Smart shrinkage and multi-locality – The appeal of hope, illustrated through Puolanka, a rural municipality in Finland
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Urban, Planning and Transport Research, Volume 11, issue 1
AbstractOur contribution discusses two phenomena – shrinkage and multi-locality – in relation to the big picture of urbanisation and to the prevailing regional policy discourse that is very growth oriented in nature. Empirical material from Puolanka is used to illustrate the key tensions of this constellation. We ask: Does the concept of ‘smart shrinkage’ resonate in the context of a shrinking municipality? Is it possible to operationalise shrinkage at the local level? A group of artists has been experimenting with a very peculiar approach by branding their local pessimism (!) and thereby sympathetically ridiculing the growth orientation of a locality that shrinks fast by numbers. What about ‘multilocality’? Is it a true opportunity to increase the quality of life in depopulating regions? Like many rural municipalities, Puolanka hopes that the holiday homes and e-work will contribute to local vitality. We propose that other somewhat surprising forms of multilocality may be even more significant. Those include the global multilocalities of the entrepreneurs with immigration background that keep the last restaurant business up and running, as well as the seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism. Also, the pessimistic artists can be seen as multilocals. The peculiar connectedness that these young people have with Puolanka is of high symbolic value.
Schmidt-Thomé , K & Lilius , J 2023 , ' Smart shrinkage and multi-locality – The appeal of hope, illustrated through Puolanka, a rural municipality in Finland ' , Urban, Planning and Transport Research , vol. 11 , no. 1 , 2165140 . https://doi.org/10.1080/21650020.2023.2165140