Christopher Raymond seeks ways for citizens' voices to be heard in environmental decision-making

The professor of sustainability science is interested in social values and community participation.

What are your research topics?

I develop public participation techniques that can be used to identify, assess and integrate citizens’ values into environmental decision-making. I also lead teams which develop, implement and monitor nature-based solutions that help address pressing problems such as climate change and social exclusion in urban areas.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

My research enables citizens to have a voice in environmental policy and decision-making to support more inclusive conservation and land-use planning. 

For example, my colleagues and I conducted a participatory mapping study in the Helsinki Greater Metropolitan Area, which systematically identified residents’ values for recreation, including preferences for different types of recreational activities in the area. These values informed blue space planning as part of the Helsinki Master Planning process.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

Right now, I am most inspired by the global commitment among policy-makers and scientists to integrate the multiple values of nature, including those held or assigned by local, scientific and Indigenous groups, into decision-making on biodiversity conservation.

I am a Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Values Assessment, which will provide policy guidance on when and how to integrate these multiple values into different environmental decision-making contexts.   


Christopher Raymond is the professor of sustainability science (sustainability transformation in managing ecosystem services) at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. 

Read more about the Social Values for Sustainability Research Group.

Watch Christopher Raymond’s inaugural lecture as a new professor on 29 May 2019.

Get to know the other new professors.