Multi-Local Living: ROBUST Research Highlighted in Helsinki Quarterly

Thu 04 Mar 2021

What comes to mind when you hear the term multi-locality? Does it spark images of commuting between cities, or bring to mind the idea of having homes in multiple communities? Defined most simply, it means living across multiple locations. But if this broad definition leaves you wondering exactly what multi-locality looks like, you’re not alone: It can include everything from seasonal migration to owning multiple homes or working transnationally. As it turns out, multi-locality is not widely understood or measured — and COVID-19 has brought to light the need to better understand this phenomenon, to better serve our communities and allocate resources equitably. 


This under-explored topic is the focus of a recent discussion and article in Kvartti: Helsinki Quarterly, which highlights the work of ROBUST consortium partners with the City of Helsinki and the National Resources Institute Finland (Luke). ROBUST research helped guide the virtual discussion on the implications of multi-local living for Helsinki, changing the narrative around rapidly changing ways of living and working.

The article highlights the unfortunate fact that, as communities plan their services, consideration for multi-locality often falls through the cracks. “Conventional” statistics overlook the fact that, for example, seasonal residents may put more pressure on local services at certain times of the year  or create demand for services that can’t be delivered with the existing funding structure (like medical care). As outlined in the discussion described in the article, this multi-local living is prevalent in the parts of Finland often used as holiday hot-spots. This is perhaps even more visible in the current context of COVID-19, because, for those who own them, remote work in a second home has become more possible and appealing than ever. In other words, multi-locality is not new in Finland, but experts see the phenomenon taking a new form.

Read the article here to read the coverage of ROBUST research on multi-locality, and how that research applies to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo credit: Tapio Haaja/Unsplash

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News about Rural-Urban Europe and the ROBUST project is published regularly in the INFORMED CITIES newsletter.

ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

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