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Article |  10/15/2018Timo Cantell

Editorial 2/2018

Helsinki Quarterly presents an overview of interesting research and statistical information from the past twelve months. The articles shed light on recent developments in Helsinki and its metropolitan area. Most of the texts in this issue have been published previously in Finnish and Swedish.

The Urban Research and Statistics Unit at Helsinki City Executive Office is charged with the duty to monitor the development of Helsinki by means of statistical analysis, prognoses and research. Sometimes this requires us to delve into a variety of data sources in order to produce relevant insights and understanding about crucial urban developments.

This issue of Helsinki Quarterly offers some examples, including Tamás Lahdelma’s analysis of workforce flow networks and the importance of the proximity of business establishments. Oskari Harjunen has analysed large sets of data on real estate sales to demonstrate how the construction of a new metro line in the Helsinki Metropolitan area affects the housing market. Pasi Mäenpää and Maija Faehnle, on their part, have studied new kinds of networks that have existed in Helsinki only for a few years: their article focuses on urban civic activism and the contacts of the activists with local authorities. 

Other articles in this issue concentrate on urban children and their world. Ari Niska writes about the return of families with children to the city centre and inner districts of Helsinki. He points out that there are more children in the city today than at any time since the mid-1970s. Veera Moll’s article deals with the independent mobility of children in Helsinki. In international comparison, children in Helsinki – and Finland in general – are still relatively free to walk to school or roam their neighbourhood without parental supervision. This can be considered an indicator of how safe and functional Helsinki is as an urban environment.

Helsinki is becoming an increasingly important destination in the worldwide tourism market. Pekka Mustonen presents in his article an overview of travel statistics for 2017, a record-breaking year in tourism in Helsinki. Mustonen looks at the reasons underlying the exceptionally busy year and current trends in tourism, also casting an eye on potential future developments. The article by Salla Jokela offers a slightly different perspective to Helsinki as a tourism destination: she maps the history and development of city marketing efforts and city branding in the Finnish capital. Compared to its predecessors, the current city brand is much more based on the views of local residents: how they experience the city and what they cherish in it.

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