Integrative Mechanisms for Addressing Spatial Justice and Territorial Inequalities in Europe 

The intended long-term impact of the IMAJINE project is to contribute to the reduction of territorial inequalities in the European Union and to promote social and spatial justice, through the development of new integrative policy mechanisms. University of Helsinki is responsible for the Work Package 1 of the project which makes a review the key literatures on the concepts of spatial justice, territorial inequality and social cohesion and analyses their use in the policy circles at regional, national and EU levels. From the KATI researchers involved in the IMAJINE projects are Mikko Weckroth and Sami Moisio.  

 

Lähiympäristö 2.0 research project compiles the current knowledge on how to plan safe urban environments. The focus is on studying existing cases and planning principles, which will be further developed by reflecting on new planning processes. The project will produce recommendations on how to apply these principles to different stages of the planning process. Special attention is paid for collaboration processes. Lähiympäristö 2.0 is funded by analysis, assessment and research activities, coordinated by Prime Minister’s Office (VN TEAS). Lähiympäristö 2.0 research team includes researchers from VTT, University of Helsinki, Aalto University and SPEK.

Lähiympäristö 2.0 researchers at the University of Helsinki:
Suvi Välimäki (suvi.i.valimaki@helsinki.fi)
Rami Ratvio (rami.ratvio@helsinki.fi)

Lähiympäristö 2.0 homepage
 

Nordic City Challenge is a 3-day intensive course on sustainable, multidisciplinary and practical urban planning. It is organized annually in different Nordic countries. The course gathers 20-25 students from the Nordic countries to share ideas and work together on a real-life planning case.

The Nordic City Challenge has four main purposes:

  1. Engaging students in real-life urban challenge solving processes.
  2. Establishing multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial networks of young experts, academics, and practitioners from different backgrounds.
  3. Offering students in-depth knowledge and practical experience through actual planning work.
  4. Producing new perspectives and innovations for Nordic societal development and to deepen Nordic cooperation.

The similarities between Nordic societies and structures have enabled interesting comparisons and solutions. The comparison of Nordic cases has widened and strengthened both experts’ and students’ understanding of current trends in urban development. In doing so, it has contributed to the creation of social-ecological models for densifying urban areas in Nordic cities. The students’ proposals have also been applied to practical urban planning projects.

Developing Co-creation Models for Urban Research Collaboration

This two-year research project focuses on developing multidisciplinary proficiency in urban studies and discovering new ways to improve knowledge transfer between universities and cities. It aims to discover new methods for co-operation between urban actors and scientists especially focusing on knowledge co-creation. Research is conducted by analysing the current state of collaboration within urban studies, benchmarking internationally well known urban research institutes and organizing and developing models for new types of workshop to enhance collaboration and knowledge exchange between universities and urban actors.

This project aims to produce research outputs and new knowledge of the topic but also to create concrete suggestions and models for enhancing collaboration between cities universities and other urban actors to support knowledge-based decisionmaking in cities.

The Digital Geography Lab explores the use of novel big (and open) data sources and cutting-edge methods in supporting sustainable spatial planning and decision-making. Our main focus is on two intertwined areas of research: human mobility/accessibility and biodiversity conservation. We take advantage of new data sources, such as social media content, mobile phone call detail records, and public transport timetables, combined with remotely-sensed and register data, which we use for carrying out advanced spatial analyses of accessibility and mobility patterns, conservation opportunities and threats, and tracking illegal wildlife trade trafficking. Our research is conducted at various spatial scales in Finland, Estonia, South Africa and Uruguay, extending across continental and global scales. The Digital Geography Lab is also a forerunner in open science and actively shares its research tools and data with different stakeholders both within and outside academia.

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EIT 2018 experimental project Urban Oasis aims to open up a discussion about the reuse of empty urban spaces and the potential they might have as common year-around indoor gardens and living rooms of citizens. In May 2018, a demo environment was created in Teurastamo, Helsinki, a popular urban hub for culture and food. The project hopes to co-create new ways of working around the theme and to contemplate the meaning of urban experiments in city development in general. The project is funded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Climate-KIC Nordic.