National Urban Park

Kuopio National Urban Park is formed by the jewels of our city, by beautiful places that are important to people, places where nature and culture meet.

  • Finland’s 9th national urban park
  • Establishment year 2017, in Finland100 anniversary year
  • Area 7,300 hectares of which 6,800 hectares are water areas

The title of national urban park is granted by the Ministry of the Environment, and it refers to the urban nature and the built cultural environment as an extensive and integrated entity. National parks, on the other hand, comprise areas with diverse nature.

The title of the national urban park safeguards the correct development of the city, the preservation of valuable sites, integrative urban planning, the recreational use of areas and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage values. The national urban park defines the cultural, historical, ecological and aesthetic values of the city that are to be preserved for future generations.

Kuopio National Urban Park area

The Kuopio National Urban Park area includes green parks in the city centre, architectural pearls from different decades, marketplaces and meeting places, unique alleyways and an extensive area of the beautiful archipelago nature of Central and South Kallavesi. The special features of our national urban park are the inland waterway system and its significance for urban residents as well as the unique “rännikatu” network of alleyways.

Kallavesi and the development of the City of Kuopio are historically intertwined: The residents of Kuopio have utilised the water system and archipelago around the city in ways typical of their era, for example as a source of food, as travelling route and as a recreational place for leisure time. Kallavesi can be said to have shaped the development of our city in many different ways.

Explore the national urban park area on a map

Phases of the National Urban Park project

The idea of establishing a national urban park in Kuopio was born in 1998. The project moved forward in 2006 when the preliminary study (pdf, in Finnish) on the Kuopio National Urban Park was completed. The report also envisaged the Puijo area as part of the Kuopio National Urban Park, but it was not possible to include it, as the motorway cuts off the connection to the national urban park from the Puijo area.

After a quiet period, the project proceeded to the application phase in 2016. In honour of Finland’s 100th anniversary, the Ministry of the Environment supplemented the network of national urban parks and the City of Kuopio received the title on 11 December 2017. More information is available in the decision material of the Ministry of the Environment (pdf, in Finnish), which describes, for example, the demarcation and the special values of the area.

Management and use plan

A city that has received the title of a national urban park must draw up a management and use plan for the park, which will define a vision for the development of the cityscape and the implementation of a good environment. When awarding the title of the national urban park to the city, the Ministry of the Environment has obligated it to draw up a management and use plan for the area. The management  and use plan drawn up by the City of Kuopio was approved for further approval by the Ministry of the Environment at the meeting of the City Board on 24 October 2022. Read more about the management and use plan on our website.

National urban parks in Finland

There are currently ten national urban parks in Finland. The first national urban park in Finland was established in Hämeenlinna in 2001. Other cities with a national urban park status include Pori, Heinola, Hanko, Porvoo, Turku, Kotka, Forssa, Kokkola. Get to know and fall in love with Finland’s national urban parks at

The idea of national city parks came from Stockholm, where Nationalstadspark Ekoparken was established by a special law of the Diet in 1995.

The national urban parks want to be known
(in Finnish)