Looking at retail planning policy through a sustainability lens : Evidence from policy discourse in Finland

Laura Yrjänä, Anahita Rashidfarokhi*, Saija Toivonen, Kauko Viitanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to identify and categorise the sustainability concerns raised in retail planning policy discourse, using empirical data from Finland. In order to identify the concerns, we conducted a critical discourse analysis of the policy discourse presented in media from 1990 to 2015. The analysis was conducted chronologically in order to understand the evolution of the sustainability concerns and the changes in the policy debate. To categorise the concerns identified from the discourse, we developed a holistic sustainability framework based on previous literature. Our findings show that during 1990′s the concerns were mostly socio-economic, however, due to enforcement of sustainable development policies, the share of environmental concerns raised significantly in 2000s. The findings of our study reveal the problematics of the retail planning policy making and call for a more holistic understanding of the multidimensionality of the sustainability impacts of retail planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Policy discourse
  • Retail location
  • Retail planning
  • Retail planning policy
  • Sustainability


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  • Tekes/Retail Regulation KASKAS

    Yrjänä, L., Viitanen, K., Culley, J. & Paavola, L.


    Project: Business Finland: Other research funding


    Yrjänä, L., Culley, J. & Paavola, L.


    Project: Business Finland: Other research funding

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