Nature stops

Nature stops

In Jyväskylä, buses transport
you to the trails

Luontopysäkit (Nature stops) is a new project, launched in Jyväskylä, Finland to map and connect the city’s diverse forest trails to the local public transportation system, Linkki. The concept design for this project is a Meijän polku (Our Path) proposal. Meijän polku is a 30-year initiative promoting community health and wellbeing in Central Finland.

Photo Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen

– We set out to see how we could form a more fluid connection between the city’s wonderful nature sites, the local public transportation system and the city’s residents, says Juho Jäppinen, who is involved in the planning of the project. – We know that there are thousands of elderly people in the city who do not own a car, and their range of motion is often limited to their immediate surroundings. Many families with small children or people suffering from various disabilities are also in a similar situation. These are the groups that would benefit most from time spent in nature.

There is a growing body of research on the benefits of exposure to the forest on the health and well-being of people, however this information is usually slow in being put into practice. Accessing forest trails with a familiar bus system could be one way of lowering the threshold for getting out in urban nature and thereby distributing the health benefits of nature more evenly to the general population. Most of Jyväskylä’s natural sites are located along local bus routes or less than five hundred meters from these.

– The link provides smooth access to many nearby nature destinations in Jyväskylä and it is not always necessary to take your car in order to go hiking. The “Nature stop” concept combines the goals of promoting sustainable mobility with the beneficial effects of exercise in nature, says Kati Kankainen, the coordinator of smart mobility in the city of Jyväskylä, who has overseen the “Nature Stop” project.

The maps are designed so that the user can see all the Natural recreation areas and forest trails along each bus route and includes the name of the bus stop next to each site.

The mobile transportation app “Linkki can be used to monitor the bus traffic in real time and to keep an eye on which bus stop to get off at, for each nature destination.

For more information, contact
Juho Jäppinen
meijanpolku@gmail.com


Publishing of the Nature Stops are part of the events of the first Central Finland Trail Week, initiated by Meijän polku and Kesli.