Space, place, urban planning and multi-locals – a Finnish perspective

Authors: Johanna Lilius*, Aalto university, Kimmo Lapintie*, Aalto University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: multi-locality, everyday life, belonging,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Multi-locality can broadly be understood as practices that connect places, ”place polygamy” (Beck 2000) or a spatial strategy to cope with everyday life in several locations (Rolshoven 2008). In planning, dwelling or residing, unlike commuting, migrating or travelling, is mostly understood as an immobile place. The tradition of planning focuses on only one neighbourhood or even city at a time, with an ’existing’ or ’projected’ number of residents and workplaces inside its perimeter. However, the social environments people relate to usually does not follow the clear boundaries of a city or a neighbourhood (Shields 1996). In our presentation we introduce different types of multi-local practices. Based on interviews made in Finland, we seek to understand how the sense of place, belonging and daily, weekly, monthly and yearly patterns of multi-locals set into current notions of space and place in urban planning. According to Massey & Jess (1995) the ways in which place is conceptualized in planning has implications not only on design, but also on policy and politics and on the everyday life of the users of spaces. Although urban planning in Helsinki currently is undergoing an “urban” paradigm of creating a fine-grained dense network of uses (Lees 2010), planning still has difficulties in dealing with the new dynamic of the multi-functionality of spaces and places (Di Marino et al. 2018).

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