Institute
Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria) is the first academic multi-disciplinary urban research unit in Finland. Our aim is to cultivate internationally high quality research adn education as well as improve the societal impact of our experts and their research.
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Wishing you informative and educational reading moments! 

Our main duty is to offer academic knowledge to the complex challenges and problems by the global urbanization development. The education in urban and regional studies at the University of Helsinki is ran by the multidisciplinary Urban Studies and Planning Programme. We bring togerter people, expertise and ideas from various disciplines and faculties. In addition to the collaboration within the academic worls, we work for the the stronger dialogue with the stakeholders and general public. The Institute is part the Urban Academy strategic collaboration and focuses particularty closely to the city collaboration in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

The Institute inclused four faculties: the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty on Biologial and Environmental Science. 

The Urbaria Institute is a part of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Sciences HELSUS, that tackles sustainability transformations with interndisciplinary research and education. The HELSUS research focuses on four themes: sustainable urban, consumption and production, artic and theoretichal and methodological development.

Read more about our activities

The Helsinki Insitute of Urban and Regional Studies:

  1. Collects and develops multidisciplinary urban and regional research within academia and with key stakeholders                 
  2. Strengthens the city collaboration especially with the city of Helsinki

  3. Plans and develops science communications and public engagement and encourages and trains researchers to do so

Institute Management

Mari Vaattovaara is a Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. Her research interests relate to the social and spatial developments in urban areas, segregation, immigration, housing preferences, and housing choice as well as to the housing policy. In addition, she has been working on projects related to accessibility, creative and knowledge industries as well as to the competitiveness of urban regions. In addition to the academic research, Mari Vaattovaara is a requested discussant in the public forums.

Juri Mykkänen acts as a Deputy Director of the Urbaria Institute and a Vice-Dean for academic disciplines in the Faculty of Social Sciences. His responsibilities involve mainly human resources, financial matters and faculty premises. While serving as a Vice-Dean Mykkänen is on a leave of absence from my regular post as a university lecturer in political science. He has been a member of Urbaria’s steering board since 2018 and deputy director since May 2019. In terms of research foci, he is omnivorous, but specifically, he is interested in political institutions, political communication, social theory, research methods, and cultural analysis of the economy.

Liaison manager

Iiris Koivulehto works as a Liaison Manager at the Urbaria Institute. She is in charge of coordinating the research network, Urbaria seminars and events, stakeholder management as well as planning and executing projects in communications and societal impact. 

You can contact Iiris on all issues related to urban studies! 

Contact details:

Email: iiris.koivulehto@helsinki.fi
Phone: +358 40 564 9886  

Urbaria Steering Board

Urbaria Steering board advances urban research and societal interaction in the university of Helsinki and nationally. It supports Urbaria director in steering the institute. The board decides on the activities, finances and staffing of the institute as well as supervises the quality control, reporting, communications and other relevant activities of the institute.

Faculty of Science

  • Dean Kai Nordlund (Vice dean Marja-Liisa Riekkola) 
  • Professor Sami Moisio (Professor Annakaisa Korja).

Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Vice dean Juri Mykkänen (Professor Petri Ylikoski) 

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences 

  • Vice dean Atte Korhola (Professor Sirkku Juhola) 
  • Professor Heikki Setälä (University lecturer Johan Kotze).

Faculty of Arts 

  • Vice Dean Jussi Pakkasvirta (Vice dean Ulla Tuomarla) 
  • Professor Laura Kolbe (University lecturer Terhi Ainiala).