NECTAR conference: Towards human scale cities - Open and happy

The 15th biennial NECTAR conference 5 - 7 June 2019 focuses on human scale view in transport, mobility and accessibility research. Welcome to listen to open keynote talks by Mikael Colville Andersen and Dr Tim Schwanen.

With the constant growth of the urban population worldwide, there is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting the well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role in cities.

Human scale – transportation and mobility solutions from and for people

The conference focuses on novel results in transportation, mobility and accessibility research. This year, special focus is on the human scale view in transport research and the new possibilities that digital technologies and open data provide for mobility solutions.

Professor Tuuli Toivonen describes how these topics have been chosen as they are increasingly important in designing sustainable and just cities, and rapid developments are taking place changing the mobility landscapes.

– An increasing number of mobility solutions are available in our cities that are based on digital technologies such as shared mobility services and ride-hailing services, Toivonen elaborates.

These themes are very topical in the Helsinki region. Transportation is one of the main sources of carbon emissions and dramatic emission reductions are needed. Novel mobility solutions such as mobility-as-a-service solutions, bike-sharing systems and electric scooters are debated issues in local discussions. In addition, these solutions are also rapidly changing the ways how people move in the region in their everyday life.

–  At the same time, these technologies produce wealth of data that can help researchers to better understand complex mobility behaviors, she adds.

Human-scale, in the context of the NECTAR conference, refers to a focus on transportation and mobility solutions that are planned from the perspective of people. According to Toivonen, this involves an improved understanding of mobility choices of individuals, individualized solutions for transportation and moving the focus from efficiency to experience. 

Keynote speeches on urban mobility, well-being and inequality 

The 15th bi­en­nial NEC­TAR conference will in­clude key­note speeches from Mikael Colville-Andersen and Dr Tim Schwanen

Mi­kael Colville-An­der­sen 

Mikael Colville-Andersen is one of the leading global voices in urbanism. He advises cities and businesses on how to design - and embrace -  bicycle and pedestrian friendly streets in order to improve urban life. He is known for his pioneering philosophies about simplifying urban planning and how cities and towns should be designed instead of engineered.

Mikael is the author of Copenhagenize - the definitive guide to global bicycle urbanism and the host of the urbanism tv series The Life-Sized City and he inspires with his keynotes around the world about how to make cities better. He will speak about how cities should be at the forefront of fighting climate change, the bicycle’s primary role in this task and how this Age of Urbanism is inspiring citizens around the world.

(Wed 5th June at 13 at the Uni­versity of Helsinki Main build­ing, Great Hall)


Dr Tim Schwanen

Tim is Director of the Transport Studies Unit, Associate Professor of Transport Studies in the School of Geography and Environment, and Fellow at St Anne's College. Tim's research concentrates on the geographies of the everyday mobilities of people, goods and information. It is international in outlook, interdisciplinary in scope, informed by the thinking in various sub-disciplines within Geography.

Since 2001 he has published more than 140 book chapters and articles in international journals in Geography, transport studies, urban studies, environmental studies and interdisciplinary science on a wide range of topics related to everyday mobility.

(Thu 6th June at 09.00 at Think Corner)

For more information please contact Elias Willberg ( or go to the conference's website.