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Juha Lahti, Bachelor of Engineering, Head of Planning, Municipal Engineering

When it comes to new Helsinki City districts, Juha Lahti, if anyone, knows specifically Kalasatama inside out.

“Urban technology offers versatile projects and interesting challenges.”

And if someone is looking for an experienced project manager for a district development project, Juha’s name comes almost automatically to mind. In recent years, in addition to Kalasatama, Juha has been heading such major district development projects of the City of Helsinki as Jätkäsaari, Arabianranta and Hermanni.

After 14 years at the Public Works Department of the City of Helsinki, Juha longed for new challenges, and two years ago he switched to the other side of the negotiation table, joining the Sito staff. This was not a case of a crisis caused by the approaching 50th birthday. Juha just began feeling that it was time for him to change employers, before it was too late to leave.

“I’m still working on issues related to Kalasatama, anyway. I didn’t get away from that,” he says, laughing. “We are executing the kind of projects I myself made orders for”

Juha longed for new kind of challenges after the years in city service with perhaps a little straightforward way of working, and he admits that he got what he wanted. At the moment, he is involved in more than 20 active projects. Still, geographically speaking, 85 per cent of them are located in the Kalasatama area. The projects are also very different, ranging in value from a few thousand euros to several hundreds of thousands of euros.

– Every project is challenging in its own way, and, in fact, the smaller projects may even be more laborious than the big ones, he points out.

Juha is not unfamiliar with consultancy work, because before joining the City of Helsinki staff, he had worked at Viatek for ten years. The times have changed, though, and the nature of work in certain respects as well. Today, residents are much more active about the development of their area of residence than they used to be, and such aspects as communications need to be taken into account in projects in a totally different way than before.

Juha says that two years ago he hoped that changing jobs would bring new energy to his life. – The work rate as such did not surprise me. The workdays are longer nowadays. The workplace is more lively and dynamic, and the work community is nice. I really enjoy being one of the Sito employees, Juha says, summing up his sentiments.

Juha graduated as Bachelor of Engineering from the Wärtsilä Technical College at Joensuu (1961-1996) in 1990. Juha says that he is one of those authentic Bachelors of Engineering, so it is more than appropriate that he builds something also in his spare time. He has been carefully putting up a summer cottage for his family for 18 months now.

His family – wife and two teenagers, as well as cats Viiru and Miiru – lives in the country at Oitmäki of Kirkkonummi. The family includes one more very important member, Labrador retriever Iita, characterized by its master as perhaps a little too wild working dog, who Juha hunts with.

Text: Dakota Lavento