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With a population of 20,000 as of January 2010, Lauttasaari is primarily a residential area but also contains services, including several marinas and canoe clubs. Although close to the city centre, Lauttasaari is noted for its preserved forest areas and rocky outcrops.
The name Lauttasaari literally means "ferry island" although the island is now connected to Helsinki and Espoo by bridges and causeways.
Lauttasaari was a largely undeveloped part of the borough of Huopalahti (Hoplax) until that borough was annexed to the city of Helsinki on January 1, 1946.
Lauttasaarentie, (Drumsövägen in Swedish) is one of the longest streets in Lauttasaari. The boulevard is home to many residents, and it includes the main shopping mall of Lauttasaari (Ostarin or Westis in Swedish). Near Lauttasaarentie lies a street called Gyldénintie (Gyldénsvägen in Swedish). Gyldénintie is a home for many known Finnish people, for example the notorious triple murderer Nikita Fouganthine (Formerly known as Juha Valjakkala) and a former Counter-Strike elite Axel Aavarinne.
Vattuniemi is a section of Lauttasaari on the southern end of the island. The area was built up in the 1950s as an industrial zone. Since 2000, there has been a significant change in the makeup of the area, and several office and industrial facilities have been demolished, with apartments being built to replace them. Currently, the median price of residential property is relatively high, causing the residential makeup to consist of the young and affluent. The main street on the western side of the area is Särkiniementie, and the eastern main street is Vattuniemenkatu.
Katajaharju is a section of Lauttasaari in the north-western side of the island. The entire area is on the north side of Länsiväylä highway, and is primarily private residential houses.
The Lauttasaari church, the Myllykallio school, and the old Management Studies Institute building are amongst the examples of 1950s construction for public spaces on the island. The church was inaugurated on October 20, 1958, and was designed by professor Keijo Petäjä, who himself was a resident of Lauttasaari. The church steeple was placed into service in the autumn of 1957. Lauttasaari metro station is going to be a stop on the Länsimetro, Helsinki metro extension.
- Zahra Abdulla (1966-), politician
- Ilkka Kuusisto (1933-), composer
- Sirpa Asko-Seljavaara (1939-), politician