Skiing to Work? It’s More Likely Than You Think!

Skiers in Oulu, 1893 Unknown Photographer

In this podcast, my co-host and I explore the deep connection Finnish culture has with cross-country skiing. The roots of which started nearly eight thousand years ago with the Sami people. How did the industrialization of Finland and the subsequent increase in urban population lead to an unexpected use for skis? During the winter most people had no other option but to use cross country skis to get to work or school, cars were too expensive and public transport wasn’t there yet. This peaked around the 1980s before experiencing a decline from a number of factors I cover in the podcast. After listening what do you think? Does skiing have a future in some cities’ transportation mix? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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Kalvträskskidan in ski museum at Umeå. Moralist


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One Reply to “Skiing to Work? It’s More Likely Than You Think!”

  1. To add a little bit of context that I wasn’t able to fit into the podcast, Finland’s urbanization happened fairly late and saw a rise from 50% living in cities to 84% from the 1960s to the early 2000s as well as increased population density within those cities. As the country industrialized relatively late few people could afford cars and public transportation infrastructure was only starting to expand, so people needed an interim mode of transit that could get them from point to point through cities in the winter, and that was cross country skiing .

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