Multi-locality challenging the urban city planned for the local urban dweller

Authors: Johanna Lilius*, Aalto university
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Social Theory
Keywords: multi-locality, planning, urbanity, space
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Poydras, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Finland wasn´t urbanized until the 1960´s, and then “urbanized though suburbanization” as Kolbe (1999) has put it. Strongly influenced by the urban mixed used-city-planning ideal sweeping though Northern European cities, planners in Helsinki today talk about a paradigm shift in planning. They are now planning an urban city, after years of modernist planning. Part of the Bemine-project, funded by the Academy of Finland is to study existing conceptual ambiguities in tackling urban phenomena. Multi-locality, both in the sense of working habits and housing, is an increasing trend, difficult to trace using statistics, and existing knowledge. It also interestingly challenges current urban planning practices in Helsinki. In this paper, I seek to understand what multi-locality means in terms of urbanity, how the planners in Helsinki perceive multi-locality, and how it sets into the planning of the new urban city. The hypothesis is that the planners are aware that a multi-local lifestyle is common among urban dwellers, however they argue that the city needs to be densified because of climate challenges, and that densification enables the mixed use of spaces in a local setting, thus promoting a sustainable lifestyle. The paper seeks to recognize the challenges in transforming multi-locality into a planning question, and to understand what kind of knowledge could be used in overcoming the difficulties.

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