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Developing the service structure beyond municipal borders in the Turku urban region


Detailed description of the Good Practice

One of the NEW BRIDGES project aims in the Turku city-region was to find ways to make service provision more effective, to make sure that the supply and demand of services meet and improve the well-being of its inhabitants.
The multifaceted suburban areas of Varissuo and Littoinen, situated on the border of three municipalities (Turku, Kaarina and Lieto) were chosen as the Pilot Action area of Turku and Southwest Finland. Despite the location by the edge of three municipalities, the area is centrally located within larger Turku urban area and has a lot of unused development potential.

urban planning
quality of life
stakeholder involvement

Objectives of the Good Practice

to make service provision more effective, to make sure that the supply and demand of services meet and improve the well-being of its inhabitants.

Participants of the Good Practice

City of Turku
Regional council of Southwest Finland
Commission on Environment of Union of the Baltic Cities
Regional and local authorities

Target group of the Good Practice

citizens of the suburban areas of Varissuo and Littoinen

Funding of the Good Practice

the European Union (European Regional Development Fund within the BSR Programme)
the Finnish Ministry of Environment
Regional and local authorities

More Details of the Good Practice

The multifaceted suburban areas of Varissuo and Littoinen treads with huge socioeconomic differences between it’s inhabitants. In certain dense housing project areas of Varissuo and Lauste situated within the borders of Turku around 30% of the inhabitants have a foreign mother tongue.
Research completed in cooperation with several university students focusing on the services in the Pilot Action area Varissuo – Littoinen, has brought awareness of the existing social barriers in the focus area. The total research has involved more than 700 residents from the area, including focused research on groups like elderly people and school students.
During the local stakeholder meetings it became evident that a number of barriers, both physical and mental, had developed which now actively prevented people from using the closest services in the Varissuo-Littoinen area. Mental barriers promoted by widely held misperceptions about the neighbouring area in particular prevented people from using services across the notional administrative border.
Various methods were used to collect additional views and information from the citizens about the service structure.

  • As part of the Pilot Action research Matleena Lindeqvist conducted a study of the existing services and their user groups in the Varissuo-Littoinen Pilot area.
  • Erno Hartikka performed group interviews on both sides of the area for elderly people in a sheltered accommodation and a centre for elderly.
  • Riina Reiniö has studied the services for youth by visiting clubhouses and schools in different parts of the area, surveying students between the ages of 13 to 15 years.

These studies confirmed the above-mentioned preconceptions and highlighted the existing barriers in the area. For example, some residents preferred to travel to a hypermarket further away rather than using the services actually located closest to them as they found the area in which these services were situated unpleasant. Most people used leisure facilities on their own side of the border with few services attracting inhabitants from both areas.
The information gathered from these studies is essential in improving the service structure and accelerating cooperation between the municipalities.
In order to further develop the effectiveness of the service provision more information is required. In addition, service supply in relation to consumer needs should also be further examined. Statistical and GIS-data as well as more surveys of inhabitants’ use of services should be conducted to ascertain the real level of service demand and to help implement a more balanced approach to service provision.
The results produced by the project will be included in various normative documents in relation to public transport planning, service network planning and land use planning. The results will be also used in the larger process of creating a structural model for the entire Turku urban region.

Documentation and documents

NEW BRIDGES project http://www.urbanrural.net/index.php/ur:outputs_0

Available files

Contact details

Christina Hovi
e-mail: christina.hovi@turku.fi

Mr. Lauri Hooli
Project coordinator
Mob. +358 40 764 0683

Ms. Maija Rusanen
Communication coordinator
Mob. +358 44 9075994

Data sources and references

Planning Together for Better Quality of Life - Guide for Integrated Management of Urban Rural Interaction
News Bridge 1/2011