From city streets to suburban woodlands: The urban planning debate on children's needs, and childhood reminiscences, of 1940s–1970s Helsinki

Veera Moll, Hanna Kuusi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Finnish children today enjoy a relatively high level of independent mobility. This article discusses how different urban planning professionals defined children's needs in a post-World War II Helsinki that was undergoing rapid urbanization, and how these discourses relate to childhood memories of the time. The emphasis on family by the planning professionals led to major changes in the city structure, including developed play areas, safer streets and shorter distances to schools. This study suggests that a dominant understanding of the importance of outdoor activities has contributed to the relatively stable level of independent mobility of the children in Helsinki.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban history
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5202 Economic and Social History
  • 5201 Political History

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