Promoting interculturalism by planning of urban nature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • University of Helsinki

Abstract

Immigration in Finland has increased significantly in the last decades. The integration of immigrants and autochthonous Finns poses new challenges to the society. Nevertheless, the resulting cultural diversity creates opportunities for intercultural social development. According to previous studies, urban nature can benefit human well-being and it can also play a role in integration processes. However, the role urban nature can potentially play in integration is largely overlooked, and immigrants are rarely involved in the planning of urban nature. This paper presents the main results of a qualitative study carried out in Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. The aim was to understand the role of urban nature in integration, and to address how the planning of urban nature can support integration and interculturalism. We found that using urban nature helps immigrants feel comfortable and enjoy their living environment. The interviewed immigrants were interested in getting information on urban planning, especially in their own neighbourhood, and many of them wanted to participate in planning, although they were unsure of their right to do so, and access to planning processes appeared problematic in many ways. To support integration and interculturalism, urban planning should take the opportunity to enhance intercultural understanding. Adhering to culturally sensitive processes, and developing trust with local residents by taking their views seriously, can do this. Nature has the potential to inspire people to connect with one another. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Collaborative planning, Green spaces, Helsinki metropolitan area, Immigration, Urban planning, SPACES

ID: 31225678