Here is the list of our various activities.

Professor Bernd Belina is giving his talk on "Policing urban space - On the productivity of false abstractions" 7.6.2023

Bernd Belina is full professor of Human Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. He has published in both English and German on issues of policing, criminalization and space in geographical, Urban Studies and criminological contexts. Currently, he is visiting professor at the University of Helsinki.

The public examination of Ilppo Soininvaara’s (at right) doctoral dissertation 25.5 2022. Opponent Raine Mäntysalo (at left), Custos Sami Moisio (in the middle).


Creative economy in the aftermath of the pandemic, 29.3. 2022. A workshop to discuss the effects of the COVID19 pandemic on the creative economy and cultural fields of cities. The workshop was jointly organized by the Spatial politics, policy and planning research group of the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki, the University of King's College London and the Gran Sasso Institute of Social Sciences in Italy and is part of a joint project between the three universities.

Pia Bäcklund: How to conceptualize 'public administration' as an agent? Viewpoints for studies of citizen participation. Presentation in DECARBON-HOME research seminar series 24.1. 2022.

Johanna Tuomisaari ja Pia Bäcklund: Governing seismic risk of geothermal energy in an institutionally ambiguous setting. Seeking Solutions to Carbon Neutrality through Transdisciplinary Research across Social Sciences and Humanities. Maantieteen päivät 4.–5.11. 2021.

Giacomo Botta ja Pia Bäcklund: The Urban Imaginaries of the Helsinki Region MAL-Agreements. Maantieteen päivät 4-5.11. 2021.

Johanna Tuomisaari ja Pia Bäcklund: Seismisen riskin hallinnan haasteet eri toimijoiden näkökulmasta. SEISMIC-RISK hankkeen ohjausryhmä. 13.10. 2021

Pia Bäcklund ja Johanna Tuomisaari: Miten ja keiden toimesta seismistä riskiä pitäisi hallita? SEISMIC-RISK open seminar (speaker). 12.10. 2021

Working seminar with Ted Schatzki / University of Kentucky. Pia Bäcklund (organizer) 29.9. 2021

Keynote Ted Schatzki / University of Kentucky, Pia Bäcklund (organizer). 29.9. 2021

Johanna Tuomisaari ja Pia Bäcklund: Miten ja keiden toimesta seismistä riskiä pitäisi hallita? SEISMIC RISK project, meeting with cities. 28.9.2021

Scientific advisory board /DECARBON-HOME. Pia Bäcklund (chair). 1.9.2021

Helsinki Inequality research seminar. Pia Bäcklund (speaker). 16.6.2021

Junno, N., Bäcklund, P., Tuomisaari, J., Oinonen, K., Veikkolainen, T., Korja, A., and Working Group, S. R. (2021). How to deliver information on induced seismicity to the authorities and general public? , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2732.

Heikki Sirviö features in the Hanken School of Economics podcast series "Sustainability unwrapped": Political polarizations of sustainability, together with Hanna Lempinen and host Martin Fougère, published 30.11 2020.

Pia Bäcklund, "Aluei­ta suun­ni­tel­laan uusien so­pi­mus­ten avul­la – muut­taa­ko se kä­si­tys­täm­me de­mo­kra­tias­ta?", article in Tutkijan ääni, published 12.11 2020.

Interview with Assistant Professor Noora Pyyry: "Maan­tie­tei­li­jä voi ava­ta kriit­tis­tä kes­kus­te­lua mo­ni­ta­hoi­sis­ta ky­sy­myk­sis­tä", published 9.11 2020.

Tomas Hanell acts as a Guest editor for Social Indicators Research Special Issue on "Geographies of Well-being and Quality of Life", together with Teemu Makkonen and Daniel Rauhut from the University of Eastern Finland.

Professor Sami Moisio has been nominated as External Faculty Board Member to the Gran Sasso Science Institute: School of Advanced Studies (Italy). The institute is an international PhD school and a center for advanced studies in physics, mathematics, computer science and social sciences. For more information on the institute, see:

Tomas Hanell features in the popular science podcast series "Vetskap", podcast nr 18: "Sorgsen i stan?" on the theme urbanisation (58 minutes), produced by Hbl and Svenska litteratursällskapet, published 27.10 2020.

Tomas Hanell, interview in Vasabladet 28.9 2020.

Tomas Hanell, interview by YLE, 23.9 2020.

Pia Bäcklund, chair of the Smart City conference 28.9 2020.

Pia Bäcklund, interview in Helsingin uutiset, 8.9 2020.

Pia Bäcklund, interwiev in Yliopisto-lehti 2.9 2020.

Tomas Hanell, interview in Ilta-Sanomat 24.8 2020.

Regional Studies Association interview with Prof. Sami Moisio.


University of Helsinki, Helsinki Inequality Initiative - INEQ Research Seminar series

Pia Bäcklund, Professor, Department of Geosciences and Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki: Planning as an Investment and Politics of Regional Inequity.

  • Time: Wednesday 29 January 2020 at 14:15-15:45 hours.
  • Venue: Porth­ania P545 (5th floor), Yliop­is­tonkatu 3

University of Helsinki, Helsinki Inequality Initiative - INEQ Research Seminar series

Tomas Hanell, Department of Geosciences and Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki: Geographies of Quality of Life in the EU. A Quantitative Assessment of Territorial Inequality in Human Capabilities.

  • Time: Wednesday 18 December 2019 at 14:15-15:45 hours.
  • Venue: Porth­ania P545 (5th floor), Yliop­is­tonkatu 3

Human geography lecture series

Organizers: The Department of Geosciences and Geography / Spatial Politics, Policy and Planning Research Team.

Daniel Galland, Norwegian University of Life Sciences: Janus-faced spa­tial plan­ning sys­tems: A stra­tegic re­la­tional ac­count of the un­or­tho­dox plan­ning of our times

  • Time: Monday, Novem­ber 4 at 2 pm
  • Venue: Porth­ania P219 Le­ht­is­ali (2nd floor), Yliop­is­tonkatu 3

Peer-to-peer ser­vice plat­forms in tour­ism: di­gital cap­it­al­ism, new urban tour­ism, and gov­ernance

Conference session in the 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting: Sustainable Geography – Geographies of Sustainability. Description of the session is available here.

Human geography lecture series

Organizers: The Department of Geosciences and Geography / Spatial Politics, Policy and Planning Research Team. More information is available here.

Lecture 1: Toni Ahlqvist, University of Turku: Contradictions, economic imaginaries and spatial governance

  • Time: Thursday May 23, 14.00 - 15.30
  • Venue: Porthania P219 Lehtisali (2nd floor)
  • The event is also available on Facebook.

Lecture 2: Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto, University of Tampere: Experiential knowledge on forced migration: principles of policy relevance research

  • Time: June 12, 12.00 - 13.30
  • Venue: Porthania P219 Lehtisali (2nd floor)

Strategic Spatial Planning and City-Regional Development

Seminar series with Kristian Olesen, Aalborg University. See programme here.

  • Organizers: Research groups SPT, Aalto University & Spatial Policy, Politics and Planning, Helsinki University and the SCENSLECO Project
  • Time: May 10 & May 13, 2019
  • Venue: Y347, Otakaari 1, Aalto University, Espoo

Joint PhD Workshop with the Goethe University

  • Organizers: Sami Moisio, Susanne Heeg & Bernd Belina
  • Time: March 18-19, 2019
  • Venue: Goethe University, Frankfurt

The future of the territorial state

Scientific workshop on state territories/territoriality. See description here.

Justification for agreement-based approaches in Nordic spatial planning: Towards situational direct democracy?

Kick-off workshop of the Academy of Finland funded project. See the programme here [in Finnish].

  • Organizers: Pia Bäcklund
  • Time: November 1, 2018 at 9:30–13
  • Venue: University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3, Porthania, Urbarium

The Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographies 2018

  • Time: October 25–26, 2018
  • Venue: University of Helsinki, City Centre Campus
  • Sami Moisio and Pia Bäcklund served as part of the organizing committee. In addition, the SPPP research group organized the following sessions:
    • Perspectives on territory: the state, the people, and democracy. Chairs: Juho Luukkonen & Christopher Lizotte
    • Changing concepts and emerging spaces of spatial planning: how to define planning in a complex, multiactor world? Chairs: Salla Jokela & Pia Bäcklund
    • The geographies of well-being, quality of life and development. Chairs: Mikko Weckroth & Tomas Hanell
    • Spatial justices and rights: past, present and future spaces. Chairs: Jukka Keski-Filppula, Juho Luukkonen & Eija Meriläinen
    • Interpretations of relationships between people, environment and areas. Chairs: Meri Norola, Pia Bäcklund & Arttu Paarlahti
  • For more information visit the conference website and conference programme.

Nordic City Challenge

Intensive course and competition on sustainable urban development. More information here.

Urbanicide: reflections on urban/rural dynamics in modern conflicts

Lecture by Brendan Humphreys, Ph.D Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. More information here.

Contested Planning, Persuasive Storytelling

Seminar with Jim Throgmorton

  • Organizers: Raine Mäntysalo, Helena Leino, Vesa Kanninen, Pia Bäcklund, SCENSLECO project (Strategic spatial planning with momentum gaining scenario storytelling: legitimacy contested?)
  • Speakers: Jim Throgmorton, Lieven Ameel, Salla Jokela, Kaisa Granqvist, Mikko Kyrönviita, Antti Wallin
  • Time: August 15, 2018
  • Venue: Töölö Campus, Aalto University, Helsinki