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Sustainable communities research programme

In our urbanizing world, the structural features, everyday functioning and governance of human settlements have major consequences for environmental quality and the use of natural resources, with both local and global impacts.


The Sustainable communities research programme at SYKE supports the transition towards sustainability in cities, towns and city-regions through knowledge production on structural and functional aspects of local and regional development. The programme develops diagnostics of sustainability at local and regional spatial scales and studies pathways and governance mechanisms to local sustainability. The elements of sustainability are studied through a place-based perspective, making use of and adding to the SYKE Geographical Information System (GIS) based infrastructure.

Research is conducted in the fields of resource efficiency; dynamics of local development; sustainable urban form and infrastructure; sustainable use of energy, and material flows; methods for analysing place-based flows and processes; and governance and policy measures and their impacts in steering local development.

The challenge of sustainable communities is a multi-dimensional concept including ecological, economic and social aspects, calling for truly interdisciplinary research. The Sustainable communities programme integrates expertise in SYKE across disciplinary and research Centre boundaries, and co-operates with domestic and international partners.

Further information

Research programme coordinator

Dr Emma Terämä, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,, @eterama

Publications related to sustainable communities


Published 2017-05-05 at 15:58, updated 2017-05-05 at 15:51
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