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Best Practices Promoting Sustainable Urban Form (YKR-demo)

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Basic project information




The project supports sustainable urbanization in Finnish cities and urban areas. It is carried out during 2019 and 2020 in collaboration with SYKE, Ministry of the Environment, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (Väylä) and The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA). Most of the work in the project is carried out in the case cities and regions. Cities and regional councils join the project with their local planning questions. The project seeks answers and solutions to practical planning problems and researches phenomena that affect the urban form. The research is executed in close cooperation with local planners and other agents. The main objective of the project is to produce information about best practices in planning. The results of the study support the process of  the revision of the Land Use and Building Act.

Case areas

The project began with the search for case areas. Municipalities, cities, urban areas, and regions were sent an invitation to join the project at the turn of the year 2018-2019. These case areas deal with distinctive planning problems. Therefore, the project explores a variety of approaches and themes. Research topics include climate change mitigation through sustainable urbanization, planning questions of areas with decreasing populations, and the integration of spatial planning and transportation engineering. The project continues the development of the Urban Zone methods and utilizes a variety of GIS-methods.


The case results are summed up into thematic summaries, handbooks and policy briefs. Thus, they can be used in the planning of city regions, impact assessments and in the revision of the legislative steering system. The project's closing report will be written at the end of the year 2020.
The first case study regarding the urban fabrics of the Helsinki region was carried out during 2018. The developed method enables the integration of spatial, transport and service planning as a whole. It also supports the reaching of climate targets and forms a uniform set of spatial data for the planning of the Helsinki region.


Case studies

Tampere case study: A GIS-based climate tool is developed in the case study. The tool, also used as a planning support system in general planning, calculates the climate impacts of the Tampere urban structure. SYKE has taken part in developing the calculation model.

In the Kuopio city region case study, the focus is on the interaction between urban and rural areas and the functionality of the servce network. 

The Kajaani case study focuses on the dynamics of different types of housing areas. The study concentrates on the development of rural and urban housing areas and the changes in residents' migration behavior.

The Mikkeli city region case study also focuses on the interaction between urban and rural areas in the region. The case study analyzes the future development of areas with declining population. 

Th epurpose of the Vihti case study is to examine how the Nummela center is connected to the possible future Espoo-Salo-track railway station in Höytiönnummi, Vihti. The model of the three urban fabrics is applied in the study.

The obejctive of the Lappeenranta case study is to find ways in which to develop the urban areas of the city. The geography of different functions is analyzed in the study. The research methdod used is the three urban fabrics model.

The Turku region case study focuses on the housing dynamics, migration and their impacts on the development of the Turku region urban structure.

In the Oulu region and Northern-Ostrobothnia case study the aim is to study the importance and geography of employment areas in the Oulu region urban structure. Futhermore, the case study studies the sustainability of commuting trips to workplaces.



Further information

Project director Ville Helminen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
Phone +358 295 251 166,

Senior Adviser Juha Nurmi, Ministry of the Environment
Phone +358 295 250 181,

Senior Adviser Seppo Serola, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency
Phone +358 295 433 901,

Published 2019-04-08 at 14:09, updated 2019-10-30 at 9:42