Mari Vaattovaara is Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. Her research interests relate to the social and spatial developments in urban areas, segregation, immigration, housing preferences, and housing choice as well as to the housing policy. In addition she has been working in the projects related to accessibility, creative and knowledge industries as well as to the competitiveness of urban regions. She has close to 80 publications in these fields. One of the latest publications with her colleagues from Norface –Nodes project was the most downloaded publication in 2013 in a high impact journal in Finland.
She has broad experience in doctoral training, as she has been the Chair and Vice Chair of nationwide multidisciplinary doctoral programmes of Housing Change as well as the Doctoral Programme of the Built Environment. Beginning this year she has been nominated to be the member of the board of one of the four doctoral schools at the University of Helsinki.
In addition to the academic research Mari Vaattovaara is a requested discussant in the public forums. She has over hundred appearances in the national media. She is also a member of the supervisory board of the Mortage Society of Finland Group, the only expert organization specializing in home financing and housing in Finland. She was awarded the prestigious Snellman Award from the University of Helsinki in 2013. The award is given for meritorious work in disseminating academic and scientific knowledge. In selecting the award winner, special attention will be given to work that has considerably promoted the public's recognition of the research carried out at and the main goals of the university.
Mari Vaattovaara has lead and been involved in several national and international research projects, which include:
- New urban poverty and the renovation of prefabricated high-rise suburbs in Finland (PREFARE)
- ACRE – Accommodating Creative Knowledge – Competitiveness of European Metropolitan Regions within the Enlarged Union
- Nordic Welfare States and the Dynamics and Effects of Ethnic Residential Segregation
- The Doctoral Programme of the Built Environment (RYM-TK)
- COST C20 Action: Urban Knowledge Arena – Developing a European Arena for Cross-Boundary Co-operation in Production of Knowledge and Know-how on Complex Urban Problems
- MetrOP - Peruskoulujen oppimistulokset ja oppilaiden hyvinvointi eriytyvällä Helsingin seudulla
Mari is the head of the USP Master's Programme at the University of Helsinki.