Press release: Urbanisation continues despite Covid-19 – urban policy must be sharpened to overcome the crisis

While urbanisation continues, large cities are at the centre of the global shock caused by the pandemic. Exiting the crisis requires swift urban policy action. Cities must become leaders in the fight against climate change, invest in the flexibility of the building stock’s circular economy and combat the polarisation of residential areas. The role of cities as drivers of innovation-driven economic growth needs to be strengthened. 

The report published today describes what kind of urban policy is needed in Finland to assist recovery from Covid-19. The publication, edited by the regional development consultancy MDI and its partners RAKLI, Hypo, Kuntaliitto and Kuntarahoitus, analyses what traces the Covid-19 year has left on Finnish urban development, what the different scenarios of urban development will look like by 2035 and what measures the city needs to take in order to survive the pandemic. In order to succeed, Finland will continue to need attractive cities as drivers of development.

– Residents and businesses are at the heart of the new urban policy. It is up to cities and governments to enable, guide and adequately resource them. Aftercare for a Covid-19 pandemic means a jump from strict regulation to enabling, says lead expert Veera Mustonen from MDI. 

The group of experts presents four theses to sharpen urban policy:

  1. Cities as leaders in the fight against climate change. 
  2. Increasing flexibility in the use of the building stock. 
  3. Polarisation of residential areas must be prevented. 
  4. The role of large cities is to act as internationally attractive growth platforms for innovative business. 

In addition to the cities’ own efforts however, the desire for increasingly high-quality living environments and distinctive neighborhoods also requires the broad involvement of business and civil society in development terms.

The report

More information

Veera Mustonen
Lead Specialist, MDI
040 508 4022,