Browsing by Subject "CITIES"

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  • Jalkanen, Joel; Fabritius, Henna; Vierikko, Kati; Moilanen, Atte; Toivonen, Tuuli (2020)
    Maintaining enough green areas and ensuring fair access to them is a common planning challenge in growing and densifying cities. Evaluations of green area access typically use metrics like population around green areas (within a certain buffer), but these do not fully ensure equitable access. We propose that using systematic and complementarity-driven spatial prioritization, often used in nature conservation planning, could assist in the complex planning challenge. Here, we demonstrate the use of spatial prioritization to identify green areas with highest recreational potential based on their type and their accessibility for the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the capital district of Finland. We calculated travel times from each city district to each green area. Travel times were calculated separately to local green areas using active travel modes (walking and biking), and to large forests (attracting people from near and far) using public transport. We prioritized the green areas using these multimodal travel times from each district and weighting the prioritization with population data with Zonation, conservation prioritization software. Compared to a typical buffer analysis (population within a 500 m buffer from green areas), our approach identified areas of high recreational potential in different parts of the study area. This approach allows systematic integration of travel-time-based accessibility measures into equitable spatial prioritization of recreational green areas. It can help urban planners to identify sets of green areas that best support the recreational needs of the residents across the city.
  • Zhang, Yongwen; Chen, Dean; Fan, Jingfang; Havlin, Shlomo; Chen, Xiaosong (2018)
    Air pollution has become a major issue and caused widespread environmental and health problems. Aerosols or particulate matters are an important component of the atmosphere and can transport under complex meteorological conditions. Based on the data of PM2.5 observations, we develop a network approach to study and quantify their spreading and diffusion patterns. We calculate cross-correlation functions of the time lag between sites within different seasons. The probability distribution of correlation changes with season. It is found that the probability distributions in four seasons can be scaled into one scaling function with averages and standard deviations of correlation. This seasonal scaling behavior indicates that there is the same mechanism behind correlations of PM2.5 concentration in different seasons. Further, the weighted degrees reveal the strongest correlations of PM2.5 concentration in winter and in the North China Plain for the positive correlation pattern that is mainly caused by the transport of PM2.5. These directional degrees show net influences of PM2.5 along Gobi and inner Mongolia, the North China Plain, Central China, and Yangtze River Delta. The negative correlation pattern could be related to the large-scale atmospheric waves. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2018
  • Laakso, Senja; Berg, Annukka; Annala, Mikko (2017)
    Societies around the world are faced with wicked problems such as climate change. In this context, experimental governance approaches have emerged as tools with potential utility in both top-down and bottom-up governance efforts. At the same time, experimental governance has gained momentum as a desirable policy goal in its own right. As the various experimental approaches differ in their origins and serve different purposes, there is a need to organize the field. If more experimental development processes are desired, what can be expected from certain kinds of experiments? How can the field be organised in a way that benefits those designing, conducting, and evaluating experimental governance processes? In attempting to answer these questions, we carried out a meta-study of 25 articles on experimental climate governance. On the basis of the results and the previous work on experiments, we have built a 'triangle model of experimental governance' that proposes both vertical and horizontal dynamics within and between different functions and uses of experiments. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Petäjä, T.; Järvi, L.; Kerminen, V. -M.; Ding, A. J.; Sun, J. N.; Nie, W.; Kujansuu, J.; Virkkula, A.; Yang, X. -Q.; Fu, C. B.; Zilitinkevich, S.; Kulmala, M. (2016)
    Severe air pollution episodes have been frequent in China during the recent years. While high emissions are the primary reason for increasing pollutant concentrations, the ultimate cause for the most severe pollution episodes has remained unclear. Here we show that a high concentration of particulate matter (PM) will enhance the stability of an urban boundary layer, which in turn decreases the boundary layer height and consequently cause further increases in PM concentrations. We estimate the strength of this positive feedback mechanism by combining a new theoretical framework with ambient observations. We show that the feedback remains moderate at fine PM concentrations lower than about 200 mu g m(-3), but that it becomes increasingly effective at higher PM loadings resulting from the combined effect of high surface PM emissions and massive secondary PM production within the boundary layer. Our analysis explains why air pollution episodes are particularly serious and severe in megacities and during the days when synoptic weather conditions stay constant.
  • GBD 2017 HIV Collaborators; Frank, Tahvi D.; Carter, Austin; Meretoja, Tuomo J. (2019)
    Background Understanding the patterns of HIV/AIDS epidemics is crucial to tracking and monitoring the progress of prevention and control efforts in countries. We provide a comprehensive assessment of the levels and trends of HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence, mortality, and coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 1980-2017 and forecast these estimates to 2030 for 195 countries and territories. Methods We determined a modelling strategy for each country on the basis of the availability and quality of data. For countries and territories with data from population-based seroprevalence surveys or antenatal care clinics, we estimated prevalence and incidence using an open-source version of the Estimation and Projection Package-a natural history model originally developed by the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling, and Projections. For countries with cause-specific vital registration data, we corrected data for garbage coding (ie, deaths coded to an intermediate, immediate, or poorly defined cause) and HIV misclassification. We developed a process of cohort incidence bias adjustment to use information on survival and deaths recorded in vital registration to back-calculate HIV incidence. For countries without any representative data on HIV, we produced incidence estimates by pulling information from observed bias in the geographical region. We used a re-coded version of the Spectrum model (a cohort component model that uses rates of disease progression and HIV mortality on and off ART) to produce age-sex-specific incidence, prevalence, and mortality, and treatment coverage results for all countries, and forecast these measures to 2030 using Spectrum with inputs that were extended on the basis of past trends in treatment scale-up and new infections. Findings Global HIV mortality peaked in 2006 with 1.95 million deaths (95% uncertainty interval 1.87-2.04) and has since decreased to 0.95 million deaths (0.91-1.01) in 2017. New cases of HIV globally peaked in 1999 (3.16 million, 2.79-3.67) and since then have gradually decreased to 1.94 million (1.63-2.29) in 2017. These trends, along with ART scale-up, have globally resulted in increased prevalence, with 36.8 million (34.8-39.2) people living with HIV in 2017. Prevalence of HIV was highest in southern sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, and countries in the region had ART coverage ranging from 65.7% in Lesotho to 85.7% in eSwatini. Our forecasts showed that 54 countries will meet the UNAIDS target of 81% ART coverage by 2020 and 12 countries are on track to meet 90% ART coverage by 2030. Forecasted results estimate that few countries will meet the UNAIDS 2020 and 2030 mortality and incidence targets. Interpretation Despite progress in reducing HIV-related mortality over the past decade, slow decreases in incidence, combined with the current context of stagnated funding for related interventions, mean that many countries are not on track to reach the 2020 and 2030 global targets for reduction in incidence and mortality. With a growing population of people living with HIV, it will continue to be a major threat to public health for years to come. The pace of progress needs to be hastened by continuing to expand access to ART and increasing investments in proven HIV prevention initiatives that can be scaled up to have population-level impact. Copyright (C) 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Nieminen, Jenni; Salomaa, Anna; Juhola, Sirkku (2021)
    There is an increasing need for urban sustainability transitions, though empirical cases that focus on the governance of these processes over time are not plentiful. This study addresses that gap by examining the governance of an urban transition in an eco-neighbourhood in Helsinki, using the framework of a multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions and modes of governance. This study shows how the modes of governance have changed from the start of the planning in 1994-2018 and how the different dimensions of the urban planning regime have enabled or constrained a sustainability transition, based on a document analysis and semi-structured expert interviews. As for the modes of governance, hierarchical and network were most widely used. The plot assignment stipulations that contained sustainability requirements, as well as the collaborative area working group method, have been scaled up city-wide since. This study concludes that more process-focussed policy instruments are needed.
  • Eskelä, Elina (2018)
    Although relatively understudied, the role of affordable and acceptable housing in the accelerating global competition for talent is of utmost importance, especially if highly skilled migrants are to be absorbed into the permanent labour force. This paper concerns the housing of skilled Indian migrants in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland, and contributes to the literature on international migration and the housing of ethnic minorities. It presents a case study on how to analyse migrants' housing pathways, examining the meaning of housing in the transnational lives of this relatively affluent migrant group. The results show that homeownership is a not a simple indicator of commitment to the host society, and that those responsible for national housing policy need to ensure the supply, quality and reasonable price of accommodation in order to fulfil the housing needs of skilled migrants.
  • Wolfram, Marc; van der Heijden , Jeroen; Juhola, Sirkku Kaarina; Patterson, James (2019)
    Over the past decade, diverse urban governance innovations and experiments have emerged with the declared aim to foster climate change mitigation and adaptation, involving actors at multiple levels and scales. This urban turn in environmental governance has been accompanied by normative claims and high expectations regarding a leading role of cities in coping with climate change. However, while time pressures for effective action are growing, little is known about the social learning processes involved in such urban climate governance innovations, and what they actually contribute to achieve the required transformations in urban systems. Therefore, this special issue presents eight selected papers that explore learning in urban climate governance practices in a variety of local, national and international contexts. Their findings point to a more ambiguous role of these practices as they tend to support incremental adjustments rather than deeper social learning for radical systemic change. Against this backdrop we propose a heuristic distinguishing basic modes and sources in governance learning that aims to facilitate future empirical research and comparison, thus filling a critical theory gap. Using this framework for interpretation illustrates that urban climate governance learning urgently requires more openness, parallel processes, exogenous sources, as well as novel meta-learning practices.
  • Juhola, Sirkku; Seppala, Antti; Klein, Johannes (2020)
    Cities' role in addressing both climate change mitigation and adaptation is becoming increasingly important. Within the last decade, cities together with other actors have initiated neighborhood-level climate change projects that build on the concept of experimentation using participation and coproduction. Common features in these initiatives are the limitation of the project to a geographically specific area within the city, inclusion of stakeholders from that physical location, and the use of different types of experimentation through participation in order to pursue climate objectives. This qualitative case study discusses the participatory experimentation and potential structural transformations by focusing on the Climate Street project of Helsinki and Vantaa, Finland. More specifically, we examine how learning, participation, and public visibility contribute toward the impact of the project. Our results show that existing urban governance structures restrict experiments in many ways and only certain types of change are feasible. This implies that while participatory experimentation offers promise but is not a panacea in terms of governing climate change.
  • Moisio, Sami (2019)
    Geoeconomics is a contested concept. What seems common to recent attempts to define the concept of geoeconomics is that it is almost invariably discussed with relation to geopolitics. In this paper, I seek to provide a reading of "geoeconomics" from political geography that both evaluates geoeconomic claims on their own terms and, moreover, avoids a political/economy binary that even some of the critical approaches tend to fall into. For this purpose, I provide a selective mapping of some of the ways in which geoeconomics has been scrutinized in IR and in human geography and defined with relation to the concept of geopolitics. I single out two main fields of scholarship. First, I introduce a foreign policy tradition that at least superficially draws from the realist tradition in IR. Second, I discuss various materialist and poststructuralist approaches in political geography that can be at least implicitly connected to the term geoeconomics. Third, I develop a reading of geoeconomics as political geographies of knowledge-intensive capitalism. This perspective turns attention to the geopolitical space economy of capitalism, draws from work in critical human geography, heterodox political economy, and urban studies, and seeks to overcome the separation between geoeconomics and geopolitics.
  • Heikkinen, Milja (2022)
    Cities and networks play an important role in climate change mitigation. Various international, regional, and local networks seek to increase cooperation between cities or between cities and other stakeholders. However, we still have a poor understanding of how these formalised networks help cities to mitigate climate change at different levels of urban climate governance. Here, I analyse experiences of participation in formal climate change mitigation-related networks from the global to the local level in three European capital cities: Helsinki, Madrid, and Stockholm. As multilevel networking is a strategic tool for cities, different benefits are highlighted at different levels of governance. Some networks are more oriented towards politics and planning, while others are more practical. Formalised networking is also networking between individual people, which should be studied further. The results demonstrate both the advantages of networks and challenges in developing beneficial networking to support climate change mitigation.
  • Moisio, Sami; Rossi, Ugo (2020)
    This paper assesses the mutating role of the state in today's flourishing technology hubs in major cities and metropolitan areas across the globe through a comparative lens. Conventional wisdom associates the contemporary phenomenon of high-tech urbanism with minimum state intervention. In public as well as in scholarly debates, technology-intensive urban economies are customarily portrayed as a phenomenon whose formative creativity and ethos stems from an essentially post-political nature. As these economies emerge, thanks to the cooperative dynamism of urban societies, political governments are considered merely as coordinators of inter-actor relationships, particularly as managers or orchestrators of innovative 'business ecosystems' and 'platforms'. We, in turn, suggest that today's emergence of technology-based economies in a selected circle of major cities and metropolitan areas is an inherently political phenomenon, as it is closely linked to what we call the strategic urbanisation of the state. Looking at the trajectories of Finland and Italy during the post-recession decade of the 2010s, we disclose the state-driven selective mobilisation of urban economies as a response to the low-growth present of national political economies. In doing so, we argue that the entrepreneurialisation of selected urban locations cannot be understood without considering the qualitatively transformed roles of the local and national states. The coming together of entrepreneurialist and urbanising state strategies disclose a shift towards a start-up state whose distinctive features differ qualitatively from those of both the investment-oriented late-Keynesian entrepreneurial state and the decentralised local economic governance envisaged by today's city-innovation theorists.
  • Heikinheimo, Vuokko Vilhelmiina; Tenkanen, Henrikki; Bergroth, Claudia; Järv, Olle; Hiippala, Tuomo; Toivonen, Tuuli (2020)
    Parks and other green spaces are an important part of sustainable, healthy and socially equal urban environment. Urban planning and green space management benefit from information about green space use and values, but such data are often scarce and laborious to collect. Temporally dynamic geographic information generated by different mobile devices and social media platforms are a promising source of data for studying green spaces. User-generated data have, however, platform specific characteristics that limit their potential use. In this article, we compare the ability of different user-generated data sets to provide information on where, when and how people use and value urban green spaces. We compare four types of data: social media, sports tracking, mobile phone operator and public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) data in a case study from Helsinki, Finland. Our results show that user-generated geographic information sources provide useful insights about being in, moving through and perceiving urban green spaces, as long as evident limitations and sample biases are acknowledged. Social media data highlight patterns of leisure time activities and allow further content analysis. Sports tracking data and mobile phone data capture green space use at different times of the day, including commuting through the parks. PPGIS studies allow asking specific questions from active participants, but might be limited in spatial and temporal extent. Combining information from multiple user-generated data sets complements traditional data sources and provides a more comprehensive understanding of green space use and preferences.
  • Kukkonen, Markus O.; Muhammad, Muhammad J.; Käyhkö, Niina; Luoto, Miska (2018)
    Rapid urbanization and urban area expansion of sub-Saharan Africa are megatrends of the 21st century. Addressing environmental and social problems related to these megatrends requires faster and more efficient urban planning that is based on measured information of the expansion patterns. Urban growth prediction models (UGPMs) provide tools for generating such information by predicting future urban expansion patterns and allowing testing of alternative planning scenarios. We created an UGPM for Zanzibar City in Tanzania by measuring urban expansion in 2004-2009 and 2009-2013, linking the expansion to explanatory variables with a generalized additive model, measuring the accuracy of the created model, and projecting urban growth until 2030 with the business-as-usual and various alternative planning scenarios. Based on the results, the urban area of Zanzibar City expanded by 40% from 2004 to 2013. Spatial patterns of expansion were largely driven by the already existing building pattern and land-use constraints. The created model predicted future urban expansion moderately well and had an area under the curve value of 0.855 and a true skill statistic result of 0.568. Based on the business-as-usual scenario, the city will expand 89% from 2013 until 2030 and will continue to sprawl to new regions at the outskirts of the current built-up area. Establishing new urban centers had the highest impact on directing urban expansion from the tested alternative planning scenarios. However, the impact of all scenarios was low and therefore also other planning solutions such as vertical development, urban growth boundaries, and gradual improvement of the informal areas should be considered in Zanzibar.
  • Lindberg, Fredrik; Grimmond, C. S. B.; Gabey, Andrew; Huang, Bei; Kent, Christoph W.; Sun, Ting; Theeuwes, Natalie E.; Järvi, Leena; Ward, Helen C.; Capel-Timms, I.; Chang, Yuanyong; Jonsson, Per; Krave, Niklas; Liu, Dongwei; Meyer, D.; Olofson, K. Frans G.; Tan, Jianguo; Wastberg, Dag; Xue, Lingbo; Zhang, Zhe (2018)
    UMEP (Urban Multi-scale Environmental Predictor), a city-based climate service tool, combines models and tools essential for climate simulations. Applications are presented to illustrate UMEP's potential in the identification of heat waves and cold waves; the impact of green infrastructure on runoff; the effects of buildings on human thermal stress; solar energy production; and the impact of human activities on heat emissions. UMEP has broad utility for applications related to outdoor thermal comfort, wind, urban energy consumption and climate change mitigation. It includes tools to enable users to input atmospheric and surface data from multiple sources, to characterise the urban environment, to prepare meteorological data for use in cities, to undertake simulations and consider scenarios, and to compare and visualise different combinations of climate indicators. An open-source tool, UMEP is designed to be easily updated as new data and tools are developed, and to be accessible to researchers, decision-makers and practitioners. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Kotze, David Johannes; Setälä, Heikki (2022)
    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process and service that supplies nutrients to the soil. Although decomposition rate is influenced by litter quality, climatic conditions, the decomposer community and vegetation type in non-urban ecosystems, little is known about the degradation of different organic matter types in urban settings. We investigated the decomposition rates of recalcitrant (wood sticks for 4 years) and labile litter (green tea leaves in pyramid-shaped teabags for 3 years) in urban habitats that differed in level of management and disturbance. We found that recalcitrant woody material decomposed slower in urban habitat types (ca. 60-75% mass loss after 4 years in remnant spruce forests, park lawns, ruderal habitats) than in natural to semi-natural spruce forest soils (84% mass loss) outside the city. Labile tea litter, however, decomposed faster in typical open urban habitats (70% mass loss after 3 years in park lawns, ruderal habitats) than in forested habitats (60% mass loss in semi-natural and remnant spruce forests), with a remarkable dichotomy in decomposition rate between open and forested habitats. We suggest that the slower rate of wood decomposition in the city relates to its depauperate saprotrophic fungal community. The faster rate of labile litter decomposition in open habitats is difficult to explain, but is potentially a consequence of environmental factors that support the activity of bacteria over fungi in open habitats. We propose that the reintroduction of decaying woody material into the urban greenspace milieu could increase biodiversity and also improve the ability of urban soils to decompose an array of organic material entering the system. This reintroduction of decaying woody material could either occur by leaving cut logs - due to management - in urban remnant forests, which has been shown to be accepted as natural features by residents in Fennoscandian cities, and by placing logs in urban parks in ways that communicate their intentional use as part of urban landscape design and management.