“Happy, healthy and participatory citizens”: suburban cultural policy in the Finnish city of Jyväskylä.

This study examines how culture is positioned to the strategic goals of one Nordic city. It explores how strategic (cultural) policy measures aim to enable and implement participation and residents’ cultural activity, a perspective commonly underlined as a core objective and value in the welfare states’ cultural policy. Two suburbs selected provide an urban context to conduct the cultural policy analysis.

The findings indicate a possible variation in both the strategic role of culture and the cultural policy pursued in different urban contexts. In suburbs the implementation of cultural policy relies on the civic activities and actors of the third sector. Additionally, the cross-administrative nature of cultural policy related to the different city areas should be acknowledged explicitly in cultural policy and urban planning. To achieve this, more research is needed on the residents’ and other actors’ role in the urban culture-led strategic development in different areas of cities.


Project researchers