Who is Henna?

I am a 35-year-old architect living in Tapiola. My profession is to design comfortable work spaces both for office employees and storage workers in Architect Agency Siltanen & Laakso Ltd.

Besides my day job, I am a member of the City Council, the chairman of the Environment Committee and a deputy member of Town Planning Committee in Espoo. In addition, I am a member of the Green Party Council.

I joined the Green Party in spring 2011 right before the Parliament election on that year. I decided to stand for a council seat in Espoo at the municipal election 2012. I had two main drives in politics. First, I wanted to have an impact to the city structure of Espoo, which is very scattered at the moment. Second, I am very concerned of the state of the environment. I find it important to have a fair city to care of the weak ones.

On my freetime, I am a theatre enthusiast. I have established two amateur theatre groups in the capital city area (Impro Vinkkeli and Sarana), I have directed, manuscripted and acted in Otaniemi-based Teekkarispeksi as well as been an active member of Helsinki University student theatre (Ylioppilasteatteri).

Vivid city – Nature near

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More Affordable Housing

Home is one of the most important things in life. Location, cost of living, services in the area and public transportation affect where we can and want to live. Living in the metropolitan area is becoming more and more expensive all the time. One of the obvious reasons for this is that new houses are not built as fast as the population here is growing.

Everyone cannot afford their own home in Espoo. Especially those who live alone, are single parents, have gone through divorce or for some other reason need to do with a single income are in an unbearable situation.

Espoo needs more small apartments – we have a clear and urgent need for them. They are also the ones first-time home buyers can afford.

For families with children, an important point to consider when choosing home is the proximity of daycare and schools, and the healthiness of their indoor air. At the moment, new schools and daycare centers are not being built as fast as the number of children is growing. Also indoor air quality problems have driven students to temporary spaces, even far away from home.

My goals in the coming term in Espoo City Council are:

  • More apartments, especially small ones, are built in Espoo to answer for the growing demand.
  • Enough sites are planned and offered for student housing.
  • More rental housing will be offered by the city yearly.
  • Enough daycare centers and schools are built to correspond with the growing number of children.
  • Schools and daycare centers with indoor air quality problems are renovated and the total amount of repair debt in Espoo is reduced.

In the present Council term I have:

  • Forwarded building of small apartments by demanding a change in the planning regulation that limited it.
  • Worked for the possibility to build more affordable apartments by demanding moderation to the parking place orders that raise the cost of living.
  • Defended the planning of Otaniemi to suit student housing.
  • Voted for building more of city-offered rental housing.
  • Demanded that planning permissions are granted more fluently.
  • Participated in the demand to invest more in the annual repairs of city-owned real estates and schools with indoor air quality problems.

More City for Pedestrians

In a comfortable city, people have places where they can meet. Squares, terraces, cafés and small shops make centers more lively. Without pedestrian-friendly areas, we also miss a lot of urban culture: food happenings, performances, street artists, holiday season markets. With city planning, we can choose whether we are aiming to build real pedestrian-friendly city areas or focus on building huge shopping centers next to highways.

In a city space which is safe and friendly to pedestrians, the distances between home, services and public transport hubs are short. Separate cycling lanes benefit both pedestrians and cyclists, making their travel-time smoother.

My goals in the coming term in Espoo City Council are:

  • City centers have lively pedestrian-friendly areas with services on the street level.
  • The scale of pedestrians is taken as the starting point in city planning.
  • Cyclists will have more cycle lanes.

In the present Council term I have:

  • Defended the plans to expand the pedestrian area in Leppävaara.
  • Supported the growth of city-like, compact Kera.
  • Influenced in the decision not to expand Merituulentie in Tapiola to have 2+2 driving lanes.
  • Supported that infill construction is prioritized in centers.
  • Demanded that the planning resources for cycle lanes are improved.

More Public Transportation

All of us want to reach home, workplace, hobbies and the grocery store easily every day. Well-operated public transportation is a genuine alternative for using one’s own car.

For years, Espoo has been a city of cars. However, a large amount of people in Espoo cannot use or don’t want to own their own car. For them, a well-functioning public transportation makes it possible to reach home, school, services and hobbies. In other words, living in Espoo.

We are seeing big improvements in public transportation, as Länsimetro (the subway line extension to the west) is coming into operation and the construction work for Raide-Jokeri (light rail connection that will replace the bus line 550) is starting. However, many parts of the city still rely on infrequent bus lines, and the ticket prices are continuously growing. This needs to change. The connecting transportation to subway stations needs to be tempting and work well.

My goals in the coming term in Espoo City Council are:

  • The prices of public transportation tickets are no longer rising.
  • Use of public transportation is possible for more people, by building compact city centers around good public transportation connections.
  • The realization of new trunk bus lines and light rail lines are forwarded.
  • Bus connections are improved.

In the present Council term I have:

  • Voted for Raide-Jokeri (light rail transit that will replace bus line 550) and defended it at different stages of the process.
  • Promoted that we should have more well-working trunk bus lines.
  • Supported compact city construction to make good public transportation possible.
  • Opposed city planning that is based on private car traffic, only.
  • Voted for the continuation of Länsimetro (subway line extension) until Kivenlahti.

Less Carbon Emissions

Climate change affects the future of the entire globe. Most of all it will affect the children, who are here to face the consequences. We cannot stop climate change in Espoo alone but we can do our part and act as a responsible example to other Finnish cities and the world.

Espoo has taken some good steps in climate matters. The city has defined a climate program with climate targets, and the first actions to reach them have been taken. In addition, Espoo has been chosen as the most sustainable city in Europe in 2016.

However, Espoo is still mainly heated by coal, and almost half of all journeys are made by private cars due to the scattered city structure. A climate-friendly city should have compact city centers where the use of public transportation and services is easy.

My goals in the coming term in Espoo City Council are:

  • To reduce Espoo’s carbon dioxide emissions and to carry out the action plan of Espoo’s climate program.
  • To demand a more concrete roadmap on how to achieve long-term emission reduction targets.
  • With the city’s pressure, to get Fortum (energy company) to let go of coal use in Espoo.
  • To make city-owned real estates more energy efficient and to get the city’s procurements to favor lower emissions.
  • To promote the use of renewable energy in Espoo.

In the present Council term I have:

  • Acted as the chairman of the Environment Committee and prepared the climate program for Espoo.
  • Demanded and got extra funding for the background investigations of the climate program.
  • Demanded that Fortum (energy company) gives a concrete plan to make Espoo carbon neutral by the year 2030.
  • Affected the growth of climate-friendly, compact city structure.

Less Chipping away Nearby Forests

Taking your dog out in the nearby forest, going for a jog after work or getting to know the wonders of forest during a school day are a source of energy in our busy lives. Nature is important to people living in Espoo. Keeping it rich and versatile is something we need to take care of.

Building compact city centers which are easily served by public transportation is also a positive way to act for the climate. In this way, we don’t need to sacrifice nearby forests for building more houses, and we can keep green areas connected, although the population in Espoo is growing.

City growth also places a burden on our water systems. With good planning, cooperation between city actors and communication to people in the area Espoo can make sure that the numerous lakes, rivers and streams are kept clean.

My goals in the coming term in Espoo City Council are:

  • No chipping away of the Espoo central park.
  • Hanikka, Sammalvuori and other important nearby forests are kept for recreational purposes.
  • Making sure that city recycles the land masses born at building sites, so we don’t need to mine more places for their deposition.
  • Natural biodiversity is respected more when taking care of city forests.
  • Water conservation is actively forwarded.

In the present Council term I have:

  • Secured green connections, school forests and Natura areas in all city planning.
  • Demanded that Espoonväylä plans are changed so that they better consider the Espoo Central Park.
  • Resisted building Hanikka and left a dissenting opinion on the decision.
  • Reached the commitment of the City Council to follow the action plan for keeping the natural biodiversity. I have demanded an entry of this to Council Convention.
  • Demanded the guidelines for forest management to be renewed in order to honour betther the natural biodiversity and participated actively to preparation of new guidelines.
  • Led the preparation of the water protection action plan as the chairman of the Environment Committee.
  • Got extra funding for the water protection in budget negotiations.
  • Defended the fish stock and biodiversity of Monikonpuro in planning Leppävaara.
  • Demanded successfully one more full-time position in Espoo Environment Department for environmental inspector.
  • Helped the residents living near Ämmässuo landfill, Lahnus shooting range and Tillinmäki in problems regarding wells, quarries and rock crushing plants.