In 2019, 15 researchers in the University of Helsinki were listed amongst the Highly Cited of the Web of Science Group. This means they belong to the one per cent of researchers selected worldwide for their exceptional performance in one or more of 21 fields.
Professor Christopher Raymond, working in the Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Department of Environment and Resource Economics at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), is the only one on the list from the University of Helsinki representing the Cross-Field category.
Professor Raymond’s newest project named SMARTer Greener Cities starts in Kalasatama and Kuninkaantammi in Helsinki in 2020. This project examines how smart technologies and nature-based solutions can offer opportunities to support environmental justice, human wellbeing and nature conservation in urbanising areas.
"Nature-based solutions are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits. We are looking at the role of both digital and nature-based solutions in promoting or hindering psychological and ecological restoration,” Professor Raymond says.
"There is much evidence to suggest that natural environments can restore and rejuvenate us, boost our attention, and keep us healthier. Also, the condition of natural environments can be improved to support the needs of native plants and animals."
The SMARTer Greener Cities project complements separate projects led by Professor Raymond named VIVA-PLAN and ENVISION. VIVA-PLAN, ending in 2021, aims to engage diverse actors, including vulnerable groups like new migrants and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, in improving green spaces and meeting spots in residential housing areas to promote nature conservation, social inclusion and well-being, including safety and security in Södertälje and Malmö in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark.
ENVISION project aims to develop an inclusive approach to the management of protected areas that supports biodiversity conservation and human well-being in protected areas within Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain and the United States.
Professor Raymond is also the Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 2 of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Values Assessment. This assessment will provide a scientific basis to inform decisions that account for the diversity of values in our interactions with nature.