In Finland, neighbourhood units provided a major way of urban expansion between the years 1950 and 1990. Now these neighbourhoods are seen as areas of urban intensification and infill construction. Such operations tend to alter the qualities of neighbourhood environments, not always beneficially. The research project explores ways to protect the core values of the neighbourhoods, given the need for urban densification. The basic research approach is typological and incorporates the main topics of local natural environments, the infill construction of housing and socially meaningful places. Urban meta-morphology provides another complementary research method. Furthermore, the research aims at deepening understanding about the relation between the original ideas about neighbourhoods and the current goals of urban planning. The city of Espoo will cooperate with the research, providing empirical material about urban planning and neighbourhoods. Four typologically representative cases are selected for closer analysis, including the interviews of urban planners about the future goals of Espoo. As a result, the research will provide general understanding about models of urban intensification for various neighbourhood types.
Keywords: suburbs; neighbourhoods; residential areas; urban planning; infill development; natural environment
Contact person: Markku Norvasuo (email address below).