report from Christian Pleijel
On February 2nd , a project called “Habitability” started in Finland. The purpose is to analyse and develop the islands’ attractiveness, service level and population numbers, with the help of Kökar’s habitability tool. The project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy. It also aims at strengthening the cooperation between the islanders in Finland’s coastal and lake areas. Of Finland’s 72,000 archipelago inhabitants, 186 live on separate islands, 276 islands have 2-20 residents, 40 islands have 21-100 and 12 have over 101 and up to 957 residents.
The initial meeting, which was three hours long via zoom, gathered 100 participants. An important part of habitability is to unbutton the local knowledge of the islanders, who are considered the experts on their own island. To this end, professor Nina Tynkkynen spoke about the concept of “citizen science” and gave us strong praise.
The project runs for two years and is managed by Pia Prost (vice chair of ESIN) and Cecilia Lundberg from the Archipelago Institute at Åbo Academy University, with some help from Christian Pleijel (inventor of the concept).