Department of Architecture

Sotera Projects

Central to SOTERA’s interests is to study how the built environment affects health and wellbeing. The core areas of interests include e.g. the social and health care sector (from acute care to community health, assisted living and residential care), inclusive design, and the relationship of sustainability, climate change, and global transitions and health.

Ongoing Projects 

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MonIA

The MonIA-project is a research and design project focused on looking for integrated, diverse and communal living solutions that promote independence, quality of life and wellbeing for people with memory decline. The project proposes solutions for Finnish municipalities, service providers, private enterprise and the public at large. A central objective is to find solutions that promote independence and integration, enable living at home for as long as possible, and minimize the need of moving and institutionalizing people with memory decline.

For more information, please contact:
Professor Laura Arpiainen, [email protected]
Researcher, PhD, Ira Verma [email protected]

 

Matinkylä
Mural in Matinkylä, Espoo, at the beginning of Pyyntitie. Photo by: Anna Tolonen

SUBURBAN PRIDE 

The objective of the Suburban Pride is to promote sustainable reconstruction of suburban environments by identifying their value factors for the residents and stakeholders. The project examines the mental images associated with the suburbs as well as the suburban architecture and landscape architecture as building blocks of suburban identities. The purpose of the project, based on research and workshops, is to build a sustainable future for suburbs, that combines physical/ecological, economic, cultural, and social sustainability. Sotera’s part focuses on questions related to social sustainability. The project is part of the Ministry of the Environment's Suburban Programme 2020–2022. 

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For more information, please contact:
Researcher, PhD, Ira Verma [email protected]

 

Skatepark
Skatepark. Photo by Gemma Evans

RESCUE

SOTERA is participating in the Academy of Finland funded Real Estate and Sustainable Crisis Management in Urban Environments, RESCUE-project. Our study focuses on the social sustainability and wellbeing elements that should be considered in crisis management in the context of the built environment. This study combines the impacts caused by different crisis through a lens of social sustainability and wellbeing to provide an understanding of how spaces, buildings and land use should be organized, planned, used and managed to support different stakeholders in various crisis situations.

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For more information, please contact:
Professor Laura Arpiainen, [email protected]

Completed Projects

wheelchair

VN TEAS – Accessibility legislation mapping project

The study reviews existing legislation on accessibility in the built environment from the perspective of the obligations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, it includes a review of the current state of accessibility of the built environment in Finland through statistics, surveys and a subject matter expert panel. To document and review international best practices the study also includes a comparison of select accessibility practices in the Nordic countries, Canada and select central European countries. The international scan is carried out by the Inclusive Design Research Center at OCADU, Toronto.

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For more information, please contact:
Professor Laura Arpiainen, [email protected]
Satu Wäre-Åkerblom, Accessibility specialist, Åkerblom Architects, [email protected]
Niina Kilpelä, Senior Architect, Ministry of the Environment, [email protected]
 

Building

VN TEAS – Vuodepaikkamitoitusprojekti

This research projects aims at creating a future-oriented model in which property investments are examined from a broad perspective: from long-terms needs and their impact on capacity decisions and from services that transcend municipal boundaries. Another goal of this research is to propose a new set of evaluation criteria for property investments. 

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For more information, please contact:
Professor Laura Arpiainen, [email protected]

Workshop

Vital Municipalities  

Vital municipalities research and development project seeks policies and solutions to increase the vitality of shrinking rural municipalities through building and urban planning. The project examined the vitality in terms of housing, services, accessibility, community, and local identity. The aim of the project was to identify new ways to develop the urban structure and to diversify the use of the building stock. The project was carried out in collaboration with municipalities and joint municipalities of Harjavalta, Keuruu, Kurikka, Pertunmaa and Suupohja with support of the Ministry of the Environment, the Housing Finance and Development Center of Finland (ARA) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The project used participatory design methods and interactive development processes involving researchers, experts, residents, and decision-makers. The Master’s students from Aalto University Department of Architecture also designed development plans to each municipal center as their master thesis.  

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