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School of Juuka.

Smart approaches to developing municipalities with a shrinking population

When people move elsewhere, municipalities have to keep an increasingly close eye on how they spend their dwindling resources. At the University of Eastern Finland, researchers have long sought answers to the challenges of developing municipalities with a shrinking population.

  • Text Sari Eskelinen | Photos Piia Juntunen/Vaarojen Sanomat, Varpu Heiskanen, Jarno Artika, Eija Laitila, Mänttä-Vilppula Art Town, Kemiönsaari imagebank/OneTake Productions

Municipalities should let go of the idea of drawing up strategies for the term of office of the municipal council.

Petri Kahila

Research Director

Petri Kahila
People dancing on a covered terrace by a river.
Ilomantsi promotes cultural and well-being services and is active in its collaboration with business and industry. The municipality is also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030. Photo Eija Laitila.

In economic speech, the rhetoric must change.

Markus Hirvonen

Region Mayor of the Regional Council of North Karelia

Markus Hirvonen.
Serlachius Museum in Mänttä-Vilppula.
Mänttä-Vilppula aims to increase the number of jobs and to safeguard workplace self-sufficiency together with companies. Mänttä-Vilppula has also sought to strengthen its image as a town of art and culture. Photo Mänttä-Vilppula Art Town

The way a municipality navigates change can be influenced.

Teemu Makkonen


Makkonen Teemu in portrait.
Aerial view of Kemijärvi City.
Kemijärvi has adapted its services to better cater to the needs of its population structure.
Man leaping off a boat to a dock.
Kemiönsaari seeks to attract new residents through large-scale campaigns promoting in-migration. Not only permanent residents but also multi-locational residents are sought in the municipality. Photo Kemiönsaaren imagebank, OneTake Productions.