Artificial grass pitch for Viikki
In short (more info below or at http://viikintekonurmi.com/):
The signatories propose that the city of Helsinki builds within in the next few years an artificial grass pitch in Viikki, preferably on the existing Latokartano cinder pitch.
- Over 11,000 residents of Viikki, the students of two schools, the residents of nearby areas and several soccer teams would benefit from a new artificial grass pitch in Viikki
- Viikki is a good place for an artificial grass pitch, because traffic connections are excellent and they will further improve after construction of the new Ring I (“Kehä I) junction has been finished
- An artificial grass pitch is convenient and safe for many sports, especially for soccer
- In ball sports players’ skills can under good conditions improve better on artificial grass than on a cinder pitch
- Maintenance is easy and cost-efficient, also the yearly utilization time of an artificial grass pitch is higher as for example of a cinder pitch
- An artificial grass pitch attracts adults as well as children
- An artificial grass pitch increases people’s – especially children’s and teenagers’ – enthusiasm for sports such as soccer
- Increasing exercise is beneficial for public health
- Meeting in team sports develops social skills and helps to integrate immigrants into Finnish society
As the population of Helsinki grows, also citizens’ demand for safe and quality sports and exercise facilities increase. Therefore it is important to find locations for these facilities, where the residents of Helsinki can easily reach and use them. One example for a safe and quality sport facility are artificial grass pitches which have become increasingly popular around the world in the last decades.
Viikki needs an artificial grass pitch
Vivid and growing Viikki with a population of over 11,000 serves perfectly as location for an artificial grass pitch. The artificial grass pitch could be placed upon the Latokartano cinder pitch (Agronominkatu 26) thus utilizing the already existing infrastructure such as the surrounding fence, the lightning set and drainage.
The artificial grass pitch would not only serve over 11,000 residents of Viikki, of which many are families with kids, but also the residents of nearby areas. In the direct vicinity of the pitch are two schools (Viikin normaalikoulu, Latokartanon peruskoulu) and several kindergartens that would benefit from the artificial grass pitch.
Currently Latokartano cinder pitch is uses already by several soccer teams (for example Ellas Fc) and popularity would increase significantly if there would be an artificial grass pitch.
Traffic connections are excellent. You can get close to the itch from different parts of Helsinki for example with the bus lines 54, 57, 68, 79, 506, 550, 554 and 561. Reachability will further increase from that after the construction of the new Ring I (“Kehä I) junction has been finished.
Why artificial grass?
Low maintenance costs and high utilization time
During the last 10-15 years in many places cinder pitch have been replaced by artificial grass pitches. Artificial grass pitches are easy and cost-efficient to maintain and they are suitable for many sports. Especially soccer is nowadays played often on artificial grass. Around the world many big soccer clubs practice on artificial grass pitches. The yearly utilization time of an artificial grass pitch is about 2000 – 2500 hours, while the yearly utilization time for a cinder pitch is about 1000 – 1500 hours. For a natural grass pitch the yearly utilization time is only 400 – 800 hours. 
Smaller risk of injury and development of skills
A modern artificial grass pitch offers a good surface for ball sports. The risk of some injuries might be even lower than on a cinder or natural grass pitch.  Therefore artificial grass pitches are in great favor especially in areas where many children live.
Interacting with the ball is easer on artifical grass than on a cinder pitch. The longer utilization time of an artificial grass pitch can under good conditions improve players’ skills better and lead to success in sports. For example little Iceland’s (around 330,000 inhabitants) participation in the EURO 2016 Cup has been also made possible by the availability of many artificial grass pitches.
Practically an artificial grass pitch works like a magnet. It attracts people, adults as well as children, because playing on it is convenient and safe.
Social skills and integration
Nowadays children and young people often spend their time in activities that don’t develop their social, motoric and physical skills (computers, smart phones). Sparking their enthusiasm for physical activity in team sports with a cinder pitch is much more difficult than with an artificial grass pitch. Many ball sports that can be played on an artificial pitch, such as soccer, are team sports. Participating in them not only develops physical skills, but also social skills and team spirit. Additionally team sports are an excellent way to integrate immigrants into Finnish society and create international friendships.
We, the signatories, wish that the decision makers of the city of Helsinki immediately start planning the construction of an artificial grass pitch in Viikki and reserve funds for that purpose. The artificial grass pitch should be ready to use within the next few years.
You can find more information about the artificial grass pitch project in Viikki and possible plans on this website: http://viikintekonurmi.com/. Also contacting can be done via that website.
 DFB (German Soccer Federation); Thema Kunstrasen, Vorteile, Kosten, Möglichkeiten; 1.3.2013; URL: http://www.dfb.de/news/detail/thema-kunstrasen-vorteile-kosten-moeglichkeiten-80258/ (accessed 16.6.2016).
 Jay H. Williams, Emmanuel Akogyrem, Jeremy Williams; A Meta-Analysis of Soccer Injuries on Artificial Turf and Natural Grass; in: Journal of Sports Medicine; USA 2013; URL: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jsm
/2013/380523/ (katsottu 19.6.2016).
Karl Schultheis Contact the author of the petition
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