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Gentrification and the Welfare City

Tuition fee


EARLY BIRD prices valid until 28.2.2019
NORMAL prices after 28.2.2019

More information 



This Helsinki Summer School course explores urbanisation from the point of view of the Nordic ‘welfare city’. A welfare city, such as Helsinki, is built on ideals of equality, the well-being of its citizens, a sustainable balance between the needs of both nature and the people, and responds to social and ecological awareness alike.

A process affecting the welfare city at the moment is gentrification. From hipster bars to rent increases, gentrification is a common and visible process of contemporary metropolitan restructuring, familiar from cities around the world. Often its real meaning and what the process really entails remain invisible. Brought on by uneven investments, gentrification sees capital take over and transform homes and neighbourhoods of low-income people and is a cause of displacement and urban inequality – a process poorly suited to the ethos of the welfare city.

The course uses lectures, workshops and excursions in Helsinki to help the students understand contemporary problems and issues related to gentrification in the Nordic welfare city.

Learning objectives

- Understand the relation between welfare and urbanisation in the Finnish, Nordic and global context.
- Recognise the main features of a welfare city.
- Familiarity with theory and concepts of gentrification.
- Recognise the effects of gentrification on the city.
- Acquire a critical understanding of contemporary urbanisation under capitalism.

Course format and teaching methods

The course consists of lectures, workshops and excursions by leading Finnish scholars, international guests, activists, experts and municipal officers. Before and during the course, the students will engage in individual and group work. The interactive learning method is based on an interdisciplinary understanding of urban studies. The students are encouraged to participate actively in the development of case studies and hands-on on-site research activities in the Helsinki region.

Target students

The course is designed for Master’s degree students interested in urbanisation and with a background in urban studies, social sciences, sociology, geography, cultural studies, architecture, urban planning, environmental studies, politics, and economics.


Giacomo Bottà,
You may contact the course coordinator with questions concerning the course content.

With any other questions concerning Helsinki Summer Schoool or the application process, please contact

Apply now! Summer 2019
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Aug 6, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States