Service-poor suburban housing estates?: Accessibility to local services in the Helsinki metropolitan area, 1996–2018

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Date
2023-08-30
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Language
en
Pages
21
23–43
Series
Nordic Journal of Urban Studies, Volume 3, issue 1
Abstract
Since the time of their construction, post-war suburban high-rise housing estates in Finland have been criticised for their lack of local services available to residents. Despite this commonly held understanding of service-poor housing estates, only few empirical studies on the topic exist. Using comprehensive geolocalised business register data for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area for the period 1996–2018, we investigate whether suburban housing estates do indeed have less access to different types of public and private services than other neighbourhoods. We additionally examine whether socio-economic disadvantage, which increasingly is spatialized in these neighbourhoods, is associated with a lack of local services. Our main finding is that the post-war housing estates do not have significantly fewer services than other neighbourhoods, when controlling for their position in the urban structure. We do note several changes to the service structure—a sharp decrease in different types of retail activities, and anincrease in particularly restaurants, cafés and bars—and in many housing estates, several types of commercial services have disappeared. However, these structural changes have emerged on a larger scale, and are not specific to the housing estates. The results highlight the need to consider the future access to essential services particularly in those areas, where the prospects for commercial services are weak.
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Keywords
housing estates, suburbs, lähiö, services, accessibility, Helsinki
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Citation
Rönnberg , O , Page , M , Stjernberg , M , Iltanen , S , Bernelius , V , Vaattovaara , M & Joutsiniemi , A 2023 , ' Service-poor suburban housing estates?: Accessibility to local services in the Helsinki metropolitan area, 1996–2018 ' , Nordic Journal of Urban Studies , vol. 3 , no. 1 , pp. 23–43 . https://doi.org/10.18261/njus.3.1.2