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Open AccessArticle

Revitalizing the Successful Past in the North: Narratives of Change in the Peripheral Post-Industrial City of Kajaani, Finland

Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
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Urban Sci. 2019, 3(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3040110
Received: 14 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 8 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Futures of Small Industrial Towns)
Finding a new destination for declining industrial communities is a common European trend, wherein local, national and EU interests are intertwined and sometimes contested. New meaning is sought, among other things, in economics, political activity, and images of the past. This article analyzes local development narratives in the case of the “northern periphery”. This paper highlights how the shrinking town of Kajaani, Finland, reacts to the state’s changing role in regional industrial strategies by comparing different local interpretations of future expectations. The research material comprises interviews, city strategies, and editorials from a local newspaper. This paper suggests that the previously dominant narrative of decentralization still holds sway in the minds of the local advocates. However, it is flavored by the narrative of the knowledge-based economy forming three interrelated local narratives: the narrative of the small town; the narrative of closure; and the narrative of traction. The analysis shows that a northern model city of former industrial policy is seeking to reform and develop its original strengths. However, strong links to previous doctrines of state regional policy still frame the potential of local interpretations and make them specifically Nordic development narratives. View Full-Text
Keywords: development narratives; northern periphery; post-industrial development; decentralization; revitalization strategy; knowledge-based economy development narratives; northern periphery; post-industrial development; decentralization; revitalization strategy; knowledge-based economy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Häyrynen, S.; Semi, J. Revitalizing the Successful Past in the North: Narratives of Change in the Peripheral Post-Industrial City of Kajaani, Finland. Urban Sci. 2019, 3, 110. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3040110

AMA Style

Häyrynen S, Semi J. Revitalizing the Successful Past in the North: Narratives of Change in the Peripheral Post-Industrial City of Kajaani, Finland. Urban Science. 2019; 3(4):110. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3040110

Chicago/Turabian Style

Häyrynen, Simo; Semi, Jussi. 2019. "Revitalizing the Successful Past in the North: Narratives of Change in the Peripheral Post-Industrial City of Kajaani, Finland" Urban Sci. 3, no. 4: 110. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3040110

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