Jari Niemelä, rector of the University of Helsinki, has been awarded the Golden Helsinki Medal by the City of Helsinki in recognition of his distinguished activities for the benefit of the City and its residents. Niemelä has strengthened the partnership between the University and the City, in a collaboration that involves, among other things, preventing segregation, underlining the significance of urban policy and solving global challenges.
The Golden Helsinki Medal was also awarded to Venla Bernelius, assistant professor of urban geography at the University of Helsinki, who studies the factors contributing to differentiation in segregation and in the school system in particular. Bernelius’s work has a key role in the City’s efforts to become a leading example in Europe in the prevention of segregation.
The City of Helsinki Scientific Award in 2019 was granted to Terhi Ainiala, professor of Finnish language specialising in onomastics at the University of Helsinki. Her socio-onomastic research focuses on informal urban place names and the social identity of speakers.
In addition, the City awarded research grants for, among other topics, studying urbanisation and its impact.
The awards were presented at the Helsinki Day ceremony held on 12 June.