RACIALIZATION OF THE CITY
If the native citizens formed the first settlement in suburbs, immigrants are the second one.
Accelerated industrialization after the second world war did not happen evenly in Europe or worldwide. This caused rising immigration, when people searched for a better living by moving to a foreign country. This did also hundred thousands of Finns by emigrating to Sweden and further. Finland used to be primarily a country of emigration till the 80’s.
After Finland had successfully built up the welfare state, the direction of migration turned and Finland started to be primarily a country of immigration from the 90’s on. The first discernible newcomers were refugees from Somalia. The Finnish media talked about the Somali shock. Post-war humanitarian crisis both in Europe and in other parts of the world have given rise to international agreements that oblige welfare states such as Finland and other Scandinavian countries to take in fleeing refugees.
These processes that Finland, Espoo as part of the metropolitan area of Helsinki and Suvela as a suburb of Espoo have been witnessing only since the beginning of the 1990’s, have started elsewhere in Scandinavia already some 20-30 years before.
Both the amount and percentage of immigrants has been constantly increasing in Finland since 1980. While still in 1990 the percentage of foreign language speakers in the population was only 0,5 %, today (2014) the number is 4,4 %.
In Espoo the growth of foreign language speakers has been faster than in Finland on average. The number has risen from 1,2 % in 1990 even to 9,7 % today (2014). In other words, every tenth dweller in Espoo speaks some other language than Finnish, Swedish or Saami.
The same development is going on also in Suvela, where already 34,1 % of the residents have a foreign background – the highest number in Helsinki region in 2016. In 2000 the number was still just 7,6 %.
There is a tendency that the percentage of immigrants rises fastest in certain housing areas as Katja Vilkama has shown for the metropolitan area of Helsinki in her doctoral thesis in 2011. There are two reasons for this: While immigrants are steadily moving in housing areas where the percentage of immigrants is already high, the native Finns are moving out to such housing areas where the percentage of immigrants is lower.
Immigrants and refugees have moved and keep on moving to ethnically segregated housing areas due to both structural and individual reasons: Either because they have in the first place been inhabited in the non-profit rental apartments which are well represented in these suburbs, or because they have sought voluntarily the company of their extended family, friends and compatriots.
Irene Molina, a Swedish human geographer, stresses the impact of structural factors – the compelling force of the housing market – and calls this phenomenon provocatively racialization of the city.
As the state of these housing areas is what it is – whether positive or negative depending on the viewpoint – many researchers and urban planners have called for a new agenda, which would take multiculturality as a starting point in all urban planning. Here urban planning is understood at a broader sense than in the early urban regeneration of suburbs: in addition to the social and physical aspect, it now comprises also the cultural aspect brought up by the new suburb dwellers.
Canada is often mentioned as a good exemplary of integrating the newcomers in the society. John Berry, a Canadian psychologist, has defined integration as …
Altman, Irwin and Chemers, Martin: Culture and Environment. Cambridge University Press, 1984
Autio, Vilma: Maailma kylässä Meri-Rastilassa. Näkökulmia monikulttuuristen asuinalueiden kehittämiseen. Diplomityö. Aalto-yliopisto, Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu, Arkkitehtuurin laitos, 2015
Dhalmann, Hanna: Yhden uhka, toisen toive? Somalien ja venäläisten asumistoiveet etnisen segregaatiokehityksen valossa. Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki, 2011
Gothóni, Raili and Siirto, Ulla: Pakolaisuudesta kotiin. Helsinki University Press, Tallinna, 2016
Helsingin seudun aluesarjat. E3. Espoon väestö äidinkielen mukaan 1.1.1999-. www.aluesarjat.fi
Idiagboff-Prince, Omo, Nyameke, Afiba and Ojomo, Laura: Housing needs of Somalis living in Suvela. Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, 2010
Kortteinen, Matti: Lähiö. Tutkimus elämäntapojen muutoksesta. Otava, 1982
Lee, Joyce: Visioning Diversity: Planning Vancouver’s Multicultural Communities. A thesis presented to the University of Waterloo in fulfillment of the thesis requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Planning. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, 2002
Molina, Irene: Stadens rasifiering. Etnisk boendesegregation i folkhemmet. Geografiska regionstudier nr 32. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 1997
Pehkonen, Aini: Maahanmuuttajan kotikunta. Kunnallisalan kehittämissäätiön tutkimusjulkaisut, nro 52, Pole-Kuntatieto Oy, Vammala, 2006
Qadeer, Mohammad Abdul: “Pluralistic Planning for Multicultural Cities: The Canadian Practice.” In: Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume 63, Issue 4, 1997, pp. 481-494
Qadeer, Mohammad Abdul: “Urban Planning and Multiculturalism”. Plan, Juillet, Août, Septembre 2000, Vol. 40, No 4, pp. 16-18
Qadeer, Mohammad Abdul. “What is this thing called MULTICULTURAL PLANNING?”. Plan Canada, number and year?, pp.10-13
Qadeer, Mohammad Abdul and Agrawal, Sandeep Kumar: “The Practice of Multicultural Planning in American and Canadian Cities.” In: Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 2011, Vol.20(1), pp.132-156
Rahder, Barbara ja Milgrom, Richard.”The Uncertain City: Making Space(s) for difference.” Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 13(1) 2004, ss. 27-45
Rogers, Alisdair ja Vertovec, S., toim. The Urban Context: Ethnicity, Social Networks, and Situational Analysis. Oxford, Berg, 1995
Sandercock, Leonie: Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History. University of California Press, United States of America, 1998
Sandercock, Leonie. “Towards a Planning Imagination for the 21st Century.” In: Journal of the American Planning Association, Spring 2004, Vol. 70 Issue 2, ss. 133-141
Sandercock, Leonie. “When Strangers Become Neighbours: Managing Cities of Difference.” In: Planning Theory & Practice, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2000, ss.13-30
Tilastokeskus: Väestörakenne. 14. Väestö kielen mukaan sekä ulkomaan kansalaisten määrä ja maa-pinta-ala alueittain 1980 – 2015.
Vilkama, Katja: Yhteinen kaupunki, eriytyvät kaupunginosat? Kantaväestön ja maahan muuttajataustaisten asukkaiden alueellinen eriytyminen ja muuttoliike pääkaupunkiseudulla 1992-2006. Tutkimuksia 2011:2. Helsingin kaupungin tietokeskus, Helsinki, 2011
van der Horst, Hilje and Ouwehand, André: “‘Multicultural Planning’ as a Contested Device in Urban Renewal and Housing. Reflections from the Netherlands. ” In: Urban Studies, March 2012, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 861-875