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Editorial 1/2017

The present issue of Helsinki Quarterly functions as an overview of essential research topics that City of Helsinki Urban Facts has dealt with during the past year. The thematic range reveals the multiplicity of aspects related to urban life, but also of the information required by the authorities to successfully develop a city.

Questions related to immigration are one of the themes covered in this issue. Helsinki came to face these questions relatively late compared to many European capitals, and in recent years they have required our more or less constant attention. A particular area of interest is the situation of the asylum-seekers who arrived in Finland in 2015–2016 as well as the significance of this phenomenon for Helsinki.

Those readers who wish to cast a quick and concise look at the present situation of the City of Helsinki, as well as some key recent trends, are advised to start with the contribution of Ari Jaakola and Katja Vilkama, ‘Helsinki’s present state and development: summary of key findings’. This article sums up a more extensive report prepared for Helsinki City Council, describing the most important developments and changes that have taken place in the past four-year council term. The report also serves as a basis for further decision-making and measures taken by the City of Helsinki.

Helsinki will undergo a major organisational reform in June 2017. This means, among other things, that City of Helsinki Urban Facts – thus far an independent department in charge of statistics, research and archives – will become part of the City Executive Office. The need for city facts, research and statistics will not disappear; in effect, we hope the upcoming structural reform will give the leadership and decision-makers even better opportunities to make use of this information. The Present State and Development of Helsinki report – as well as the issue of Helsinki Quarterly at hand – are an indication of the strong commitment of the City of Helsinki to the production and strategic use of relevant and up-to-date information for city development

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