Second homes and the commons: Terms for second home leaseholds and collective action in Kvarken Archipelago, Finland

In the Kvarken Archipelago in western Finland, land elevation occurs as a result of the latest ice age. Here the elevation is approximately 0.8-0.9 cm per year creating 1 km2 of land yearly in the shallow archipelago. This new land becomes an economic and social resource for the local stakeholders in the archipelago. As it accrues automatically to the commons (local land ownership organisations constituted through Finnish law), access to the land resources becomes an issue of local governance. There are roughly 20,000 second homes in the Ostrobothnian region, many of which are located on leaseholds on emergent land. Most of the power of negotiation of access and leasehold contract engineering lies with the part-owners of the commons. Part-owners enjoy both more generous access to and fairer pricing of leaseholds, leading to a concentration of locals in the seaside second home areas. Second home leaseholders, at least those without part-ownership in the commons, have very limited opportunities to participate in decision-making processes regarding their leaseholds, and they are to a large extent excluded from the social management of the resource system. This has visible traces in the second home landscape as e.g. incitement and possibilities for renovation and upkeep differs, and in some areas the situation is conflictual. In this chapter, we explore the second home owners’ experiences of the implications of land elevation and the social management of the emergent land practised by the commons. Through interviews with representatives of the commons, and with second home owners (both leasers and those who own their plot), the aim is to understand the roles of the different stakeholders in the negotiation of access to second home plots, and management of the resource system made up by attractive emergent land.

Senaste arbeten