Finnishness in the Urban Green

Juanjo Galan Vivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


This text and lecture starts with a short but complex question. Is there a Finnish character in the Finnish Urban Green? The search for an answer to this question must navigate amongst tempting stereotypes, between unclear temporal, cultural and administrative limits, and with the personal limitations but also advantages of being a new resident in Finland.
The definition of Landscape by the European Landscape Convention as “an area whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” provides a good base for this quest. According to this definition, the possible distinctiveness of the Finnish Urban Green would require the existence of identifiable Finnish natural, cultural and urban substrata, and, very specially, the combination of these three dimensions in such a way that a specific type of Urban Green landscape is created.
In addition to this, the very same concept of identity can only be constructed in contrast with “others”. Therefore, the possible Finnishness of the Finnish Urban Green should be based in the presence of some morphological, functional and perceptual characteristics that singularize the spatial structure, materiality, use, management, character or atmospheric qualities of the Finnish Urban Green in comparison with “other” types of Urban Greens.
Finally, some additional sub-questions might arise as a consequence of the attempt to frame the search both geographically and chronologically. Thus, we could ask ourselves if there is actually a common approach to the Urban Green all around Finland and if such an approach might have changed along history and might still be valid in this globalized era.
Translated title of the contributionFinnishness in the Urban Green
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017
MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal
EventViherpäivät & -tekniikka - Jyväskylän Paviljonki, Jyväskylä, Finland
Duration: 8 Feb 20179 Feb 2017


  • landscape architecture
  • green area planning
  • Finnish Green
  • Finnishness


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