"Silloin oli ihan normaalia, että lapset kulkivat itsekseen tarhaan ja sieltä kotiin": Muistitietoaineistojen itsenäiset kaupunkilaislapset

Veera Moll, Laika Nevalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Our article examines the factors that have contributed to the high level of independent mobility among children living in the capital area. By means of two collections of written memoirs we compare memories of childhood in the inner-city areas of Helsinki during the 1940s and 1950s to those in the suburbs of the capital area from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The data showed that an urban environment, which was considered to be attractive and safe, encouraged children to explore around their surroundings – both in the inner-city area and in the suburbs. In both sets of data, respondents describe that they moved about much by themselves or with siblings and friends, and they remember their independence mainly positively.

Even though children were increasingly more protected, we can say that parents still seemed to think that the ability to move independently was a skill that all urban children needed to have – in both contexts. Moreover, the dense school network, relatively safe urban environment and public transport have supported children’s possibilities to move independently. On the other hand, lack of day-care services led to a situation in which many parents could not increase the supervision of their children even if they wanted to.
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • children's environment
  • children's independent mobility
  • urban history of Finland

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