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The purpose of national urban parks is to preserve a built cultural environment and urban nature as an extensive and cohesive entity – a living room for urban dwellers. National urban parks are part of sustainable urban planning and construction. They are governed by the Land Use and Building Act. The application for the establishment of a national urban park is made by the city authority, and the decision is made by the Ministry of the Environment.

Land Use and Building Act, section 68(1):

“A national urban park may be established to protect and maintain the beauty of the cultural or natural landscape, historical characteristics or related values concerning the townscaping, social, recreational or other special values of an area in an urban environment.”

Kokkola’s role in the network of national urban parks

Kokkola National Urban Park preserves the evolution story of this site from a small village located along the slowly-rising coast, first sustained by agriculture, fishing and seal hunting, and later by shipbuilding, tar-making and trade, into a vibrant and international market town which produced its own home-grown intelligentsia and bourgeoisie.

The phenomenon of land uplift has always had significant influence on the interaction between the sea and the land in Kokkola. The shallow shores and receding sea have forced local residents to move the harbours further and further away from the city centre. The maritime, coastal and archipelagic nature of the national urban park is also clearly influenced by land uplift: nature is constantly changing in a dynamic process of ecological succession.

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