Mismatched planning and place-based identity in Helsinki: The impacts of anti-segregation policy on ethnic retail, and socio-cultural inclusion
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
JOURNAL OF URBAN AFFAIRS
AbstractDeclining independent retail and oligopoly of retail chains are common in Helsinki, leaving many premises at strip malls erected in the 1960s vacant. Despite this, ethnic retail has spontaneously clustered at two malls converting them into livable hubs. Both malls have been announced as destinations for tourists and food lovers on the city webpage by Marketing Helsinki. In 2019–2020, two planning competitions were held with the objective of forming urban centers through densification. Through two case studies, this paper examines the role of urban planning policy in supporting the branded destinations and their place-based identity. The findings show that innovative ethnic neighborhoods acknowledged in many European cities played no role in the process. On the contrary, both clusters face displacement in an urban renewal steered by anti-segregation policy. The city will lose authentic destinations and the immigrant community will consequently lose places of jobs and attachment. Non-decision-making ignored ethnic retailers in defining the actors and urban diversity as a value. There is limited research on contested spaces in semi-peripheral areas and their relation to urban planning. This paper contributes to the research body studying the implications of urban renewal on ethnic retail hubs and interplay of power.
Helsinki, ethnic food, innovative neighborhoods, branding, power, homogenization
Hewidy , H 2023 , ' Mismatched planning and place-based identity in Helsinki: The impacts of anti-segregation policy on ethnic retail, and socio-cultural inclusion ' , JOURNAL OF URBAN AFFAIRS , pp. 1-23 . https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2023.2229460