Browsing by Subject "Aluetiede (kaupunkimaantiede)"

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  • Stjernberg, Mats (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This PhD study in urban geography focuses on a distinct neighborhood type in Finland, namely suburban housing estates (lähiö). Although suburban housing estates are currently topical in Finland, as they are often associated with various problems, there has been little research concerning their development in the country at large during the last few decades. The purpose of this study is to overcome this shortage by analyzing the socio-economic and demographic development of suburban housing estates within the whole of Finland and in different types of regions. The focus is on suburban housing estates dating from the 1960s and 1970s, which was the main period of housing estate construction in Finland. The study examines what was characteristic of such estates in 1990 and 2010, and what kind of changes can be seen in their socio-economic and demographic position during this time span. Furthermore, the research examines suburban housing estates in three different sub-regional types: growing, stable and shrinking sub-regions. For conducting the analysis, a GIS-based approach was developed for defining, identifying and locating housing estates dating from the 1960s and 1970s within the whole Finnish territory. The empirical analysis of the research is based on examining the development of suburban housing estates according to both individual variables as well as multivariate methods (principle components analysis and cluster analysis) with the intention of uncovering the relationships between different facets of change. The research findings show that Finnish suburban housing estates dating from the 1960s and 1970s were usually relatively average neighborhoods in 1990, but since then they have generally witnessed noticeable socio-economic decline along with profound demographic changes. Also the attractiveness of these types of neighborhoods has gradually decreased over time. The study suggests that the development of suburban housing estates is closely linked to broader societal changes and particularly to the development of their wider regions. Although decline is evident in most Finnish housing estates, it is notable that not all estates are socio-economically disadvantaged. This underlines that housing estates are far from homogenous and that their development paths have been highly diverse. Overall though, based on the changes identified in this study, the public concerns related to this distinct type of concrete suburbia are in many ways valid, and from the perspective of Finnish urban and housing policy, suburban housing estates appear to be one of the most central challenges during the years to come.