International experts enjoy living in Helsinki

Researchers at the University of Helsinki assess how well Helsinki attracts international experts.

International experts enjoy living in Helsinki

According to the findings of researchers at the University of Helsinki’s Department of Geography, experts move to Helsinki mostly for family or work reasons. The strengths of the city as a place to live are, first and foremost, the residents’ good English skills, the suitable size of the city and the safety of the city. The functionality of the city and its proximity to nature are also considered to be strengths.

The research is part of the 13-country ACRE project (Accommodating Creative Knowledge – Competitiveness of European Metropolitan Regions within the Enlarged Union). The project assesses what makes metropolitan areas competitive in a global information economy and how competitiveness can be supported.

“The city’s trump cards are its humane scale and cosy atmosphere. One of the interviewees praises Helsinki as being a more homely and comfortable hometown than Paris, London or Berlin,” says project researcher Venla Bernelius.

There are problems as well. Finding a job was often difficult. Most jobs were available in the IT sector. The dense housing and high costs of living in Helsinki also shocked some newcomers to the city. A significant problem is the difficulty in getting acquainted with Finnish people in and outside the work environment. It can even develop to the main reason for people to move away from Finland.

“All in all, at the moment it looks as though Helsinki and Finland have a lot of strengths as a place to live. This is something that should be marketed to international experts,” says Bernelius.

Text: Laura Tötterman
Photo: Sanna Agullana

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

More about the ACRE project >>

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