Finnish local government reform
Urban structure and the economic difficulties of municipalities are a current topic of discussion in the Nordic countries. In Finland, the average size of municipalities is relatively small and most of the country is sparsely populated. The PARAS project was introduced by the Finnish government and conducted in 2007–2012, and aimed to reform municipal and service structures. In this chapter, geographic and economic analysis are combined in the review of municipalities, with the intention of enabling a better understanding of the logic of the development of municipal structures in Finland's urban regions. The study focuses on how the location of surrounding municipalities in urban regions in relation to the core of the central city appears in the light of economic performance indicators for municipalities at a general level. The chapter has demonstrated that the connection between distances and lower costs in Finnish urban regions can be seen as reaching out to about 15–20km from the centre of the urban region.