Experience of a preventive experiment: Spatial social mixing in post-world war II housing estates in Helsinki, Finland

Mari Vaattovaara*, Anssi Joutsiniemi, Matti Kortteinen, Mats Stjernberg, Teemu Kemppainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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The contingent of large housing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s accounts for almost a half of all high-rises in Finland. The primary ideology in their genesis was to combine industrially prefabricated urban housing development with the surrounding forest landscape—together with a policy of spatial social mixing—to prevent social disorder and segregation. These policies seemed to work as intended until the early 1990s, but have since proved to be insufficient. With Western integration and new information and communication-based economic growth, new trends of population differentiation have emerged. As new wealth has moved out to the fringes of cities, the large housing estates have declined socio-economically—and have been enriched ethnically. This differentiation is structurally produced, works through the regional housing market and, as such, is beyond the scope of the preventive policies pursued. Recent attempts at controlling the regional markets and new forms of spatial social mixing have so far proved difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing Estates in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationPoverty, Ethnic Segregation and Policy Challenges
EditorsDaniel Baldwin Hess, Tiit Tammaru, Maarten van Ham
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-92813-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


  • Differentiation
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Large housing estates
  • Local social life
  • Nordic regime
  • Preventive policies
  • Segregation
  • Spatial disintegration
  • Spatial social mixing


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