Aalto Living+ Platform

Aalto Living+ Platform

Note: Aalto Platforms have merged under the Aalto Networking Platform. We are currently restructuring our web portal and some information here may be out of date. Please contact Aija Staffans about Living+ Key Research area.

The Living+ Platform supports transdisciplinary research on human-centered living environments, one of the key research areas at Aalto University. By focusing on human-centrism, Living+ Platform aims to draw more attention to the importance of social sustainability and well-being, and to explore ways to increasingly incorporate these in the planning of built environments and landscapes. 

Within Aalto University, we promote multidisciplinary collaboration primarily by facilitating networking between researchers from various disciplines and schools. Additionally, we continuously engage with external stakeholders to find opportunities for collaboration between Aalto community, other academic institutions and private and public sector. With our recently opened Living+ Hub, we offer these actors a place to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate. In addition to events focusing on networking and collaboration, we organize educational lectures and seminars for students, Aalto staff and the public, and thus increase awareness of the topics, research and current challenges related to human-centered living environments.

Aalto Living+ Platform banner image including the title Living+.

What are “human-centered living environments”? By this term we refer to the study, design and planning of living, working and leisure environments where the focus is being shifted from machines and harder values into people, their needs and experiences. The approach considers the impacts of design on human experiences and well-being, and is thus user-centered, with an aim to make people's daily lives more convenient and enjoyable. In addition, the concept includes engaging citizens in multiple phases of planning and encouraging their active role in shaping their living environments.

At Aalto University, developing human-centered approach is closely related to the use of digital tools; they can help increase our understanding of users’ needs and residents' behavior, offer novel solutions that improve everyday living environments as well as provide more efficient tools for planning and participation.

Highlights from the autumn 2020: Living+ Platform on Nordic CityMaking Week

Living+ Platform was one of the content partners on the first edition of Nordic CityMaking Week (15.-19.9.2020), an international urban festival by Urban Practice. The recordings of many of the talks are now available online on Youtube (link in the article).

Read more about Nordic CityMaking Week 2020
People listening to a remote talk by Jenny Osuldsen (from Norway) streamed at KYMP House as part of the Nordic CityMaking Week.

Events by the Living+ Platform

The Living+ Platform organizes several kinds of events throughout the year. The events vary in nature and are aimed at researchers, students, external stakeholders and/or the public, bringing together people from different disciplines and sectors.

Read more about past and future events
Living+ Networking Lunch, Dipoli

Related upcoming events

Keltainen Aalto-kynä, kuvituskuva

Defence of dissertation in the field of built environment, Mirjam Bilker-Koivula, M.Sc. (Tech)

The title of the dissertation is "Geoid and postglacial rebound related gravity change in Finland"
Aalto Everyday Experiments Design for Government Photo: Valentina Casalini
Online event

Beyond sustainability-as-usual: co-creating transformative change in sustainable living

Aalto's main event in New European Bauhaus concentrates on radically bold questions.
Portrait pictures of Seppo Junnila, Aija Staffans and Ulrika Åkerlund
Online event

Carbon-smart urban landscape

Welcome to the Carbon-smart Urban Landscape on-line seminar!
In practice, the research support carried out by the Living+ becomes visible for example by facilitating cross-disciplinary networks of researchers.


Supporting new cross-disciplinary research initiatives within the area of human-centered living environments is at the core of Living+ Platform. In addition to promoting cross-school collaboration within Aalto University, the platform is active in creating new multi-stakeholder networks, thus strengthening research’s potential to contribute to more human-friendly living environments. The current research focus is largely on urban environments, and particularly on urban planning and co-creation.

Read more about Living+ research support here

Visiting lecturer Akira Minagawa


The Living+ Platform organizes and hosts educational lectures and seminars in subjects related to human-centered living environments (Living+). The most notable of these events is the annual Living+ Forum lecture series, annually investigating a new sub-theme related to the Living+. The most recent themes were Human-centered computational city planning (2020), Inclusive Environments (2019) and Mobility (2018).

Read more about the Aalto Living+ Forum here

Aalto Living+ Hub brings together external stakeholders to find opportunities for collaboration and networking between researchers, businesses and municipalities.

Societal Networking

The Living+ Platform engages with external stakeholders to find opportunities for collaboration and networking between researchers, businesses and municipalities. Networking is now further facilitated by the Living+ Hub, which celebrated its grand opening in the fall 2019. It is a place where academia (including students), civil servants and businesses are all welcome to meet and have an open exchange of ideas and thoughts concerning human-centered living environments.

Read more about the Living+ Hub here


Aalto New European Bauhaus proposals Photo: Aleksi Poutanen
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Contribute to the New European Bauhaus initiative this Spring

We all have the possibility to contribute to the EU’s Green Deal pilots and agenda during Spring 2021. 
Aalto_University Camilo Cortes' Reina banca Photo_Karoliina_Paappa.jpg
University Published:

Aalto is a partner in the New European Bauhaus initiative

The EU initiative imagines future ways of living by combining design, culture, social inclusion, science and technology.
Aalto EIT Services Javor
Cooperation Published:

Sustainable Materials for Future Mobility Lighthouse (EIT RawMaterials)

Future Mobility is powered by Sustainable Raw Materials
Yleiskaavasuunnittelija Ville Ahvikko kertoo Leppävaaran kehityksestä Asemanseudut muutoksessa -aamukahveilla Aalto-yliopistolla
Research & Art Published:

Engaging talks on the development of urban station areas

The design and potential future station areas provide urban development discussed at the ”Asemanseudut muutoksessa” morning coffee event on May 17.

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People discussing

What is the Aalto Networking Platform?

The Aalto Networking Platform facilitates transdisciplinary actions in 7 thematic areas. It brings together Aalto's expertise across departments and supports networking and collaboration.

Research & Art

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Urban Academy – introducing our central partner

Urban Academy is a platform for research-based urban development consisting of five organizations: Aalto University, University of Helsinki, and cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. It promotes the interaction between urban studies and urban development and supports multidisciplinary collaboration. 

Urban Academy is a forum for collaboration in urban research and a channel for societal impact. It fosters the development of sustainable and vibrant cities as well as contributes to the attractiveness of the Capital Region and its universities. The activities of Urban Academy consist of research support, events and degree programme collaboration. 

Support for research

Urban Academy’s key research partners include Aalto University’s Living+ Platform and Helsinki Institute for Urban and Regional Studies (at the University of Helsinki). 

Urban Academy searches for opportunities for research collaboration between universities and cities and helps in the preparation of joint research projects that aim at developing the Capital Region. The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa promote the research collaboration by funding postdoctoral researcher positions, whose research themes support the implementation of city strategies.


Together with its partner organizations, Urban Academy produces events that foster collaboration and interaction. These include morning coffee events open to the public, addressing current urban themes from both development and research perspectives.

Degree programme collaboration

Urban Academy supports city collaboration also in the universities’ teaching of urban studies. Urban Academy promotes students’ internship opportunities at partner cities, searches for thesis topics and forwards them to the students. Each spring, a Thesis market is held where students and the thesis topic providers can meet.

In the education collaboration, a central partner is Aalto University’s and University of Helsinki’s joint Master’s programme Urban Studies & Planning. The goal of the programme is to increase understanding of complex urban challenges and how to solve them by means of research-based planning. 

More information from Urban Academy’s website or the employees of Urban Academy:

Annina Ala-Outinen
Project manager
[email protected]
+358 40 1953061

Neetta Eriksson
[email protected]
+358 40 6214261

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