Defense of Dissertation in the field of Spatial Planning and Transportation, Kamyar Hasanzadeh, MSc.

MSc. Kamyar Hasanzadeh at the Department of Built Environment, Aalto University will defend his doctoral dissertation on May 31 at noon in the Undergraduate Centre.

Name of doctoral thesis:
Spatial units of analysis: are there better ways? An empirical framework for use of individualized activity space models in environmental health promotion research

Content of doctoral thesis:
Thanks to a growing body of evidence from environmental health promotion research it does not come as a surprise to most of us that the physical environment can affect many aspects of our lives, and in particular our health. These effects are often investigated in the form of person-environment relationships. Although this may seem easy, it is anything but. A holistic understanding of these relationships requires that we study individuals’ behavior in space and decipher the many implicit involved mechanisms.

Particularly, one needs to know where the relevant geographical context is and how the relationships should be investigated. Answering these questions requires conceptual and methodological advancements in the field that have rarely been addressed so far.

Motivated by this research gap, the dissertation sets out to devise and demonstrate an empirical framework to incorporate novel geospatial approaches to study environmental health outcomes. The findings from this dissertation show how the geographical context can be more reliably modeled and empirically demonstrate how this can affect the research results. At the same time, this dissertation reports its empirical findings from Helsinki metropolitan area and sheds new light on various aspects of the person-environment relationships in this area.

The developed methods and reported findings from this study can be useful to a wide range of urban researchers and have important implications to the practice. The dissertation helps disambiguate some of the person-environment relationships. This can take urban research one step closer to one of its important goals: to guide planning and policy making processes toward more sustainable and health promoting urban designs.

Field of the doctoral thesis: Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering

Doctoral Candidate: MSc. Kamyar Hasanzadeh

Opponent: Professor Stephen A. Matthews, Penn State University, USA

Custos: Professor Marketta Kyttä, Aalto University

Link to electronic thesis:

Contact information of the doctoral candidate: [email protected], +358504640419

Guest Lecture by Professor Stephen A. Matthews, Penn State University: The temporality of people's lives and the places they live

Professor Stephen A. Matthews a Liberal Arts Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Demography from Penn State University, USA will during his visit at Aalto University give a public lecture on May 29 at 10 pm.

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