Watch recording of the seminar
When: Thu 30.1.2020, from 3 to 4 p.m.
Coffee will be served from 2:30 p.m. Researchers will be available for discussions until 4:30 p.m.
Where: Viikki, Kokoustamo, A2 (Street address Latokartanonkaari 9)
Chair: Anne Toppinen Professor, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
- Christopher Raymond Professor, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and HELSUS
- Marjo Neuvonen Research Scientist, Luke
- Riikka Paloniemi Head of unit, Environmental Policy Center, Behavioral Change Unit, SYKE
Co-creating nature-based solutions to promote carbon neutrality, environmental justice and well-being in urban areas: Insights from across Europe, presenter Christopher Raymond, HELSUS
Nature-based solutions (NBS) have the potential for promoting transformations toward carbon neutrality and improving well-being across Europe; however, carbon benefits need to be considered with respect to the potential impacts on environmental justice. This presentation will outline a framework for assessing the co-benefits and costs of NBS for promoting carbon neutrality, environmental justice and well-being in urban areas, and then provide case insights from various nature-based solutions projects across Europe. Results indicate that while NBS hold much promise for carbon sequestration and subjective well-being, in some cases NBS can create issues of social exclusion, gentrification and access. I will present some guidance on how environmental justice issues can be addressed through new forms of urban governance currently being trialled as part of the VIVA-PLAN project in case areas in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Malmö.
Bio: Christopher Raymond is a Professor in Sustainability Transformations and Ecosystem Services at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science. His research examines the multiple ways in which people value nature, and informs inclusive approaches to the management of protected areas and urban green areas. He leads the Social Values and Sustainability Transformations research group that develops inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches for eliciting social values for ecosystems and their services, and for promoting transformations toward sustainability. He coordinates the ENVISION project (funded by BiodivERsA), which aims to develop new participatory techniques for balancing diverse industry and community visions for protected area management. He also coordinates the VIVA-Plan project, which aims to develop a sustainable spatial planning framework for revitalising in-between spaces in urban areas for social inclusion, biodiversity and well-being, including safety and security.
Urban forests and nature as an environment for residents physical activity: a case study from Helsinki, presenter Marjo Neuvonen, Luke
Inadequate physical activity (PA) is acknowledged as a key health risk factor both in Finland and in modern societies. Therefore, potential ways to increase PA at individual and population level is of high public health priority. Urban nature contributes to residents’ well-being in many ways including the reductions stressors and improving the urban resilience to climate change. Current research evidence indicates positive influence of nature on health and well-being through stress recovery, improved physical activity and social relationships.
Luke has coordinated research based on both cross-sectional data and experimental studies on health and well-being effects of urban forests. The specific aim of this research is to study the importance of nature for promoting physical activity among the urban residents and to identify the attractive nature areas for PA, and the residents evaluated the valued properties and the development proposals of these areas.
A public participatory GIS survey was conducted in three study areas of Helsinki in 2018. In total, 1106 residents responded to the survey, indicating 2598 places for their green exercise and outdoor recreation environments on the map.
This study complements existing knowledge on the importance of the green environments: around 36 % of the residents’ spear time PA took place in nature environments. These areas were valued for their good accessibility, trails, sport facilities, possibilities for recreation, beautiful scenery, and possibilities for experience nature and silence. The estimated average distance to green exercise area was 1.28 km.
These findings highlight the importance of green environments to residents’ wellbeing. The health and well-being of citizens can be supported by providing natural environments that support and motivate physical activity. Especially large green areas are important for the residents, as they offer opportunities for nature experiences and as well as places for different physical activities.
Bio: Marjo Neuvonen is research scientist at Luke and coordinates a nationwide survey on Finns' participation in outdoor activities (National outdoor recreation demand inventory, LVVI3). She is interested in developing statistics of outdoor recreation to support the decision making. Her work has focused on understanding the factors behind outdoor recreation visitation in the urban environment as well as in the context of national parks.
Promoting health and well-being through urban nature-based solutions, presenter Riikka Paloniemi, SYKE
Health and well-being benefits of nature are achieved by spending time frequently in green areas. Recently such an active use of nature has been increasingly seen as health promotion complementing other approaches to health care. New concepts, such as nature-based solutions, may help in acknowledging multiple benefits of nature, including their health benefits. In the presentation, I will discuss health benefits of urban nature by presenting experiences from the Nature step project, in which new practices to encourage more active use of urban nature were co-created with kindergartens. In addition, I will discuss how to improve the accessibility of forests through planning and finally.
Bio: Docent Riikka Paloniemi, works as the head of the Behavioral Change unit in SYKE’s environmental policy centre. Our multidisciplinary team aims to create prerequisites for more sustainable behavior, policy and decision making. We are studying the behavior of individuals and groups, and opportunities and challenges towards more sustainable behavior. Our current projects focus among other themes how nature based solutions could help to solve current major societal challenges.