The GED research group is part of URBARIA Institute of Urban and Regional Studies and the “Dynamics of Urban Change and Segregation” research network located in the Faculty of Science of the University of Helsinki.

In our joint research with the Social Studies in Urban Education (SURE) unit in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, we bring a strong, multidisciplinary contribution to the field of educational and urban studies, bridging research traditions from geographical segregation analysis to ethnographic accounts on school communities. We work together with practitioners, policy-makers and societal stakeholders in an active dialogue to find novel solutions for complex societal challenges.

Find out more about our ongoing research projects.



Citizens as agents of change in decarbonizing suburban and rural housing” (DECARBON-HOME) studies the intertwined climate and societal challenges to accelerate the transition to climate-wise housing in Finland. The focus areas are the suburbs from the 1960s and 1970s and the rural peripheral areas. The project brings together researchers from the University of Helsinki (HELSUS and URBARIA institutes), Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), University of Vaasa, and Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech, Estonia). It is funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy of Finland for 2020‒2023.

For any further information, please contact Venla Bernelius.

Local Educational Ethos (LEE)


The project “Local Educational Ethos: a study on well-performing comprehensive schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (LEE)” analyses how local schools in disadvantaged areas can successfully tackle problems of segregation alleviate the effects of local disadvantage so as to create equal opportunities for pupils. The multidisciplinary LEE team consists of researchers from the Department of Education and the Department of Geosciences and Geography in the University of Helsinki. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland for 2018-2022.

For any further information, please contact Venla Bernelius.


Mixed classes And Pedagogical Solutions (MAPS)



Mixed classes And Pedagogical Solutions (MAPS) is a comparative research project carried out in collaboration between the universities of Helsinki, Amsterdam and Iceland. The project teams aims to find out how urban schools in Helsinki, Amsterdam and Reykjavík  tackle challenges brought on by segregation with the idea of inclusive education. The project is located in the research unit Social Studies in Urban Education (SURE) and funded by NordForsk for a three-year period in 2018-2020.

For any further information on this project, please contact Venla Bernelius.



Re:Urbia is a study of the state and development of suburban housing estates in the 2020’s Finland. The research project analyses the multidimensional segregation processes in suburbs from the perspective of e.g. residential migration, schools and the attraction and holding power of suburbs, and re-conceptualizes planning solutions and services in the suburbs. Re:Urbia is part of Lähiöohjelma, funded by the Ministry of Environment for the years 2020–2022 for promoting positive development in suburbs. Re:Urbia brings together researchers in urban geography, sociology and architecture from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

For any further information, please contact Venla Bernelius.