Press release: ‘The new era of urban policy’ will become required reading for urban development practitioners

The new book outlines the development cycle of Finnish urbanisation, elaborates on the concepts of urban policy, describes the stages of state urban policy and presents the challenges emerging from 20th century urban policy.

‘The new era of urban policy’ fills a major gap in urban policy research in Finland, bringing together experts representing the new generation and providing a platform for regional developers in the 2020s. The work has been edited by Eero Holstila and Timo Hämäläinen, who have worked extensively on urban issues.

“Even though urbanisation is recognised as a megatrend, the urban policy debate in Finland has remained disjointed.  This ground-breaking book now offers new impetus to the debate” says Eero Holstila.

The book addresses the subject matter head on by outlining an answer to the classic question of what a city is and what forms urbanisation is taking. The change in the role of urban politicians has been a topic of interest from the days of Gustav Vaasa’s through the 1990s to the present. At the same time, the phases of urbanisation in Finland are described and the current vision of the phenomenon is presented based on population forecasts and updated data from the urban network survey.

The book focuses on the content of urban policy. The challenges and opportunities of boosting urban vitality are explored in the context of traditional urban income angles: cities as drivers of economic growth, housing policies that respond to population growth, land-use and transport solutions and the prevention of exclusion and segregation. At the same time, the role of civil society is also discussed.

“The makers of urban policy and their roles have changed over time. The book adds a new chapter to the continuum, describing how civil society has slowly become a player in the vitality of cities” explains Timo Hämäläinen.

The book concludes by outlining the nature of 2020s urban policy in the face of climate change and other increasingly complex challenges. The core concept of the next decade will be on an urbanisation policy, based on widespread public participation and exploration through experimentation and joint development.

For those interested in urban development issues and those working in the urban policy field, the New Era of Urban Policy provides new perspectives at a time when cities are increasingly important to society.

Eero Holstila and Timo Hämäläinen
The new era for urban policy

ISBN 978-952-267-315-2
Rakennustieto Oy, Helsinki


Master of Political Science Eero Holstila has made a half-century career in urban development including as Director of the City of Helsinki Information Centre and Business Director. He has been involved in the formulation of national urban policy since the mid-1990s and since 2014 has been an MDI advisor on urban policy., tel. 050 567 2087

Timo Hämäläinen, a Master of Science in Design Geography and European Urban Culture, has dealt with many facets of urban development in his career. He has written extensively on urbanism, among others he has been involved in international urban developer networks and has worked on both digital civic engagement and real estate development. Since 2014, he has been working as an urban policy advisor at MDI., tel. 040 510 0313

Publisher contact information

Jukka Lyytinen, Senior Vice President, Building Information Ltd, tel. +358 207 476 355,