Engineering Spatial Fixes: Relational Spatial Practices, Strategic-Topological Approach And The Construction Of A Finnish Science-Technology District

Toni Ahlqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


It can be argued that the relational approach, and especially the so‐called relational economic geography, would benefit from deeper engagement with the practical and strategic dimensions of spatial relations. The article proposes a notion of engineering spatial fix as a way to conceptualize these dimensions. The idea is to widen the conceptual sphere of relationality from spontaneous ties or abstract networked power effects towards relational spatial practices. Theoretically, the article aims to bridge the strategic‐relational and the network‐topological approaches through a stylized meso‐level practice‐oriented approach. It is suggested that in economic geography, relations can be grasped through two basic perspectives: relations as analytical lenses and relations as spatial practices. The article proposes that the relational spatial practices can be divided into two dimensions: topological and strategic. The article presents a case study of a science‐technology district of Turku in 1985–2001, which fleshes out the theoretical elaborations. In the process, the relational concept of synergy is utilized as a context‐specific strategic resource as the district evolves from an initial separate building to a distinct and materialized geographical structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-109
JournalGeografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Finland
  • relational spatial practice
  • science-technology district
  • spatial fix
  • strategic resource
  • synergy

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