What are your research topics?
I study the dialogue between urban surface and air. By means of measuring and modelling, I investigate how cities exhale carbon dioxide through emissions of anthropogenic origin, as well as how urban parks, trees and lawns bind carbon dioxide. I also investigate how land use and urban planning affect local air temperature and air quality in urban areas.
Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?
The topic of my research affects all urban residents, as research can influence what cities will look like in the future. Among other things, my group has studied how air quality at the street level can be influenced through the placement of urban trees or the shape of building blocks, or how gardeners can increase carbon sinks in their gardens, or cities in their public green spaces.
What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?
The ongoing ICOS Cities project, which investigates how urban emissions and sinks should be measured and modelled for them to support as effectively as possible the achievement of the climate goals of European cities. Funding for the project is provided by the European Union, with Paris, Zurich and Munich as the pilot cities. Helsinki is involved as one of the observer cities. This is a great opportunity to provide research-based knowledge directly to cities and their residents.
Leena Järvi is Professor of Urban Meteorology at the Faculty of Science.