be reduced by increasing wood construction and the use of recycled materials. For example, the ongoing street construction project in the district of Savilahti has used crushed concrete and power plant ash. The various circular economy and resource-wise solutions also provide significant new business opportunities for many companies.

SMART MOBILITY IS AN OVERARCHING THEME IN KUOPIO Kuopio is one of the forerunners in introducing electric traffic. It was the fourth city in Finland to launch electric buses in the summer of 2021. The city already had 13 biodiesel buses which had been introduced earlier. About 80 percent of the local public transport now runs on clean energy. According to Public Transport Manager Kaisu Matinniemi, the energy solution of the Kuopio urban area was guided by the Clean Vehicles Directive of the EU, which requires a certain share of clean vehicles, including electric buses, in the procurement of local transport services. The rest can run on biodiesel or biogas. Clean public transport is expected to increase the use of public transport and the attractiveness of the entire urban area. When speaking about Kuopio being climate smart, you cannot forget the Vilkku city bikes – the first electric city bikes in the Nordic countries. According to Mayor of Kuopio Jarmo Pirhonen, smart mobility has been one of the key focus ar­eas of the city for years. In addition to 51


« When speaking about Kuopio being climate smart, you cannot forget the Vilkku city bikes.

«

Kuopio is one of the forerunners in introducing electric traffic. Electric buses were launches in the summer of 2021.

cation was prepared by the Savonia University of electric traffic, Kuopio is investing in the charging Applied Sciences, one of the key players of the network for residents’ own electric vehicles and Kuopio Water Cluster, which biogas filling stations. focuses on research, devel“Smart mobility is an overarching theme that covers opment and innovation in the "Together we can make public transport, parking, water sector. electric city bikes and pedes­ Funding was also applied for a good future for both trian and bicycle routes. SWATCH (Smart Water Manmunicipalities." Smart mobility is not only a agement Against the Threats climate action, but also an of Climate Change), a project action on behalf of the urban aiming to address the chalenvironment and health,” says Pirhonen. lenges of extreme weather events, particularly heavier rainfall and the resulting flooding. Bodø had an idea to use AI to predict the future INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION using sensor technology and to build a model for FOR CLIMATE SMART SOLUTIONS water and wastewater management for a digital The City of Kuopio has joined forces with its twin. The idea received a positive response from twin city, Bodø in Norway, to apply for funding Kuopio and Savonia UAS. from the NPA Programme (Northern Periphery “We started to discuss this together and develand Arctic). The application also includes Ireland op the bridging call project with this theme. We (Central Solutions Ltd as a partner) and Scotland then found new partners in Ireland and Scotland. (Heriot-Watt University as a partner). The appliIt has been a great team so far and we in Bodø are

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O P E N , I N S P I R I N G C L I M AT E A C T I O N W I T H A N D F O R R E S I D E N T S

very much looking forward to this cooperation. We really hope that we will get the funding for the project,” says Project Developer, Adviser Trond Åmo from Bodø’s Office of City Development. According to Chief Innovation Officer at the City of Kuopio Arto Holopainen, this is a consortium application procedure so the project requires the expertise of multiple parties. That is why Ireland and Scotland are involved, as they have plenty of experience living at the mercy of heavy rains.

CITIES SERVE AS DEVELOPMENT PLATFORMS FOR THE PROJECT Holopainen is happy to see concrete cooperation springing up between the twin cities. The cities will develop the joint project from their own standpoints, aiming to do some good for their residents. Åmo agrees. “We want to develop the friendship, see what we can learn from each other and seek new

knowledge. Together we can make a good future for both municipalities,” says Åmo. Holopainen adds that the cities of Kuopio and Bodø will serve as development platforms for the project. Technology will be developed in practice in actual urban environments, instead of laboratory conditions where such research is typically done. According to Åmo, the changing climate will affect the life of ordinary residents quite dramatically if Kuopio and Bodø do not prepare themselves for it. They need to obtain more knowledge on how climate change will affect the cities locally and to use new knowledge and technology to make new area plans. “We must change our behaviour and become “greener” in our life to hopefully reduce the impact. If we do nothing, we may suffer badly both in terms of the economy and the environment,” says Åmo.

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Cooperation and Wellbeing are Intertwined in Kuopio

A sense of inclusion, opportunities for participation and shared excitement have a tendency to increase well- being, and Kuopio has invested in these things in many ways. Here are just a few examples. TEXT MINNA AKIOLA P H OTO S T I I N A H A R I N G , WILLE MARKKANEN AND VICENTE SERRA


You can experience cooperation, a communal spirit and wellbeing in Kuopio through various events, joint ventures and cultural operators.

OUR KUOPIO IS A FESTIVAL THAT FOSTERS A COMMUNAL SPIRIT Our Kuopio Festival is a series of events that span across several weeks, coordinated by the city and produced together with the residents themselves – anyone can organize an event as part of the festival programme. The events are open and communal, and the festival turns

Kuopio into a common meeting place for all.

"All the art institutions in the city take part in the event." “It can be a backyard karaoke parties, art exhibitions, street theatre, flea markets, restaurant days or any­ thing that brings you joy and provides new experiences. For example, neighbourhood events give a boost to the identity, cultural heritage and

positive aspects of individual neighbourhoods,” says Cultural Manager of the City of Kuopio Nina Venäläinen. All the art institutions in the city take part in the event. They offer free concerts and museum visits, for instance.

PRODUCTS TESTED IN THE LIVING LAB PROMOTE WELLBEING Kuopio Living Lab is a collaboration concept formed by three expert organizations: Kuopio University Hospital (KUH), the City of Kuopio and Savonia University of Applied Sci­

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ences. The concept allows operators to lend their environments and expertise to the product development of companies. The purpose of the end products is to promote the wellbeing of residents. “The way it works is that a company contacts us and describes its development needs. We find backup support for the product development and offer environments within the city as testing platforms. Products and services can be tested, for instance, in classrooms, among home care customers or in exercise facilities,” says Jouko Miettinen, Project Manager at the City of Kuopio.

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Companies value feedback specifi­ cally from end users in authentic environments. For instance, elderly testers have tested various products and services to make their lives easier.

KANTTI OFFERS WAYS TO FIND INSPIRATION IN FACTS AND FANTASIES Joining the main library and Kuopio Museum, Kantti spreads wellbeing all around itself and provides a place to build your identity. Its goal is to create as many ways as possible to wonder at, get excited and be inspired by

KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

facts and fantasies, knowledge and stories. “For example, senior citizens can borrow a briefcase of memories to reminisce the past, nature lovers can join a nature book club and groups of pupils can explore the city with the help of a mobile game,” says Coordinator of Museum Events Heta Pekkarinen at the Kuopio Museum Centre. Kantti aims to bring people together with its own events and services, in addition to providing a space where anyone can organize get-togethers that are meaningful in their life or simply meet other people sponta­ neously.


KU OP IO BY N U M B E R S

Working life & Business

Success stories emerge from places where they have room to grow. The attitude of Kuopio’s residents is built on courage, persistence and, above all, collaboration.

200,000 840,000 121,500 A POPUL ATION OF

RESIDENTS

RESIDENTS LIVING IN ITS COMMUTING AREA

7,000

TOTAL COMBINED TURNOVER OF THE COMPANIES AT

COMPANIES

53,000 JOBS

TOTAL INVESTMENT VALUE OF THE CIT Y ’S DEVELOPMENT PROJEC TS

€4 BILLION

€ 7,423 MILLION IN THE KUOPIO AREA

TOP

2

RECOMMEND LOCATION FOR COMPANIES AMONG L ARGE CITIES IN FINL AND

RESIDENTS LIVING IN ITS CATCHMENT AREA

200 EXPORT COMPANIES

300 IMPORT COMPANIES


KU OP IO BY N U M B E R S

Kuopio - the Capital of Good Life Kuopio is the center of Eastern Finland – the Capital of Lakeland – and one of the most dynamic cities when it comes to residential development, attractiveness, job opportunities and population growth.

THE HAPPIEST

KUOPIO IS KNOWN FOR

THE

8TH

L ARGEST CIT Y IN FINL AND

A POPUL ATION OF

121,500 RESIDENTS THE IMAGE OF KUOPIO

2ND

RESIDENTS AMONG THE L ARGEST CITIES IN FINL AND

THE MARKET SQUARE, PUIJO AND TAHKO

MOST POSITIVE (AMONG FINNISH CITIES)

112

25,000

7,000

DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES

200,000 RESIDENTS LIVING IN ITS COMMUTING AREA

STUDENTS

SURROUNDED BY OVER

100 L AKES

THE

COMPANIES

53,000 JOBS

200

TOTAL INVESTMENT VALUE OF THE CIT Y ’S DEVELOPMENT PROJEC TS

THE L ARGEST NATIONAL CIT Y PARK WITH A SURFACE AREA OF

EXPORT COMPANIES

BILLION

MILLION SQUARE METRE

IMPORT COMPANIES

€4

7,200

300


Reykjavik

Oslo

Helsinki

Stockholm

Tallinn Dublin

2h

Copenhagen Minsk

London

Kiev

Prague Munich

Vienna Budapest Zagreb

Milan Barcelona

3h

Berlin

Paris

Madrid

Moscow

4h

Bukarest

Rome

45 min 4 h 25 min

Helsinki KUOPIO BY NATURE 2022 / FUTURE KUOPIO

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The best memories are born, where the heart lives.

Kuopio is easy to love, but difficult to explain. It is a city full of sensation from the freshness of the morning to the pulse of the night.