Towards a more sustainable multi-local Finland

The COVID-19 crisis brought remote work  into the everyday life of Finns at a rapid pace this spring. While some went straight to telecommuting, the initial multi-locality of others, i.e. the composition of everyday habitats from several different places and the movement between them, has been curtailed due to the government’s exceptional circumstances legislation.

Multi-locality has long been an integral part of the Finnish way of life, for example cottage life, commuting, teleworking and part-time housing. There is however little comprehensive information on multi-locality while the various available registers and statistics fail to adequately capture the phenomenon. Therefore, the Prime Minister’s Office has commissioned the Sompa research project on the current state, sustainability, future and control of multi-locality to support the Government’s decision-making. We are implementing the project together with the Finnish Environment Institute and the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

The aim of the study is to serve, in particular, the preparation of state statute, planning and guidance of regional development in various sectors to combat the disadvantages of polarising regional development and to support sustainable rural-urban interaction. The Sompa project provides an overview of the current state of multi-locality, encourages possibilities for its future development and produces effective policy recommendations, incentives and suggestions for instruments that can be used to promote sustainable multi-locality. In addition to statistical data and previous research data, the study also utilises anonymised mobile data and participatory workshops.