Living, transport, and jobs go hand in hand

Residential construction and zoning are daily topics in the media, and that is no wonder since home and living are a central part of our everyday life and fundamental issues in our lives. It seems jobs are often forgotten in the public debate which focuses mainly on living. Central questions are, among others, where jobs and services are located in relation to residential areas, and what kind of transport and logistics flows are necessary to ensure that residents in growing urban centers can commute to work and earn a living, and to ensure that necessary services can be provided.

The EU White Paper on Transport Policy 2011 set a goal of nearly CO2-free city logistics in major urban centers by the year 2030. A big question is also how the deliveries of online purchases to respond to the continually increasing demand in ever-growing city centers are organized. According to the Finnish Commerce Federation, the value of online purchases already accounted for 11 percent of all retail sales, and for a fifth of the total value of department store and specialty goods sales in 2017. The fastest growth was seen in the online sales of groceries, although the value of online sales still remains very modest when compared with the total value of the retail industry.

In land use planning, it is necessary to maintain a balance between residential construction, residents’ jobs, and the facilities of firms that provide the services the residents need. What makes the situation challenging is that in nearly all surveys residents say they want services, but, at the same time, they are not willing to accept the negative effects that come with them.


Local economy at its best

Nearly 90 percent of new residential construction takes place in or near urban areas. Service networks of micro- and small-size businesses must be given a chance to develop in accordance with this trend. Two-thirds of new jobs are created in SME companies. Clusters must be offered the services they need, and it must be possible for companies to find the facilities they need close to where their employees live and where their customers are. This is local economy at its best.

The opposite development, where residential areas and jobs end up being quite far from each other, and small service providers are located far from customers, is not an ideal solution in terms of individuals, business economics, or optimal functioning of the society. Accessibility and provision of services slow down, work productivity becomes lower, roads become congested, and emissions increase.

In order to make sure small businesses are competitive and productive enough, they need flexible and modifiable facilities where their needs have been taken into account with the help of tailor-made space solutions, and the locations must be easily accessible, have convenient transport connections, and be located close to centers. Although the public debate mostly focuses on housing and large corporations, most municipalities realize the important role of small businesses and the services they offer in making the municipality more attractive and more competitive. Nevertheless, creating an overall strategy covering land use, housing, business, and traffic on a timeline extending well into the future is challenging.


Building alone is not sufficient, services are also needed

The market reality is, unfortunately, that there are only a few companies in the building sector catering to the needs and demands of small companies by building sufficiently small and easily modifiable facilities, and the service element is included in an even smaller part of the offering. Talliosake® is the forerunner here. Those offering space solutions must also adjust their thinking and become more customer-oriented, so that unused spaces can be updated and tailored to respond to the needs of small businesses.

The novel concept of building Talliosake spaces is not just about offering business space with logistically optimal locations, but important services are included as well. The businesses are given an opportunity to network with other businesses of approximately comparable size, and they are also offered the service infrastructure they need, such as building management and maintenance, data communications, as well as alarm system and building security services. This concept enhances companies’ business performance and frees up time and resources for the core business. Thanks to the nationwide presence of Talliosake, businesses using Talliosake spaces have the flexibility to conveniently expand their operations regionally, or to move their growing and developing business to premises that are optimal in each particular phase. It is also interesting to note that the changes underway in the business sector, outsourcing by major companies, and the space needs of SME and micro companies are similar also in our neighboring countries, and that the concept is applicable also internationally.

At its best, a micro business park that enables and boosts the growth and cooperation of small businesses can serve as an optimal environment for future success stories which, for example, also science parks such as Technopolis campuses in Finland are striving for in their own segments.


Heikki Lahtinen
Chief Strategy Officer