The aim of the research project was to study the effects of urbanization, borders and globalization on material culture in the towns of Oulu and Tornio. In the 17th century the utilitarian items used by residents had a uniform appearance. However, the use of material culture different, based on local factors. The first urban maps of Tornio and other northern Swedish towns were drawn around 1620s, when the towns were founded. Local factors and long-standing traditions affected he urbanization of Oulu and Tornio. In the 19th-century the style of architecture, and the colours of urban buildings, were used to build up the border between the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland and Sweden. More recently, in the twentieth century, the German supply bases and encampment that were built up during World War II also had a profound impact upon patterns of landuse and local urbanization in Oulu and Tornio, which extended well into the post-war period.