Kauniainen’s history begins in the year 1906, when a corporation selling villa properties primarily for inhabitants of the metropolitan area was established. Other garden suburbs sprang up in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, e.g. in Stockholm, Kauniainen’s twin municipality Danderyd was built in a similar fashion. In general, areas with conifer and pine forests were considered healthy residential environments, and Kauniainen was able to offer these features. In addition, the city had a link to the capital, Helsinki. A railway line was inaugurated for traffic in 1903.  
In 1920, the suburban community became a borough. The population was 1346 inhabitants and there was a 70% Swedish-speaking majority. The borough got its Finnish name Kauniainen in 1949 by decision of the Council of State.

Kauniainen got its city charter in 1972. The population had grown to 6462 inhabitants and the next year Finnish became the city’s majority language.

Today Kauniainen has approximately 9600 people, of whom 59% are Finnish-speaking and 36% Swedish-speaking.

A garden suburb

A distinctive feature that has followed the development of Kauniainen is the aim to maintain the city’s character as a garden suburb. Today the cityscape is dominated by one-family houses and a close proximity to nature. Kauniainen can be said to embody a cosy modern suburb. Present-day town planning aims at maintaining such features. In addition to its natural setting, the garden suburb is a social phenomenon. Its unreservedness and closeness are both emphasized in its social dealings, which we in Kauniainen call “quality of life.”

Kauniainen today

Kauniainen is one of the four towns in the metropolitan region. It is situated 15 kilometers west of the capital Helsinki and surrounded by the neighboring town Espoo.

The shopping center of Kauniainen has been built around the railway station. There you will find the Town Hall, the Library, the two churches as well as shops and other kinds of service. Surrounding the center are forests and nature trails, parks, schools, sport grounds and the villas and small houses which make Kauniainen the nice garden town it is today.

It is of great importance that the inhabitants should feel at home in Kauniainen and that there should be a good supply of service for all ages. There are many possibilities for hobbies of all kinds, sports and exercise, courses, concerts, exhibitions etc. About 80 clubs and organizations are active in the town.