University of Oulu

Sini Kantola & Seija Tuulentie (2020) Participation in a large Arctic city – the possibilities of PPGIS for improving interaction, Polar Geography, 43:4, 295-312, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2020.1767709

Participation in a large Arctic city : the possibilities of PPGIS for improving interaction

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Author: Kantola, Sini1; Tuulentie, Seija2
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-05-22


Like innumerable areas worldwide, northern and Arctic areas are experiencing rapid urbanization. The land is often publicly owned in the main, and there are many interests focusing on the same areas. Different activities lead to specific challenges in land use management in regard to public participation. There are guidelines and legal norms for participation in Finland from the municipality to the ministry level, but the style and rate of participation vary a lot from city to city. In this article the potential of public participatory geographic information systems (PPGIS) is examined in the Arctic city, Rovaniemi. The research questions are: How has participation in land use planning and decision-making been implemented in the context of sparsely populated Arctic city the past and present times? How do the interviewees see the potential of the use of PPGIS? Attitudes towards PPGIS were positive, but the implementation of all types of participation data, such as PPGIS data, was seen as vague and weak. Challenges of the participation were associated with poor communication, insufficient information, and lack of trust. Nature values and local opinions were considered to be at risk of being overshadowed by economic values.

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Series: Polar geography
ISSN: 1088-937X
ISSN-E: 1939-0513
ISSN-L: 1088-937X
Volume: 43
Issue: 4
Pages: 295 - 312
DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2020.1767709
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014–2020 program is gratefully acknowledged for funding the project Building Shared Knowledge capital to support natural resource governance in the Northern periphery (BuSK), with which this research is associated. In addition, the Fulbright Finland Foundation, the University of Montana, and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute are gratefully acknowledged for making it possible to write this article.
Copyright information: © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Polar Geography on 22 May 2020, available online: