The Right to Suburban Space: Public Spaces, Margins and Meanings in the Everyday Life

About the project

The Right to Suburban Space research project explores:

  • the possibilities and restrictions created by physical and social suburban spaces;
  • the processes that create suburban margins;
  • the production of suburban meanings and belonging;
  • the actions and practices of urban politics and planning to advance suburban neighborhoods.

The project will produce conceptual openings and new knowledge about the current state, development and segregation of suburbs. The project will advance suburban awareness and socially sustainable city.

Qualitative research material will be gathered from three Finnish neighbourhoods: Varissuo (Turku), Kontula (Helsinki) and Vuosaari (Helsinki).

The research project is lead by Associate Professor Päivi Rannila. The project is funded by the Ministry of Environment (Suburb Programme 2020-2022).



  • Päivi Rannila, tenure track professor, Tampere University
  • Riina Lundman, postdoctoral researcher, Tampere University
  • Virve Repo, postdoctoral researcher, Tampere University
  • Mia Joutsi, doctoral candidate, University of Turku
  • Jenni Kuoppa, postdoctoral researcher
  • Tiina Vainio, senior researcher


  • The Ministry of the Environment
  • The City of Helsinki
  • The City of Turku
  • ViaDia Helsinki ry (Resting Place project)

Steering group

  • Mervi Ilmonen, researcher, Aalto University
  • Roger Keil, professor, York University (Canada)
  • Tiina Kähärä, teacher, City of Helsinki
  • Don Mitchell, professor, Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Jaana Nevalainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment
  • Reetta Räty, journalist and professor of practice, Tampere University