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Performing a neoliberal city-regional imaginary: the case of Tampere tramway project

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Sub-national statecraft and scalecraft is touted as consequential antidote to the crisis of uneven development and democratic deficit. Interrogating this supposition with reference to city-regionalisation in Finland, this paper explores how a neoliberal imaginary of city-regions has been institutionalised through entanglement of discursive practices of contractual planning and materiality of tramway construction in Tampere. We argue that Finland’s ‘city regionalism’ is best understood in terms of rescaling of power from local municipalities to upper tiers of governance, lubricating of entrepreneurial development projects, and shrinking of democratic spaces of political contestations. We conclude by calling for geographically sensitive theorisations of city-regionalisation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S, Kallio KP, Häkli J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Space and Polity

Year: 2021

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

Pages: 112-131

Online publication date: 14/02/2021

Acceptance date: 31/01/2021

Date deposited: 22/01/2021

ISSN (print): 1356-2576

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1235

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13562576.2021.1885373


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Funder referenceFunder name
303553Academy of Finland