Welcome to From Rurban to Urban – a blog about the past, present and future of Finnish cities and urban life.
I’m Timo Hämäläinen, an urban geographer and urbanist from Helsinki, and with this blog I discuss urbanism and explore the urban environment in Finland and elsewhere in the world. In 2012, I started this independent project as an outlet for widening the conversation around cities with more cultural and urbanistic aspects. I felt (and still do) that here in Finland there’s not enough attention given to what our urban environment essentially looks and feels like – or how it functions as a whole. We settle for what gets done.
I believe we should and could do so much better. Idealistically, I share a lot of views with the New Urbanist movement which I got acquainted with during a semester spent studying at San Diego State University. Our common concern is that during the past 60-70 years we’ve sadly lost just about all of our skill and vision to create urban spaces worth caring about.
The urban habitat is our future and we need to seek ways of making it as good as we can. I want to be a part of this process and this blog is a key element in my goal to try to make a difference.
I write in English because I enjoy it and it enables non-Finnish speakers to get some sense of what’s happening with cities in Finland. I am not a native speaker, so please forgive all language mistakes you might (or already have) me(e)t.
My writing and commentary have been featured in medias around the world and this blog has been featured among “the best city blogs around the world” by Guardian Cities. You can also read more about me in a feature by Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) and Helsinki Times (in English).
I also help cities become better places in my professional life. I work as a consultant in urban policy, both independently and with MDI, and as of spring 2019 I’m also trying to enliven urban waterfronts with floating outdoor pools & urban culture hubs with the good people at Töölö Urban.
Please feel free to contact me for discussing urban matters in Finland, professional collaboration proposals, or topics to write about in the future.
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All photos and writing are my own unless stated otherwise. The blog’s content may be used freely for non-commercial blog posting, forum posting and similar publishing platforms with proper crediting. Please contact me for commercial use permissions.
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The blog banner photo is by Joneikifi from Wikimedia Commons.
This page was updated on August 24 2019.