- Throughout the years, Hakametsä in Uusikaupunki has become a residential area shaped by its residents. The active residents’ association wishes to provide the residents of “Hakitsu” with smoother daily life functions and meaningful activities.
It was the year 1970 when Väinö Perttunen first moved into an apartment building in Hakametsä, Uusikaupunki. And he has not moved away from the area since. However, he has changed apartments within the neighbourhood four times during the half a century he has lived there. Perttu has walked through the doors of the same building for 44 years now.
“One time, we were forced to move away from one of the apartments, as my wife and I were yet to get married. It was a bit like that back then sometimes”, Perttunen reminisces with a laugh.
There are many phases to the long history of the Hakametsä residential area. Some decades ago, the reputation of the area was different from what it is nowadays.
“But I wouldn’t have lived here for so long if this wasn’t a good place to be. I spent my youth in Hakametsä and it seems like I will enjoy my days of retirement here as well. The area is only ever changing for the better and you have all you need here”, Perttunen says.
Gathered at the common clubroom of the residents, Teija Laaksonen, Mirjami Järvinen, Mirja Laaksonen and Sari Rosendahl all seem to agree. Most of them have lived somewhere else for a time but eventually returned to Hakametsä.
“Our children haven’t been able to find friends as easily as here anywhere else. And the same goes for me. Even in my adulthood, I’ve been able to find new friends in the neighbourhood”, Mirja Laaksonen mentions.
Keeping up the communal life for the area is the area’s own residents’ association that strives not only to develop Hakametsä into an even better residential area but also arrange meaningful activities and meets between neighbours.
“For example, we arrange a fitness walking competition and various family events and trips every year. The clubroom is also in frequent use. Every week, we exchange books here and the space can also be rented for your own parties, meetings and game evenings”, active member of the association, Teija Laaksonen, explains.
The next goal for the association is to improve the play area near Käätyjärvi and get stairs for running exercise in the area.
“Many of the residents have requested stairs”, Laaksonen says.
The best features of Hakametsä are, according to its residents, the good location due to the accessibility both to the services in the centre of town and Valmet Automotive, where many are working. The area also has its own school and daycare centre.
“It’s so nice when the kids need only cross the road to get to the school. The school and daycare centre also collaborate frequently. I think it’s great”, Mirjami Järvinen thinks, cuddling 18-month-old Viivi Kinnunen.
The residents also appreciate the versatile leisure activity opportunities in the area. Last winter, they were able to freeze over the skating rink and make a skiing track across the frozen lake. The great outdoor environment with its jogging paths is right outside your door.
“I have lived elsewhere for a time but always ended up returning here. The area is just such a very nice place to live”, Sari Rosendahl says.
In the article series, residents of Uusikaupunki tell us about their own residential areas.