Landscape and cultural environment
FTIA’s goal is to reconcile landscape values and cultural environment values with infrastructure management in a manner that can prevent and mitigate the harmful impacts of transport and infrastructure management on both the landscape and cultural environments. FTIA takes care of and manages the properties, cultural environments and cultural property that are under its control and are of cultural and historical value.
The transport network provides good opportunities to explore Finland's finest landscapes. Finland has 156 nationally valuable landscapes and 27 national landscapes.
In the planning of new traffic route projects, efforts are made to avoid construction around prehistoric relics, landscapes, cultural historical environments and valuable landscape areas. The traffic routes are adapted to the surrounding environment using landscape management methods such as terrain design and planting. The uniqueness of individual localities and historical sites is respected, and valuable building stock is protected. In particular, efforts are made to shape large new traffic route structures, such as the main road intersections, so that they fit into their environment.
According to the National Inventory (RKY) prepared by the National Board of Antiquities, Finland has just under 1500 nationally significant cultural environments, and according to the Register of Prehistoric Remains, nearly 33,100 solid prehistoric remains. In addition to national sites, there are also many cultural environments of regional or local value.
Adapting the needs of existing traffic to the dimensions of the old living environment and routes is challenging and must be done with respect for the surrounding environment. Infrastructure improvement projects must be adapted to valuable areas in ways that take into account their particular characteristics.
Valuable sites within the transport network
FTIA manages a large number of sites of cultural historic value that are part of the transport infrastructure, and taking care of these sites is part of the agency’s duties. These historical sites include old lighthouses, heritage roads and bridges, and heritage canals. The maintenance of legally protected sites and any related planning and construction always comply with the regulations and recommendations issued by the museum authorities.
The recommended practices for historical sites have been compiled in the 2018 report entitled “Operating model for historical sites within the transport network”. According to this operating model, historical sites within the currently used transport network are maintained in a long-term and systematic manner. The operating model lays out, among other things, the process for preparing a maintenance plan for each site. This plan specifies the values to be maintained, the maintenance objectives and measures, and the monitoring methods. The goal is to keep the historical sites as they were when they were given this status. However, it is possible to make changes to the sites if, for example, this is required for maintaining traffic safety.
FTIA cooperates with the National Board of Antiquities and Metsähallitus in matters concerning the cultural environment and historical sites. FTIA also participates in the organisation of heritage activities within the transport sector. The story map ‘A Finnish journey through time: the story of traffic routes’ presents a variety of heritage roads, lighthouses, bridges and canals that have been designated as historical sites. Transport museums and heritage railways are also included. The locations on the story map are marked with a short summary of the site’s history and location, as well as a list of other sites of interest in the local area.