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City of Jyväskylä

Population and industries

There are 83 582 people living in Jyväskylä (2004). The population growth in Jyväskylä is about 1000 people each year. A large part of the migration is students. At the end of a year 2004, there were about 2050 foreigners in Jyväskylä. The largest groups of immigrants were Russians, Estonians, Afghans and Iranians. About 50 refugees arrive here each year according to the city’s reception agreement.

There is a lot of know-how in Jyväskylä region on information technology, paper manufacturing technology, energy and environment technology, and welfare technology. There are about 43 000 jobs in Jyväskylä of which more than 33 000 are in the facilities industry, 10 000 in the processing industry and about 300 within the primary sector. The average unemployment rate in Central Finland was 14,1 % during the year 2004. The most significant employers in Jyväskylä are education and other social facilities. The largest areas of industry are metal industry and paper- and wood processing industry.

Jyväskylä and its surrounding area

The city was founded in 1837 and it is situated in the county of Western Finland and the province of Central Finland. There are nine rural districts that belong to Jyväskylä region: City of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä Rural Municipality, Laukaa, Muurame, Uurainen, Hankasalmi, Korpilahti, Petäjävesi and Toivakka. The city is dense and the distances between different residential areas are quite short. The whole of the city, not counting Säynätsalo, would fit within the radius of approximately five kilometres from the city centre. According to the investigations of the economy, people in Jyväskylä consider it the second best region in Finland.


City of Jyväskylä decision-making process

Jyväskylä City Council has 59 members. The councillors’ distribution by party is as follows: Finnish Social Democratic Party (18 members), National Coalition Party (12 members), Centre Party of Finland (12 members), Finnish Green League (7 members), Left Wing League (5 members), Christian Democrats of Finland (3 members), and Communist Party of Finland (2 member). The city council and government’s agendas and the minutes of the meetings can be seen on the internet. Also the boards and the committees’ information of the meetings are available there.

The councillors are chosen by election every four years. A foreign citizen has the right to vote or to be put up as a candidate for the local elections after 2 years of living in Finland.

A resident of the district can make suggestions on matters about the district’s activities. There is a form on the city’s internet pages that can be used to make suggestions. The form can also be obtained from the Town Hall information desk. Suggestion will be recorded when it is received and then delivered to the appropriate authority for processing and for possible further procedures.

The internet page for City of Jyväskylä can be found at
www.jyvaskyla.fi/hallinto


Transportation in Jyväskylä

The busses of Jyväskylän Liikenne Oy take care of the local transportation. Their routes reach all parts of the town. The ticket can be purchased from the driver. A season ticket for a month or a ticket for 10 or 40 journeys, where the price per single journey is cheaper, can be purchased from the Travel Centre. Season ticket is personal and valid for a fixed period. Ticket for 10 or 40 journeys is valid for one year and more than one people can pay with the card on the same journey. Single fare allows the person for one exchange of bus within one hour of purchasing the ticket. The booklet for the bus timetables can be purchased from the Travel Centre. It also includes the bus route map. The signs on the bus stops tell whether it is a stop for local or long distance busses.


Bus stop sign for local busses.


Bus stop sign for long distance coaches.



Jyväskylä’s Travel Centre connects the railway station and the long distance coach station. The trains towards Tampere and Helsinki leave about every two hours. At its shortest, the travel to Helsinki takes only three hours. www.vr.fi

There are good coach services from Jyväskylä to all parts of Finland. For example, there is a direct service to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport 14 times in twenty-four hours. The timetables for the coaches can be obtained from the Travel Centre where all of the long distance coaches leave from. You can also get on a coach along its journey at the bus stops marked for long distance coaches.

Jyväskylä airport is situated at Tikkakoski. The flight from Jyväskylä to Helsinki takes about 35-40 minutes. The bus to the airport leaves from the front of Hotel Cumulus at Vapaudenkatu.

When travelling by car, the best way to find a parking space is from the multi-storey car park. Multi-storey car park P-tori is next to Kauppahalli at Yliopistonkatu 15, P-asema at Väinönkatu 8 and P-Kolmikulma at Ilmarisenkatu 1. Parking within the Jyväskylä city centre area is allowed only on the marked spaces, parking is prohibited in all other areas. The local traffic wardens and the police enforce parking; they can give a parking ticket for incorrect parking. There is virtually no free parking at all within the city centre area.

Many people in Jyväskylä use a bicycle, especially during the summer. Special cycle paths must be followed when cycling and if there is no cycle path, the cyclist must use the roadway. Cycling is prohibited on the pavement unless there is a road sign showing it is also a cycle path. Jyväskylä’s cycle routes are marked on the Cycle Route-map that can be bought from Nikolainkulma Information Centre at Asemakatu 6. There are special cycle parks in the city centre that have space for bicycles. One of the cycle parks is next to Kirkkopuisto.

Additional information:

www.jyvaskyla.fi/liikenne

www.jyvaskylanliikenne.fi

www.jyvas-parkki.fi/

www.jyvas-parkki.fi/mkeskus.php


City’s central places

Jyväskylä’s city centre is between Jyväsjärvi and Harju. There is a viewpoint and a restaurant at Harju. A bridge over Jyväsjärvi leads to Kuokkala residential area. There are many buildings in the city that are designed by a famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, for example, Jyväskylä City Theatre and several building in the University area.

Pedestrian street in the city centre is the city’s business centre. The street was pedestrianized in 1992. Now, more than 10 years later, people agree on the benefits of the street and are considering of extending it. During the summer, people spend their time on the pedestrian street and even during the winter, the street with no snow invites them into the shops and restaurants there.

The city’s largest park is Kirkkopuisto that surrounds the City Church in the centre of town. It has recently been refurbished and the lighting has been renewed.

You can find more information on Jyväskylä at www.jyvaskyla.fi


Shops

Grocery stores are usually open from Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm and Saturdays 9am - 6pm. Some shops are also open on Sundays. Kiosks are usually open every day 9am - 9pm. Petrol stations sell groceries also through the night. The shops are large department stores and shopping centres or smaller specialist shops and shops selling perishable goods. Most shops are supermarkets with self-service and prices already marked on the goods. Customers must pick their fruit and vegetable themselves, pack them in the plastic bag and then weigh them with a displayed code number. The code number for the product is displayed nearby and the scale prints out the price and the weight of the product. A customer collects groceries into a basket or a trolley and then pays for them at the checkout. The shopping can be paid either by cash or a debit or credit card. Often, people use a store customer card with which they can get discount on certain items and collect points from their shopping. With the points collected, they can receive other advantages later on. Store customer card may also work as a credit card when individually agreed on.

The prices of items can vary in different stores and on different days. Many shops have reductions and special offers from time to time. Haggling is not commonly used. Reduction on the item is usually displayed as a percentage, for example, -30%. Used items that are in good condition and cheap can be found at the flee markets and recycling centres. Home appliances, among other items, can be bought in many shops by paying the item in instalments. Paying by instalment though, may get very expensive in the course of time, because there is an added interest to be paid too. Interest is also added on when paying with a credit card. Money can be saved by comparing the prices and by making carefully considered purchases.

In addition to the city centre area, larger department stores in Jyväskylä can also be found in, for example, Seppälä and Keljo areas. There are some shops in Jyväskylä that are specialising in selling ethnic groceries, for example, Silkkitie at Voionmaankatu.


Post Office and telephone

Lightweight post, like letters, postcards and magazines are delivered home from Monday to Friday. Newspapers are also delivered during the weekends. The largest newspaper in Jyväskylä region is Keskisuomalainen, although generally, many homes also order Helsingin Sanomat. Helsingin Sanomat is the largest newspaper in whole of Finland. A notice about a parcel is delivered home so that it can then be collected from the nearest Post Office. The number of Post Offices has reduced over the past few years and especially in many smaller places Post Offices have been closed all together. Post Office services can also be provided by some shops. Jyväskylä’s main Post Office is at Vapaudenkatu 61.

It is a good idea to write the name and address clearly when sending mail. The first line of the address would have the receiver’s name. The second line holds the name of the street, house number, the number or a letter of the main door of the building as well as the number of the apartment. The next line has the postcode and town. Many kiosks as well as all Post Offices sell stamps.

There are still some public phones in Finland that work either with coins or a telephone card. Telephones at home and portable phones or mobile phones are very common in Finland. You must make an agreement with a telephone company when you want to have your own telephone connection. It is a good idea though to compare the costs before making an agreement and buying a telephone. Telephone companies have different fees for connection, monthly payments and call costs. The cost of the call depends largely on the length and also on the time of call. Generally, the calls are cheaper during the evenings and weekends. Calls abroad are expensive and the final cost can be unforeseen if prices are not known before hand.


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