Biking as part of sustainable urban mobility (2017-2018)


project FOCUS

Cropped bike and metro

Visit Helsinki/Jussi Hellsten

Urban mobility is globally facing big challenges in order to become more sustainable both environmentally and socially. Increasing the share of less-polluting and healthier travel modes – such as cycling - is a top priority in many urban regions; also in Helsinki region.

As a continuation for our previous research on multimodal accessibility, this project focuses on sustainable urban mobility and accessibility from the point of view of cycling.

We aim at

  • (a) understanding and modelling urban accessibility from cyclists’ perspective;
  • (b) studying Helsinki´s new bike sharing system and understanding how cycling in connection with public transport can ease the daily mobility of residents; and
  • (c) exploring the potential of social media data to provide new insights for cycling planning.

In all, the project explores possibilities of different, novel data sources for producing new insights into cycling as part of sustainable urban mobility. The project is funded by Helsinki Metropolitan Region Urban Research Program (Katumetro) 

Related to the Katumetro-funded project, we are also collaborating with the City of Helsinki (City environment division, Land use and city structure) in order to explore the use of sport application data (Strava metro) to understand spatio-temporal patterns of cycling in the Helsinki region. More specifically, we use the Strava metro data to study, for example, what are the most popular routes that cyclists use, how these change in time, and how big construction sites and improvements in cycling infrastructure impact cycling patterns.

There are currently four MSc students working on their theses within the project, with following topics:

  •  Ainokaisa Tarnanen: “Modelling cycling speeds and travel times in the Helsinki region”
  •  Mikko Raninen: "When and where are shared bikes used: A spatio-temporal analysis of Helsinki’s new bike sharing system”
  •  Elias Willberg: "Modal extension or substitution - city bikes as part of public transport in Helsinki?"
  •  Ludovic Chastenet: “The impact on weather conditions on cycling activity – evidence based on open data”


Following people are involved:

Maria Salonen (Project leader, post-doctoral researcher; currently on maternity leave) (

Tuuli Toivonen (Head of research group) (

Henrikki Tenkanen (Post-doctoral researcher from 2018 onwards) (

Ainokaisa Tarnanen (Project researcher working with Strava metro data; MSc student)

Elias Willberg (MSc student)

Mikko Raninen (MSc student)

Ludovic Chastenet (MSc student)


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