10. Measures of Urban Sustainability – Environmental, Social and Economic

Puheenjohtajat: Emma Terämä, Dr, Finnish Environment Institute

Mari Vaattovaara, Prof, University of Helsinki


TYÖRYHMÄSESSIO II / SESSION II: Torstai / Thursday 15:30-17:00

  1. Maija Mattinen-Yuryev & Juha Peltomaa: Urban wellbeing in the context of sustainable development: a Nordic perspective to indicators across scales

2. Damiano Cerrone:  Urban metaMorphology

3. Antti Rehunen, Ari Nissinen & Maija Mattinen-Yuryev: Indicators for measuring the sustainability of new constructed urban areas


TYÖRYHMÄSESSIO III / SESSION III: Perjantai / Friday 9:30-11:00

  1. Jonathon Taylor: Health and sustainability research in complex urban environments: Examples from London

2. Athanasios Votsis & Adriaan Perrels: Transitioning to sustainable spatial equilibria: the role of housing markets, green infrastructure and flooding in Helsinki



Työryhmäkuvaus / Session Description:

”In the recent years, the urban sustainability discourse has reached a critical mass of ‘buzz’. Be it resilient or sustainable, smart or digital, all cities wish to be known for good quality of life and wellbeing. Still, urbanisation degrees and rates, obstacles and opportunities differ across scales. These differences render a global discourse somewhat disconnected from local practice. It is therefore the aim of this session to bring a specifically Nordic element to the discourse. We invite proposals analysing the potential and actions thus far in urban sustainability definition and measurement in the context of Northern Europe.

While the Nordics are often looked upon as spearheading socially equitable societies, trust in government and governance, high levels of wellbeing and (urban) quality of life, which practices in the Nordic region underpin their ability to create sustainable cities? Countries with different political and governing frameworks, physical sizes, population densities, levels of development and cultures (of urban planning) are difficult to compare. Some of these factors may also be in a state of flux, further increasing the challenge. With increasing demands on planning due to environmental, social and economic challenges, the focus has lessened on the welfare society, and planning has turned attention to environmental concerns, and even creating conditions for business.

Together, these concerns can be framed as sustainability challenges under the three pillars or sustainability, namely environmental, social and economic. How will we move forward in describing the ‘sustainable city’ through comparable measures and sustained practices of evaluation and monitoring? Without a shared understanding of concepts, long-term time series and good practices in data provision, we will have little evidence for how to effect change in the future with potentially increasing urban sustainability issues.”