Urbaria has started a new city sustainability indicator project which defines indicators of social, ecological and economic sustainability in Finnish cities. With a versatile and practical approach urban development, monitoring of the development and future urban planning can be guided to a more sustainable direction.
In the project, a multidisciplinary group of leading experts from all over Finland gathers for round table discussions. Based on the discussions the practicality for evaluating the sustainability of cities is pushed forward. Practicality is also aimed at the scale level of the project, as the focus is on a neighborhood and block specific review. The goal is that the development of different city areas could be monitored, and the sustainability of the areas could be evaluated and compared in relation to each other. The first roundtable discussions will be held at the beginning of June, after which more discussions will be held throughout the year.
The indicator project is coordinated by Jussi Jännes, who recently started working at Urbaria. The position of project coordinator interested him because of its interdisciplinary nature. Jussi's own background is in South Asian research and anthropology, which shows that urban research can and should be approached in a multidisciplinary way. According to Jussi, he considers the project very necessary, and believes that his previous work at the Indian embassy in education, science and business cooperation will be useful.
In the past, similar work has been done, for example, in the Ministry of the Environment's Sustainable City project with Finnish municipalities. "Urbaria's project differs from the previous ones with a more qualitative approach. The members of the scientific community get to influence the creation of indicators on a quite personal level," says Jussi about the project in relation to other topics of the same nature. The project is an opportunity for the members of the academic community to channel the sustainability indicators found to be the most relevant in the research into concrete results.
Tia-Maria Liljeroos, who recently started as an intern at Urbaria, is helping Jussi with the project. She is studying urban geography at the University of Helsinki and is responsible for the information and visibility of the project. "It is extremely interesting to be able to follow such a project up close! I am excited about how different perspectives on sustainability in the urban environment are being brought to the table. The project really deserves broad visibility", says Tia-Maria.
The progress of the project will be reported throughout the year on Urbaria's communication channels.