Finland, Helsinki

Gentrification and the Welfare City

when 6 August 2019 - 22 August 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 ECTS
fee EUR 990

This Helsinki Summer School course explores urbanisation from the point of view of the Nordic ‘welfare city’. A welfare city, such as Helsinki, is built on ideals of equality, the well-being of its citizens, a sustainable balance between the needs of both nature and the people, and responds to social and ecological awareness alike.

A process affecting the welfare city at the moment is gentrification. From hipster bars to rent increases, gentrification is a common and visible process of contemporary metropolitan restructuring, familiar from cities around the world. Often its real meaning and what the process really entails remain invisible. Brought on by uneven investments, gentrification sees capital take over and transform homes and neighbourhoods of low-income people and is a cause of displacement and urban inequality – a process poorly suited to the ethos of the welfare city.

The course uses lectures, workshops and excursions in Helsinki and Tallinn to help the students understand contemporary problems and issues related to gentrification in the Nordic welfare city.

Course leader

The course is organised and led by Dr Giacomo Bottà, Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Urban Studies at the University of Helsinki. Other lecturers include leading Finnish urban studies scholars, international guests, activists, experts and municipal officers

Target group

The course is designed for Master’s degree students interested in urbanisation and with a background in urban studies, social sciences, sociology, geography, cultural studies, architecture, urban planning, environmental studies, politics, and economics.

Course aim

- Understand the relation between welfare and urbanisation in the Finnish, Nordic and global context.
- Recognise the main features of a welfare city.
- Familiarity with theory and concepts of gentrification.
- Recognise the effects of gentrification on the city.
- Acquire a critical understanding of contemporary urbanisation under capitalism.

Fee info

EUR 990: Degree and PhD students
EUR 1490: Professionals