Big cities are in trouble – changes in urban policy are needed

MDI provided a concise overview of urban development in the post-corona period. In addition to this urban policy update, it also highlighted the role of the Association of Finnish Municipalities in the making of urban policy. The work was produced for the Association of Finnish Municipalities as part of the ‘To the City!’ -project, in which the Association of Finnish Municipalities seeks to stimulate discussion on the future challenges and opportunities facing cities. The main purpose of the report was to describe the city-specific effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the study, the restrictions caused by the pandemic on people’s physical encounters has had a significant impact on cities, when e.g. experience services, the events industry, hotel and restaurant operations and air travel experienced a collapse. The impact on the specialty trade sector was also great while public transport is also in trouble. Unemployment rose in large cities, especially in the service sector, many large cities are also suffering migration losses and the outlook for the housing market and construction is deteriorating.

The need for change in urban policy will be addressed in four themes:

1. Strengthening the investment capacity of cities

2. Public Transportation Rescue Programme

3. Ensuring social integrity

4. Unleashing the creativity of city inhabitants