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Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, PhD



Postdoctoral researcher, docent

Department of Geosciences and Geography
P.O. Box 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2)
00014 University of Helsinki

Tel. +358 (0)9 191 50730
Mob. +358 (0)40 517 0521
Fax. +358 (0)9 191 50760
E-mail: veli-pekka.tynkkynen (at)


  • Doctor of Philosophy, 2007, University of Helsinki
  • Master of Science, 1999, University of Helsinki
  • High school graduation, 1991, Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu

Research interests

Urban and regional planning including

  • Environmental planning and sustainable development
  • Knowledge and power in planning
  • Methodology of planning research

Geography of Russia
Areas of interest: Russia and Eastern Europe, Finland, the Nordic countries



During my position as an assistant professor of Planning Geography at the Department of Geography, 1999-2006, I instructed yearly two courses on urban and regional planning in Finland; ‘Regional Planning in Finland’ lecture course and ‘Research Workshop on Urban Planning’.

Individual courses, beginning from 2000:

  • Physical and human geography of Russia (in Finnish / English)
  • Urban and regional planning in Russia (in Finnish / English)
  • Regional development in Russia (in Finnish / English)
  • Environmental problems and policy in Russia (in Finnish / English)

Research projects

I am currently working in a research project ‘Power/Knowledge in Urban Development’. This project is part of the Academy of Finland research programme Power in Finland (2007-2010). I approach Finnish environmental planning through the concepts of governmentality and rationalisation of knowledge. My case study localities are two medium-sized Finnish cities, Lappeenranta and Vaasa, and one Russian city, Vyborg (Viipuri).

I defended my doctoral thesis on environmental planning in Northwest Russia in January 2007. The aim of this study was to shed light on the change that has taken place in Russian urban and regional planning since the Soviet era. Through my case studies from St Petersburg, Karelia and Komi I evaluated what characteristics of environmental (sustainable development) planning can be observed, in factual and discursive terms, in these planning contexts.

During my PhD project, 1999–2007, I have also studied Russian geography extensively and published a prize-winning (non-fiction Finlandia Literary Prize in 2003) book called “Russia cannot Escape its Geography” (in Finnish) with Antti Helanterä. Along with these projects I have gained a wide knowledge about Russian geography; especially the environment, regional processes and planning. During my academic career I have published several scientific and popularized articles and given lectures in most Finnish universities on Russian geography, urban and regional planning and regional development.

List of publications and presentations

Refereed articles in journals and books

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka(2010). From Mute to Reflective: Changing Governmentality in St Petersburg and the Priorities of Russian Environmental Planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 53: 2, 1–16.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Maantieteellisesti spesifi hallintatapa ja aluesuunnittelun valtatutkimus. [Geographically specific governmentality and studying power in regional planning.] Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu 2009: 3, 24–37.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka(2009). Planning Rationalities among Practitioners in St Petersburg, Russia – Soviet Traditions and Western Influences. In Knieling, Jörg & Frank Othengrafen (Eds.) Planning Cultures in Europe. Decoding Cultural Phenomena in Urban and Regional Planning, 149–165. Ashgate, Aldershot.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2007). Resource Curse Contested – Environmental Constructions in the Russian Periphery and Sustainable Development. European Planning Studies 15: 6, 853–870.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2005). Ympäristökonstruktiot periferiassa ja venäläinen resurssikirous – seuraukset suunnittelulle. [Environmental constructions in the periphery and the Russian resource curse – implications for planning.] Alue ja Ympäristö 34: 2, 3–14.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2004). Venäläisessä kaupunkisuunnittelussa tuulee lännestä. [Western winds in Russian urban planning.] Idäntutkimus, The Finnish Review of East European Studies 11: 1, 3–10.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2001). Water Related Health Risks and Preventative Policies in the Karelian Republic. In Massa, Ilmo and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (Eds.) The Struggle for Russian Environmental Policy. Kikimora Publications B 17, 123–158.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2000). Pietarin kaupunkiseudun ja Karjalan kannaksen ympäristösuunnittelukysymyksiä. [Environmental planning questions in St. Petersburg urban region and the Karelian Isthmus, NW Russia.] Terra 112: 3, 141–154.

Books and monographs

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2006). Aluesuunnittelu ja kestävä kehitys Luoteis-Venäjällä. Ympäristösuunnittelun mahdollisuus paikallisissa hallintatavoissa [Urban and Regional Planning and Sustainable Development in Northwest Russia. The possibility of environmental planning in the context of local governmentalities.] Academic dissertation. 158 p. (+ articles 69 p.) Helsingin yliopiston maantieteen laitoksen julkaisuja B 53. Dark, Vantaa. [PDF] [Abstract] [Tiivistelmä]

Helanterä, Antti and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2002). Maantieteelle Venäjä ei voi mitään. [Russia cannot Escape its Geography.] 262 p. Ajatus Kirjat. (Finlandia Literary Prize winner for non-fiction books in 2003.)

Massa, Ilmo and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (Eds.) (2001). The Struggle for Russian Environmental Policy.  Kikimora Publications B17.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (1999). Zdarov’e okruzhajushsej sredy v Respublike Karelija. [Environmental Health in the Karelian Republic, in Russian.] 88 p. Regional’nyj tsentr okruzhajushsej sredy Severnogo Savo, Kuopio.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (1999). Environmental Health in the Karelian Republic. 82 p. The Finnish Environment 288.

Other publications

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Uskonto, valta ja hyvinvointiyhteiskunta. [Religion, power and the welfare society.] Etelä-Saimaa, 27.12.2009, 2 (Näkövinkkeli / Letter to the editor).

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). NIMBY-allerginen toimintastrategia ja kaavoituksen jälkeinen ’musta aukko’ – katsaus hallinnon taiteeseen. [NIMBY allergic strategy and the ’Black hole’ following a town plan – a survey into the art of government.] Alue ja Ympäristö, 38: 2, 47–53.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Tandemdemokratia huojuttaa Pietarin jättiläistornia. [Russian tandem democracy sways the St Petersburg mega tower.] Helsingin Sanomat, 2.12.2009, A2 (Vieraskynä / Letter to the editor).

Tynkkynen, Nina & Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2009). Monikasvoinen Venäjän “ympäristösuurvalta”. [Many-faced “Ecological Great Power” of Russia.] (Editorial of the Terra special issue on Russian natural resources and the environment) Terra, 121, 3: 185–186.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Venäjän pohjoisen resurssiperiferian talousmaantiedettä. [Economic geography of Russia’s Northern resource periphery.] (Review of Vesa Rautio’s & Markku Tykkyläinen’s  (eds.) book ”Russia’s Northern regions on the edge.”) Terra, 121: 3, 246–247.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Kristinuskon ohjeet vanhentuneet. [The ethical guideline of Christianity became obsolete.] Aamulehti 21.7.2009, B16.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Mykkyys ja pelottelu hallintatapana. [Muteness and intimidation as a governmentality (in planning).] Aamulehti 29.5.2009, B16.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Kiistojen pelko ohjaa suunnittelua. [The fear of conflicts is guiding planning.] Aamulehti 31.3.2009, B16.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2009). Foucault maantieteestä / maantiede Foucault’sta. [Foucault on geography / geography on Foucault.] (Review of Jeremy Crampton’s & Stuart Elden’s (eds.) book “Space, Knowledge and Power. Foucault and Geography.”) Terra, 121: 1, 70–71.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2008). Ympäristö [The Environment]. In Haasteiden Venäjä [Russia of Challenges] (Edited by Hanna Smith), 72–89. The Ministry of Defence of Finland.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2007, co-author). Urban development – Nordic strengths and challenges under the heading of a new global agenda. Nordforsk Policy Briefs 2007-3.

Hedin, Sigrid, Alexandre Dubois, Riikka Ikonen, Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith, Jörg Neubauer, Katarina Pettersson, Daniel Rauhut, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Åke Uhlin (2008). Regionally Differentiated Innovation Policy in the Nordic Countries – Applying the Lisbon strategy. 67 p. Nordregio Report 2008: 2.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2008). Governance of Regional Innovation Policy in Finland. In Hedin, Sigrid, Riikka Ikonen, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Ingi-Runar Edvardsson and Regina Gunnarsdottir. National Overviews of Regional Innovation Policies and Case Studies in the Nordic Countries. Nordregio Working Paper 2008: 2, 31-39.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2008). Bottom-up Initiatives in Finnish Regional Innovation Policy – the Oulu Region and the Centres of Expertise Programme. In Hedin, Sigrid, Riikka Ikonen, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Ingi-Runar Edvardsson and Regina Gunnarsdottir. National Overviews of Regional Innovation Policies and Case Studies in the Nordic Countries. Nordregio Working Paper 2008: 2, 40–48.

Cocco, Emilio, Giulio Tarlao and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2008). Maritime safety: the North Adriatic Sea and the Gulf of Finland in comparative perspective. In Pursiainen, Christer (ed.) Early Warning and Civil Protection. When does it work and why does it fail? Nordregio Report 2008: 1, 121–158.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2007). Review of Thomas Borén’s book (2005). ”Meeting Places of Transformation. Urban Identity, Spatial Representations and Local Politics in St Petersburg, Russia.” Nordisk Östforum 21: 2, 248–249.

Nikula, Piia and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2007). Risks in Oil Transportation in the Gulf of Finland. “Not a question of if – but when”. In Pursiainen, Christer (Ed.) Towards a Baltic Sea Region Strategy in Critical Infrastructure Protection. Nordregio Report 2007: 5, 143–164.

Ikonen, Riikka and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2007). Belarus. In Hedin, Sigrid et al. The Water Framework Directive in the Baltic Sea Region Countries – vertical implementation, horizontal integration and transnational cooperation. Nordregio Report 2007: 2, 49–58.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2007). Russia. In Hedin, Sigrid et al. The Water Framework Directive in the Baltic Sea Region Countries – vertical implementation, horizontal integration and transnational cooperation. Nordregio Report 2007: 2, 131–137.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2006). The Russian North – an ecological pearl cursed with resources? Proceedings of the Third Northern Research Forum: The Resilient North – Human Responses to Global Change. 4 p.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka & Jenni Väliniemi (eds.) (2005). Lentokenttäkaupungin suunnittelu – yritysten toiveet ja kaupungin visiot. [Planning the Airport City – corporate expectations and visions of the city administration.]  Suunnittelumaantieteen kurssiraportteja 48.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2004). Energiavarat Venäjän kirouksena. (Review of Younkyoo Kim’s (2003) book: “The Resource Curse in a Post-Communist Regime”, 181 p., Ashgate, Aldershot.) Terra 116: 1, 61–63.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2004). Demokratiaa tuettava Venäjällä. [Democracy should be promoted in Russia.] Helsingin Sanomat, 20.3.2004, A3.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2004). Pietarissa laaditaan uutta yleiskaavaa. [A new general plan is being formulated in St Petersburg.] Prosum, 1/2004, 22.

Kivikkokangas-Sandgren, Ritva & Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen (2003, Eds.) Elämää kaduilla ja riisipelloilla: Kambodza ja Vietnam maantieteilijän silmin. [Life on the streets and on rice fields: Cambodia and Vietnam seen by the eyes of a geographer.] 123 p. Helsingin yliopiston maantieteen laitoksen tutkimusretkiraportteja 39 .

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka & Matti Tikkanen (Eds.) (2002). Komi. 88 p. Helsingin yliopiston maantieteen laitoksen tutkimusretkiraportteja 37.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2001). Venäläisen ympäristökeskustelun erikoisuuksia. [Particularities of Russian environmental discourse.] Tekniikan Akateemiset, 9/2001: 18–20.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2000). Venäjän ympäristöliike riskiyhteiskunnan puristuksessa. (Review of Oleg Yanitsky’s (2000) book "Russian Greens in a Risk Society", 290 p. Kikimora Publications B11.) Terra 112: 3, 212–213.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2000). Samhällsproblem och hållbar utveckling i Karelska republiken. [Societal problems and sustainable development in the Karelian Republic]. In Hoppe, Göran (Ed.) Öster om Östersjön. Ymer 120, 76–90.

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (1999.) Ympäristöterveys Karjalassa. [Environmental Health in the Karelian republic.] Ympäristö ja terveys 30: 6, 66–71.

Conference papers and presentations

Governmentality and Environmental Planning in St Petersburg – Birth of a Communicative Regime (to be presented in 2010). VIII World Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies, Stockholm 26th – 31st of July 2010.

Välineitä aluesuunnittelun tutkimiseen – Maantieteellinen konstruktivismi ja hallintatapa(2008)[Tools for regional planning research – Geographical constructivism and governmentality]. Presentation of a paper at the Academy of Finland Research Programme Seminar “Power in Finland”, Tampere 27th of May 2008.

Nordregio’s Activities and the Nordic Council of Ministers Exchange Programme for Russian Planners (2007). Presentation at the Conference “Strategic Planning in Russian Cities”, St. Petersburg, Russia 18th – 19th of Oct. 2007.

Planning Rationalities among Practitioners in St. Petersburg, Russia – Soviet traditions and Western influences (2007). Presentation at a symposium “Planning Cultures in Europe” at the HafenCity University ofHamburg on the 29th of June 2007.

Polycentric urban development strategies seen from a Nordic and European perspective (2007). Presentation at the 12th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development and Information Society, Spatial Development Forum, Vienna, Austria 22nd of May 2007.

Environmental Planning in Northwest Russia: Cases of St Petersburg and Troicko-Pechorsk (2005). Presentation at the conference of ICCEES (International Council for Central and East European Studies), in Berlin, Germany 24.-30.7.2005.

Environmental planning and marginalisation – the example of Troitsko-Pechorsk (2004). Two presentations at 3 rd Northern Research Forum in Yellowknife , North West Territories, Canada 15.-19.9.2004.

Russia ’s road to natural resources (2004). Presentation in “Seminar on Russia” in Northern Dimension Research Centre, Lappeenranta University of Technology 25.-26.8.2004.

Environmental planning and marginality: The Case of Troicko-Pechorsk District, Komi Republic. Presentation at the Third Aleksanteri Conference. "Discovering the Concepts of Nature in Russia: Means for Understanding Russian Culture and Environmental Policies" at the University of Helsinki, 7.-8.11. 2003.

The ecological effects of war on terrestrial and water ecosystems in Kuhmo region, eastern Finland (2003). Poster presentation (together with Juhani Virkanen) at International Conference on Military Geology and Geography in West Point, NY. 15.-18.6.2003.

Environmental planning in the St. Petersburg urban region and the Karelian Isthmus (2001). Presentation at the 33 rd Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) in Arlington, VA. 15.-18.11.2001.

Water related health risks in the Karelian Republic (2000). Presentation in a seminar “Ecological Modernization in Russia” at the University of Helsinki 25.-27.4.2000