In Porvoo, Jokiranta and its parks form some of the best environments for restaurants and recreational activities in the minds of Porvoo inhabitants. And tourists are no less fond of the riverside parks and squares. Once the summer’s festive season starts and the weather is fair, people gather in Jokiranta. Many of the Jokiranta parks are ready but some central park areas are still under construction in western Länsiranta.
The Aleksinpuisto park is currently under development. In accordance with town plan AK-401, the park will be situated in western Jokiranta, between the footbridge and the Aleksanterinsilta bridge. In its current state, the park area has mainly been undeveloped and unfinished yet central. Designing and constructing the park is becoming all the more urgent as the new blocks of flats on the park’s west side are now completed. The riverside is also unbuilt and low in height. At present, it does not have a wall like the other parts of Jokiranta do. This is why there has been some occasional flooding in the park.
As part of the park’s design, the LUCIA project is implementing a pedestrian and bicycle way with intelligent and energy-efficient lighting, as well as related wholes and operational areas for the park. The lighting design consists of technical and visual design and resident evaluations. The aim is an intelligent, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly lighting that will increase living comfort and safety in the area. The intelligently illuminated pedestrian and bicycle way is 5 metres wide with a coloured asphalt surface and lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. In this section, the pedestrian and bicycle way forms a 200-metre stretch and will continue over to the south side of the Aleksanterinsilta bridge. The Lucia project will be completed in June 2021.
The town plan has dictated many of the starting points and goals for the park’s design. The park will have two covered areas for coffee shop/restaurants, and pedestrian and bicycle way connections in line with the town plan. The riverside wall will be designed as a vertical wall with a red granite surface just like on the other already-completed riverside sections. The park will be bordered by housing plots on the west side and the Porvoo River on the other side. The park’s load-bearing conditions are poor. That is why the riverside wall and part of the park must be stabilised to avoid settling in paved sections and pedestrian and bicycle ways. The other Jokiranta park areas affect the visual design of the new park. The design aims to create a high-quality Länsiranta park that focuses on recreational activities on the riverside, lawns, paved areas, and the cafes and restaurants. The design for the areas for recreation and activities will highlight different equipment, coatings, and structures, with some smart furniture/equipment. Vegetation will support the places of activity and recreation. Trees create a larger framework for the spaces. Bushes separate spaces from one another. Tree design has a focus on creating a background for the park.
Trees with a drooping shape are planned for the riverside recreational areas. The grass-covered areas are divided by conkers in bloom. In the restaurant surroundings, columnar lime trees provide dignity and light. In the background, the oak-like – yet smaller – alders are planted as spaced out avenues to avoid blocking the residents’ view of the river. Large oaks will be planted to serve as landmarks on both sides of the Aleksanterinsilta bridge. With the bushes, the plan is to use ones that blossom at different times. Higher bushes are complemented on the sides by lower varieties, such as mock orange. The pedestrian and bicycle way running along the residential buildings is bordered by a gabion, a wall that consists of chainlink-type cages filled with stones. The latter is landscaped with climbing hydrangea. The gabion will be otherwise visible save for sporadic beds of panicled hydrangea and bordering dwarf mountain pines.