From city streets to suburban woodlands : The urban planning debate on children's needs, and childhood reminiscences, of 1940s-1970s Helsinki

Veera Moll*, Hanna Kuusi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Finnish children today enjoy a relatively high level of independent mobility. This article discusses how different urban planning professionals defined children's needs in a post-World War II Helsinki that was undergoing rapid urbanization, and how these discourses relate to childhood memories of the time. The emphasis on family by the planning professionals led to major changes in the city structure, including developed play areas, safer streets and shorter distances to schools. This study suggests that a dominant understanding of the importance of outdoor activities has contributed to the relatively stable level of independent mobility of the children in Helsinki.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalURBAN HISTORY
Volume48
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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