Urban research gets stronger


Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa fund new postdoctoral research positions at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki.

Cities in the capital region have signed a cooperation agreement, according to which they commit to fund research at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki that supports development in the capital region. The funding will total 2.72 million euros in 2018-2023, and it will be used to hire six new postdoctoral researchers at the universities. Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are participating in the recruitment process, which emphasises both academic merits and cooperation ability. The researchers will work at the universities and also in city facilities.

Both universities will also allocate resources to urban research and continue to jointly implement the multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning.

The aim is a strong research community

The aim of the agreement is to support high quality urban research and societal impact and to increase the use of scientific research data in urban development. Another goal of the collaboration is to support the development and activities of a strong researcher community in the capital region focusing on urban research.

‘Urban themes are important and relevant in Finland and around the world. Research helps us understand development and create innovative solutions to urban challenges. Aalto University brings strong expertise to the cooperation in, for example, the areas of architecture, transport systems and urban planning,’ says President Ilkka Niemelä.


Automation of transport changes the way people live in cities. Photo: Aalto University / Adolfo Vera

Urban themes will be examined in the Living+ platform

Urban research is part of Aalto University's multidisciplinary Living+ collaboration platform and especially the Urban Solutions research group. Living+ cooperates closely with the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies established in conjunction with the University of Helsinki in 2018.

‘The changes facing cities in the near future will be much more than just technology advances. For example, the automation of transport and lifestyle changes are reflected in the way we live in cities. Many aspects are strongly linked to each other, and that’s why we need skills from many branches of science in order to understand the whole picture,’ explains Professor Anssi Joutsiniemi, Director of the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning.

Further information:
Press release on the City of Helsinki website
Four positions for postdoctoral researchers opened in February 2018 (the application period ends on 5 March)