Toppilansalmi Strait has a long tradition as a harbour area for Oulu. As the main harbour of the city and other industrial activities are planned to be relocated, Toppilansalmi Strait will be ready for a new use. A residential area on the south side of Toppilansalmi Strait, Toppila Island, is being built at the moment. Toppila Island was the location for the National Housing Fair in 2005. City planning of the north side of Toppilansalmi Strait, Toppila Shore, has started in 2007.

In the General plan of Oulu for the year 2020 Toppila Shore is an area of housing and services. Toppila Shore is one of several areas of change around the city centre. As the industrial activities are being moved outside the city area, these areas are ready for new functions, usually services and housing. Toppila Shore offers an excellent opportunity for densifying the city structure, enhancing the valuable estuary area cityscape and high quality urban living near the waterfront. The area is currently not in full use, and the environment is unfinished.

The planning of Toppila Shore was started with the outline plan, which has been approved by the Technical Committee in June 2006. City plan will be done in several phases.

According to the outline plan of Toppila Shore the heating power plant will stay in current use. Residential areas are situated mainly on the south side of Toppila Shore because of the environmental effects of the power plant. Services and workplaces are situated on the south side of the power plant. The waterfront area is reserved for common functions such as light traffic, refreshment and boating. A new bridge is planned to connect Toppila Shore with Toppila Island. There are several buildings and constructions, which have been in use for the harbour activity, and are characteristic for the area. The buildings considered most valuable are suggested to be preserved. According to the outline plan there will be approx. 1800 housing units and 3500 new residents in the area.

City plan of the first area is currently in planning phase. The aim for the plan is to be accepted by the City Council in the spring of 2010. There are several land owners in the planning area, and land use contracts will be made between the city and the land owners. City planning is controlled by a Steering Group. In addition to the city plan, general plans for traffic, streets, water management, energy management and environment will be made.

- Toppilansalmi strait - Comfortable urban living by the sea (pdf 1,6 Mt)