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Urban Zones Applied in Planning (Urban Zone 3)

Urban Zone 3 project is dealing with the future development of the urban form in Finnish urban regions. Travel-related urban zone method is applied in various planning cases of different-sized Finnish cities and urban regions. The project is carried out during 2015 and 2016 in close cooperation with the participating cities and regional councils.


In the urban zone method, cities are divided into pedestrian, transit and car zones according to criteria based on the location in the urban form and the public transport supply. The method has been developed during the previous Urban Zone projects in 2007-2014. The key result of the previous phases were a GIS-based division of the zones for Finnish cities and an analysis of the changes in urban form and travel behaviour in Finnish cities occurred in the past few decades. In this third phase, the method is used to predict the future of urban form in Finnish cities.


The urban zone method is an application of the theory of urban fabrics which is based on recognition of walking city, transit city and automobile city areas in the urban form. These fabrics are not exclusionary but they form overlapping structures in the urban form. In the Urban Zone 3 project, the zone method is developed further in order to meet the needs of the different fields of urban planning. This requires recognizing the urban fabrics. Then a conception of a sustainable city has to be formed and goals set according to that.


The project has two main objectives:

  • Forecasting the future development of urban form in Finnish cities
  • Applying the UZ method in planning cases


The theory of urban fabrics and the urban zone method is applied both in the assessment of the future of the cities and in each of the planning cases.

Kick-off meeting

The project's kick-off meeting took place at SYKE in January 2015 with the case city representatives. The event was starred with an opening  presentation given by Dr Joe Ravetz. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy at the University of Manchester. Dr Ravetz spoke about his Urban 3.0 concept and the future of cities in the Urban Zone context.



Further Information

Head of Unit Ville Helminen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

Published 2015-02-04 at 16:44, updated 2020-11-30 at 14:47