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wooden neighborhood, Pori, Satakunta region, Finland



The 5th district Itätulli, with a toponym of Viikkari, is the oldest preserved wooden part of Pori city, capital of Satakunta region. It has been planned and developed since 1811. In 1852 there was a major fire in Pori which severely damaged Itätulli’s buildings, however, a few wooden houses of the pre-fire period remained. 


Protection of Itätulli as a historical wooden quarter was secured by the 2008 town plan, which  authorized its built heritage as of national interest. However before this protection took place, some parts of Itätulli, especially in its northern area, were partly rebuilt with blocks of flats with exception permits. The district has other risks, such as abandoned houses  due to the migration outflow. 


In the past Itätulli developed as a lively working-class suburb with a rural character (e.g., people kept cattle in their yards) and lots of small-scale commercial activities, most of which are now gone. The current inhabitants of the area are quite diverse in their backgrounds. For instance, many students of the Pori University Consortium rent cheaper accommodation here. There is a different level of awareness about the built heritage protection and sustainable lifestyles within the residents. At the same, Itätulli has an active Itätulli district association ( and unique traditions, such as the Viikkari Christmas windows event in winter and the Viikkari open yards festival in July, both self-organized by residents. 


WoodiSH associate partners are working on preserving the wooden heritage. The Satakunta museum maintains an open database of Itätulli’s built heritage. Official building heritage house Toivo is active in Itätulli and aims to increase public and policy-makers’ awareness about the value of this wooden habitat. Itätulli is not well presented in academic literature, except for Mervi 2005. 


There are general challenges experienced by the residents of the wooden houses, such as maintenance, reasonable repairs and change of the buildings, which are restricted by the protection status. There are also specific rules developed in the area, for example, ban on fire shooting during the Christmas festivities. In these circumstances practices of care for the houses carried out by residents are flexible adaptation to the specificity of the habitat meeting both legal requirements and life needs.


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