Oulu is buil­ding for the futu­re

Referential illustration of the new multi-purpose arena in Oulu by Arkkitehdit Kontukoski Oy.

Oulu is get­ting pre­pa­red for its upco­ming year as Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re in 2026. At the same time, the city is loo­king forward to great invest­ments that will deve­lop the urban envi­ron­ment, busi­ness, emplo­y­ment, and pos­si­bi­li­ties for tou­rism in the next few years. The­se pro­jects invol­ve the City of Oulu along with pri­va­te com­pa­nies and other sta­ke­hol­ders.

The most sig­ni­ficant public pro­jects near Oulu city cent­re inclu­de a new tra­vel cent­re to replace the exis­ting railway and bus sta­tions and a mul­ti-pur­po­se sports and events are­na which is being plan­ned right next to the sta­tion complex.

The con­struc­tion cost of the new are­na toget­her with an adjoi­ned hotel and office sec­tion is cur­rent­ly esti­ma­ted at approxi­ma­te­ly 130 mil­lion euros. The city is alrea­dy con­duc­ting mar­ket dia­lo­gue with poten­tial inves­tors and execu­tors.

In coming deca­des, the are­na will pro­vi­de a first-class set­ting for many kinds of sports events as well as other impor­tant occa­sions from concerts to con­fe­rences.

When it comes to sports and lei­su­re, anot­her upco­ming pro­ject is the con­struc­tion of a new foot­ball sta­dium in Hei­nä­pää, as well as a new cent­re for rec­rea­tion and tou­rism in Vir­pi­nie­mi for local, domes­tic, and inter­na­tio­nal use.

As far as tou­rism is concer­ned, notable pro­jects inclu­de the con­struc­tion of new accom­mo­da­tion and ser­vice faci­li­ties in Nal­li­ka­ri, which is a popu­lar resort among inter­na­tio­nal visi­tors, as well as a tall hotel complex at the waterfront near the Mar­ket Squa­re, concei­ved under the wor­king tit­le ”Terwa Tower”.

– The­se are tru­ly sig­ni­ficant invest­ments and won­der­ful pro­jects that att­ract inves­tors and execu­tors. The growing Oulu is regar­ded not only as an appea­ling loca­tion to invest in but also as an invi­ting and safe place for living and doing busi­ness. The City of Oulu as a faci­li­ta­tor crea­tes the pos­si­bi­li­ties for all the­se pro­jects and invest­ments to beco­me a rea­li­ty, says Mar­ko Kil­pe­läi­nen, Head of the Urban Envi­ron­ment Divi­sion for the City of Oulu.

Mas­si­ve invest­ments in industry

Major pro­jects in the fields of tech­no­lo­gy and industry will also crea­te more vita­li­ty and emplo­y­ment in Oulu in the near futu­re. Pro­jects sche­du­led for con­struc­tion and comple­tion in the next few years inclu­de a new Nokia cam­pus and a new pro­duc­tion line to be built at the Sto­ra Enso paper mill.

Due to be comple­ted in a couple of years, the new Nokia cam­pus will be housing the company’s research and deve­lop­ment func­tions in Oulu as well as the pro­duc­tion of Nokia network devices. The total indoor space in the cam­pus pre­mi­ses will add up to 55 000 squa­re met­res and the con­struc­tion costs will exceed 200 mil­lion euros.

Esti­ma­ted at around one bil­lion euros, the invest­ment by Sto­ra Enso will con­vert the remai­ning, idle paper mac­hi­ne at the Group’s Nuot­ta­saa­ri mill in Oulu into a high-volu­me con­su­mer board pro­duc­tion line. The pro­duc­tion pf pro­ducts is esti­ma­ted to com­mence in ear­ly 2025 and bring at least 300 new jobs along with it.

– The big invest­ments that are cur­rent­ly being execu­ted ensu­re the deve­lop­ment of Oulu in the coming deca­des. They inc­rea­se the num­ber of direct and indi­rect jobs sig­ni­ficant­ly, gua­ran­tee the success of exis­ting com­pa­nies, and allow ent­ry of new ope­ra­tors into the area. What is more, regio­nal logis­tical deci­sions concer­ning the railway as well as road and sea traf­fic will boost the com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness of nort­hern Fin­land as a who­le, envi­sions Juha Ala-Mur­su­la, Direc­tor of Business­Oulu, a public busi­ness and emplo­y­ment agency of the City of Oulu.

First-class health care and housing

The con­struc­tion of ”the smar­test hos­pi­tal in the world” in Oulu has progres­sed even ahead of sche­du­le, and some of the gigan­tic complex ari­sing rapid­ly in the city district of Kon­tin­kan­gas has alrea­dy been deli­ve­red to the com­mis­sio­ner.

The total cost of the OYS 2030 pro­gram­me has been esti­ma­ted at approxi­ma­te­ly 1.6 bil­lion euros. With this invest­ment, the func­tions and faci­li­ties of Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal will be refor­med to meet the futu­re chal­len­ges of specia­li­sed health care.

Just befo­re taking over the tit­le of Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re, Oulu will host the natio­nal, annual Housing Fair in 2025. Loca­ted in Har­taan­sel­kä, the fair area will beco­me a high-class urban envi­ron­ment that pro­mo­tes sus­tai­nable deve­lop­ment and com­mu­na­li­ty. The aim is to turn the area into a popu­lar des­ti­na­tion for visi­tors, an example of a hig­her gra­de of city living, and a delight to all the people of Oulu.

In addi­tion to the­se con­struc­tion pro­jects worth bil­lions of euros, one of the means of impro­ving the vita­li­ty and appeal of Oulu in the futu­re is to deve­lop the air traf­fic to and from the city. Nego­tia­tions with foreign air­li­ne com­pa­nies are cons­tant­ly underway to open new inter­na­tio­nal con­nec­tions to the second busiest air­port in Fin­land.

Read more Oulu’s excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ties for sus­tai­nable invest­ments.