Sustainable Helsinki

Tiedekulma - Sustainable Helsinki

TI 17.4. KLO 17

Clean air, renewable energy solutions and innovative housing. Some call it utopia, we call it sustainable urbanism. Something that’s considered a top priority in Helsinki – a city already famous for its long history of socially conscious urban planning and high-quality living environment. We showcase our best innovations of sustainable urbanism for the world.

Speakers of the evening are Sirkku Juhola, Tuuli Toivonen, Markus Holopainen, Mona Kurppa, Marja Mesimäki and Miia Jauni.

The event is part of Hope for Globe, which explores climate and sustainability from different angles, offers insights into the newest research and innovations, and gives tools for more sustainable choices. Knowledge isn’t pain, knowledge is hope. Listen to the talks in Think Corner, watch the live broadcast or the video recording of the event from this link. Join the event on Facebook, too!


How can sustainability be measured?
Sirkku Juhola, associate professor in urban environmental policy, University of Helsinki

Urban planning based on user generated data from social media
Tuuli Toivonen, geographer and associate professor of geoinformatics, University of Helsinki

Laser scanning as a method for mapping carbon stocks
Markus Holopainen, professor of geoinformatics, University of Helsinki

Air quality modelling with a city blocks’ accuracy
Mona Kurppa, urban meteorologist, University of Helsinki

Optimal green roof solutions
Marja Mesimäki, environmental sociologist, University of Helsinki & Miia Jauni, agroecologist, University of Helsinki


Tiedekulma - Sustainable Helsinki

Marja Mesimäki (vas.), Miia Jauni, Mona Kurppa, Sirkku Juhola

Marja Mesimäki is an environmental sociologist at University of Helsinki who is enthusiastic about sustainable urban development. Marja is a researcher and co-leader in the research group Fifth Dimension. Her research topics include new green infrastructures from the perspective of construction processes, urbanites’ experiences and co-design. She is also developing methods for participatory planning and design. Tip for sustainable living: “Suggest that your local grocery store replaces plastic bags in the fruit and vegetable departement with reusable bags.”

Miia Jauni is an agroecologist whose interests lie in the field of biodiversity, community and invasion ecology of plants. She is currently exploring how environmental conditions (e.g. substrate) contribute to plant community composition and to the success of individual plant species at green roofs. Furthermore, she is interested in finding green wall and roof solutions that promote biodiversity and are as sustainable as possible. Tip for sustainable living: “Make the city greener by getting enthusiastic about urban gardening or create a field that supports biodiversity in your garden or roof.”
Mona Kurppa is an urban meteorologist and doctoral student at University of Helsinki who works with development and implementation of a high-resolution air quality model for urban areas. Tip for sustainable living: “Biking. I have been winter biking for the first time this winter.”

Sirkku Juhola is associate professor in urban environmental policy at University of Helsinki and a social scientist specialized in climate and sustainability issues, who wants to know how and why society changes in interaction with the environment. Tip for sustainable living: “You can live more sustainably by making small changes, breaking old habits and buiding something new.”

Tuuli Toivonen is a geographer and an associate professor of geoinformatics at the Department of Geosciences and Geography. She is also associated to the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science and the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. Toivonen leads a multidisciplinary Digital Geography Lab, that utilizes novel and big data such as social media, mobile phone, or GPS tracking data to understand human mobility and activities in urban and natural areras. The research aims to produce relevant information to support sustainable planning and decision-making, as openly as possible.

Markus Holopainen is the professor of geoinformatics in forest sciences at the University of Helsinki. He has done a PhD in forest sciences at the University of Helsinki and a PhD in technics at Aalto University. He is the leader of the research groups Laboratory of forest resources management and geoinformation science and Precision forestry. He is also the principal investigator at the Center of Excellence in Laser Scanning Research (CoE-LaSR).