Economic Recovery in Finland Through Urban Economic Resilience Building : Managing Adaptive Change in Heinola, Kotka and Salo
Clarke, Daniel Aleksi (2019)
Clarke, Daniel Aleksi
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Over recent years there is a growing awareness that the successful advancement of European economic recovery requires an understanding of regional and urban socioeconomic and environmental diversity. National economic recovery can be interpreted as the combined sum of the methods used by individual urban economies to respond and build resilience to the effects of the global economic crisis and abrupt changes in business structures. The theoretical foundation behind this interpretation is, however, complicated by the lack of a universally acknowledged definition of resilience within an urban or economic framework. This study addresses the broader subject of economic recovery in Finland through the response measures used in Heinola, Kotka and Salo. Each case study represents a small town or city in Finland, which has previously received the designation of an Area of Abrupt Structural Change. The study applies the ecological framework for resilience, considering the ability of the urban economy to continuously adapt to external conditions. The framework of the adaptive cycle model is used to describe the sequence of economic events and processes used in Heinola, Kotka and Salo from 1.1.2008 onwards as parts of an ongoing cycle of change. Consideration is also given to socioeconomic and environmental diversity, by outlining key similarities and differences in the response methods and models used in each case study and reviewing how the level of urban resilience has changed and may continue to change in future. The urban economic strategies applied in the case studies are related to the subject of national economic recovery in Finland with reference to the investment promotion activities of Invest in Finland, and the core requirements of prospective foreign investors. The conclusions provide support for the practical application of the adaptive cycle model to describe individual economic events. The results also demonstrate key characteristics of greater economic understanding in the case study urban economies, which supports future resilience building.