For many people who have moved to Joensuu, especially students, Liperi is just a blip along the highway. Right after the end of the four-lane highway there’s a gas station (open 24 hour, a rare event a few years ago) followed shortly by the dark night on the way to Helsinki or Kuopio. This crossroad is the only thing a friend of mine who’s lived in Joensuu for several years recognized of Liperi.
The four-lane highway that ends just a bit before this crossroad was completed some years ago, but already there’s pressure to continue it until here. The population center of Ylämylly has become a growing suburb of Joensuu while the rest of the muncipality (county) is slowly losing population, like many rural areas in Finland. The proximity of a larger city with a thriving university and other industries at least keeps the suburbs healthy.