Browsing by Subject "Magisterprogrammet i geografi"

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  • Leppänen, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In the current trajectory of human induced global warming, the domains of climate change mitigation and adaptation remain fundamental to the future of human and natural systems. Mitigating the global warming is not only vital but coping with the unavoidable impacts of the global temperature rise will be less disastrous. In terms of the realities of climate change impacts, the climate policies must be implemented. However, the success of mitigation and adaptation efforts might be dependent on how the people and communities are encountered in climate policies. Thus, it is not only crucial how the distribution of climate change burdens and benefits continues, but as important to recognize the multiple entry points to just transition. This thesis contributes to the emerging field of scientific climate justice debate that raises questions of just adaptation and in which ways it is addressed in climate change adaptation policies under the agenda of just transition. The focus of the thesis is particularly on European climate change adaptation dialogue, in the platform of a public consultation organized by the European Commission. With an interpretive approach, the study explores the perceptions of just adaptation in a number of 22 position papers contributed by European and international civic organizations. The analysis is guided by the (1.) the addressment of adaptation injustices and (2.) just adaptation as a transformative pathway. In the prism of environmental and climate justice concerns, and transformative features of adaptation, the results are discussed under the geo-graphy of Carriers of Just Transition. The civic organizations who contributed to the public consultation consider adaptation and just transition important to achieve. At the same time, the civic organizations seem to have adopted a strategy of no-regrets: they actively reclaim on adaptation measures to prepare for the medium and long-term climate impacts while considering that the mitigation efforts of today seem to be failing. At the same time, just adaptation is considered as a way of conserving the present state, while the agenda of just transition seems to be adopted as the desired pathway of fair adaptation. The European adaptation policy dialogue nests in the carriers of just transition – the systemic pathways of consolidating the current European state rather than transformational change.
  • Lehtonen, Pyry (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Geographical accessibility to sports facilities plays an important role when choosing a sports facility. The aim of my thesis is to examine geographical accessibility for sports facilities in Helsinki and Jyväskylä. The data of my study consists of the facilities of three different types of sports in Helsinki, Jyväskylä. The chosen types of facilities are ball parks, disc golf courses and fitness centers. I also use demographic data that cover the age groups of 7-12, 20-24 and 60-64. Mapple Analytics Ltd has produced geographical accessibility data covering whole of Finland which I also use as my data. In my thesis I analyzed geographical accessibility of sports facilities and compare the results to demographic data. Both the geographical accessibility data and demographic data is in 250 x 250 m grid level. the methods I used were Local Moran’s I and Bivariate Local Moran’s I. I applied the methods so that I combined the travel-time data and demographic data. The travel-times are from Mapple Insights API. The travel modes I have used are cycling and driving because people travel to sports facilities mostly by driving or by active methods, especially cycling. The travel-times to ball parks and fitness centers are overall good in both study regions. The good geographical accessibility is caused by that the service pattern is so dense for ball parks and fitness centers. The service pattern covers almost all of the inhabited area in both study regions. However, for some postal areas seem to have not so good geographical accessibility to ball parks. In some areas in Helsinki the geographical accessibility to disc golf course can be considered to be somewhat bad. For the chosen age groups only 20-24-year-olds have unsatisfactory travel-times to disc golf course either by cycling or driving. Other age groups do not show a similar pattern because of the different service pattern of ball parks and fitness centers. Demographic variables do not explain the travel times in this context. It is important to see which postal areas have good or bad geographical accessibility to sports facilities. This helps the future planning of sports facilities. In the future it is also possible to apply non spatial methods to the data I have collected or a similar dataset. It would also be possible to which demographic variable best explains travel-times. Because of Mapple Insighs API data is in 250 x 250 m grid level many applications can be developed using the data.
  • Myllys, Jasmiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Short-term rental platforms have become widely popular in recent years, but their growth has left cities to face a variety of problems. Studies have shown, for example, that short-term rentals have led to an increase in long-term rental prices. When more and more apartments are used as short-term rentals, the supply of long-term rentals decreases. This causes more pressure on the long-term rental market and leads to increased prices. In this study I examine the possible impacts of Airbnb, the biggest and most popular short-term rental platform, on the rental market of Helsinki. First, I analyse how many apartments have been removed from the long-term rental market to the Airbnb market, and second, how likely it is that the number of Airbnb rentals rises in the future. Presumably, renting through Airbnb becomes more popular when the potential income from Airbnb rentals is larger than from long-term rentals. In Neil Smith’s terms, this difference between actual and potential rental income constitutes a rent gap. Therefore, I also analyse whether renting short-term in Helsinki is more profitable than renting long-term. In addition, I discuss the current city and tourism policies of the city of Helsinki in the light of the results of the above research questions and give recommendations on issues to be taken into account in the future. This study uses AirDNA’s data of Airbnb rentals in Helsinki and long-term rental price data from KTI Property Information Ltd, and it focuses on data from year 2019. Data analysis is conducted using statistical and geospatial methods. The results of this study show that in 2019 there were a significant number of professional Airbnb rentals in Helsinki, 863 in total. However, their number varied substantially between the districts of Helsinki. There was a large amount of professional Airbnb rentals especially in the city centre and Kallio area. On the scale of the whole of Helsinki, professional Airbnb rentals comprise approximately 0,5 % of all rental apartments whereas in some districts in the city centre the percentage was considerably higher, in the Kamppi district as much as 3,9 %. Based on the results, the number of Airbnb rentals will likely grow in the future because Airbnb rental income was, on average, greater than long-term rental income in each of the study areas. In most areas, the rent gap was substantial. However, the size of the rent gap varied significantly, between 50 and 1350 euros, based on the location and amount of rooms of the apartment. Some policy recommendations can be made based on the results of this study. When designing future policies, it is important to acknowledge that a sizeable part of the Airbnb rentals in Helsinki is professional and that the number of professional rentals will probably continue to increase. Since the number of professional rentals is still quite small on the city level, the impacts of short-term rentals in Helsinki are presumably not yet significant. Nevertheless, in the future problems can arise especially in the city centre and Kallio area, as these areas have a lot of professional Airbnb rentals. Since only professional Airbnb rentals are disadvantageous for the long-term rental market, assigning certain restrictions would be justifiable in order to prevent future problems and to promote sustainable tourism. Restricting Airbnb activity could be done by enforcing current regulations more rigorously or setting a yearly renting limit like many other European cities have done. This would help to inhibit activity that is against the current legislation and to support the real sharing economy.
  • Vuorinne, Ilja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Biomass is an important parameter for crop monitoring and management, as well as for assessing carbon cycle. In the field, allometric models can be used for non-destructive biomass assessment, whereas remote sensing is a convenient method for upscaling the biomass estimations over large areas. This study assessed the dry leaf biomass of Agave sisalana (sisal), a perennial crop whose leaves are grown for fibre and biofuel production in tropical and subtropical regions. First, an allometric model was developed for predicting the leaf biomass. Then, Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite imagery was used to model the leaf biomass at 8851 ha plantation in South-Eastern Kenya. For the allometric model 38 leaves were sampled and measured. Plant height and leaf maximum diameter were combined into a volume approximation and the relation to biomass was formalised with linear regression. A strong log-log linear relation was found and leave-one-out cross-validation for the model showed good prediction accuracy (R2 = 0.96, RMSE = 7.69g). The model was used to predict biomass for 58 field plots, which constituted a sample for modelling the biomass with Sentinel-2 data. Generalised additive models were then used to explore how well biomass was explained by various spectral vegetation indices (VIs). The highest performance (D2 = 74%, RMSE = 4.96 Mg/ha) was achieved with VIs based on the red-edge (R740 and R783), near-infrared (R865) and green (R560) spectral bands. Highly heterogeneous growing conditions, mainly variation in the understory vegetation seemed to be the main factor limiting the model performance. The best performing VI (R740/R783) was used to predict the biomass at plantation level. The leaf biomass ranged from 0 to 45.1 Mg/ha, with mean at 9.9 Mg/ha. This research resulted a newly established allometric equation that can be used as an accurate tool for predicting the leaf biomass of sisal. Further research is required to account for other parts of the plant, such as the stem and the roots. The biomass-VI modelling results showed that multispectral data is suitable for assessing sisal leaf biomass over large areas, but the heterogeneity of the understory vegetation limits the model performance. Future research should address this by investigating the background effects of understory and by looking into complementary data sources. The carbon stored in the leaf biomass at the plantation corresponds to that in the woody aboveground biomass of natural bushlands in the area. Future research is needed on soil carbon sequestration and soil and plant carbon fluxes, to fully understand the carbon cycle at sisal plantation.
  • Aalto, Iris (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Global warming is expected to have detrimental consequences on fragile ecosystems in the tropics and to threaten both the global biodiversity as well as food security of millions of people. Forests have the potential to buffer the temperature changes, and the microclimatic conditions below tree canopies usually differ substantially from the ambient macroclimate. Trees cool down their surroundings through several biophysical mechanisms, and the cooling benefits occur also with trees outside forest. Remote sensing technologies offer new possibilities to study how tree cover affects temperatures both in local and regional scales. The aim of this study was to examine canopy cover’s effect on microclimate and land surface temperature (LST) in Taita Hills, Kenya. Temperatures recorded by 19 microclimate sensors under different canopy covers in the study area and LST estimated by Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) were studied. The main interest was in daytime mean and maximum temperatures measured with the microclimate sensors in June-July 2019. The Landsat 8 imagery was obtained in July 4, 2019 and LST was retrieved using the single-channel method. The temperature records were combined with high-resolution airborne laser scanning (ALS) data of the area from years 2014 and 2015 to address how topographical factors and canopy cover affect temperatures in the area. Four multiple regression models were developed to study the joint impacts of topography and canopy cover on LST. The results showed a negative linear relationship between daytime mean and maximum temperatures and canopy cover percentage (R2 = 0.6–0.74). Any increase in canopy cover contributed to reducing temperatures at all microclimate measuring heights, the magnitude being the highest at soil surface level. The difference in mean temperatures between 0% and 100% canopy cover sites was 4.6–5.9 ˚C and in maximum temperatures 8.9–12.1 ˚C. LST was also affected negatively by canopy cover with a slope of 5.0 ˚C. It was found that canopy cover’s impact on LST depends on altitude and that a considerable dividing line existed at 1000 m a.s.l. as canopy cover’s effect in the highlands decreased to half compared to the lowlands. Based on the results it was concluded that trees have substantial effect on both microclimate and LST, but the effect is highly dependent on altitude. This indicates trees’ increasing significance in hot environments and highlights the importance of maintaining tree cover particularly in the lowland areas. Trees outside forests can increase climate change resilience in the area and the remaining forest fragments should be conserved to control the regional temperatures.
  • Hirvonen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) as a renowned “ecosystem engineer” modifies its habitat by sometimes destroying woody vegetation. Their destructive effect intensifies during the dry seasons, when they form larger herds and seek to consume woody plants, especially near permanent water sources. If this happens season after season in a restricted area, such as a wildlife reserve, the tree cover is reduced. Since elephants tend to make smaller trees to fall more easily than the larger ones, this “elephant problem” harms the regeneration ability of the ecosystem in a long run, even turning savannas into grasslands. With less and less trees available, elephants and other fauna in conservation areas could end up being at a fatal risk. Multi-scale vegetation structure can be studied with airborne (ALS) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Although both types of LiDAR have been applied in studies on trees, most of the ALS studies concern biomass and none of the TLS research cover elephants. Tree structure on the individual tree level can be modelled using TreeQSM modelling that has not yet been applied in savanna vegetation. This study can be considered pioneering as it attempts to provide answers to these two study questions: (1) How does tree density derived from airborne laser scanning data correlate with elephant density, elephant path proximity, and river proximity? (2) How do tree architecture metrics derived from terrestrial laser scanning data correlate with elephant path proximity and river proximity? The study area is Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, a small privately-owned wildlife conservancy in southeastern Kenya that falls within an area scanned with ALS in 2014. The vegetation of the reserve has been changing for many decades, and the latest changes in the vegetation cover are visible from satellite images. The “elephant problem” near the area was scientifically discussed already in 1960’s, so their damage may have been taking place for a long time. There are two datasets from the area for estimating elephant occurrence (elephant density based on elephant observation points and elephant track proximity based on elephant tracks) and one for the proximity to the river. Tree density was calculated based on detected treetops from the ALS point cloud and its correlations between the elephant predictors and the river proximity was analyzed. TLS measurements of 72 individual trees of Vachellia tortilis and Newtonia hildebrandtii were made in January and February 2020 in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. 53 were successfully modelled with TreeQSM. The correlations between the tree structure metrics and elephant density, elephant track proximity, and the river proximity were analyzed. The values for crown ratio, the metric that correlated significantly with the elephant track proximity were predicted to assess the meaning of the results in practice. The overall findings from both analyses (ALS and TLS) may suggest that trees in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary may have suffered from elephant damage, since lower tree density correlates with both the elephant density estimates and the elephant track proximity. The trees scanned with TLS seem to be somewhat larger in closer proximities to the elephant tracks, while smaller trees are more able to survive in areas further away. Quantifying elephant damage in more detail, such as torn or hanging branches, was still not achieved by this study. Regardless, it can be concluded that there is enough foundation for further research on the important issue, the phenomenon that can turn dangerous to many species that were supposed to be protected.
  • Kastarinen, Miika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Megatrendit muuttavat asumistarpeita, jolloin kaupunkien asukkaiden vaatimukset ja toiveet muuttuvat. Samalla yritykset pyrkivät vastaamaan tähän muuttuneeseen kysyntään. Vastaavasti yhteiskunnallisilla toimijoilla, kuten valtiolla ja kunnilla on muuttuvat asuntopoliittiset tavoitteensa, joilla pyritään vastaamaan megatrendien tuomaan muutokseen. Helsingin kaupungilla on tavoite kehittää kerrostaloasumista houkuttelevammaksi. Uusien asumisratkaisujen kehittelyssä nähtiin kaupungilla hyödylliseksi myös kokeiluja koordinoiva ohjelma, joka kartoittaisi yhteistyökumppaneita ja alati muuttuvia asumisen tarpeita. Ratkaisuna luotiin Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelma. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena on selvittää Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman taustalla olleet asuntopoliittiset tavoitteet ja ohjelman hankkeisiin vaikuttaneet yhteiskunnalliset muutokset. Neljä megatrendiä, jotka selkeimmin esiintyvät Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman hankkeiden tavoitteissa ovat: asuntokuntien muutos, kulutuskulttuurin muutos, ilmastonmuutos ja ympäristökysymykset sekä teknologioiden ja prosessien muutos. Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman hankkeet olivat kehitysteemoiltaan hyvin monipuolisia vastaten lukuisiin tutkimuskirjallisuudessa ja yhteiskunnallisessa keskustelussa olleisiin ilmiöihin ja megatrendeihin. Hankkeissa itsessään oli myös samaan aikaan useita erilaisia kehitysteemoja. Helsingin kaupungin Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman merkitys osana asuntopoliittisia interventioita on yhdistää eri sidosryhmät samaan ohjelmaan. Vaikka tavoitteet olivat eri toimijoilla erilaiset, on mahdollista kannustaa rankentajia ja muita yrityksiä innovaatioihin. Käytännössä pelkällä säätelyllä ei pystytä takaamaan innovaatioiden toteutumista, sillä säädöksien kaltainen ohjaus määrittää lähinnä rakentamisen minimitason. Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman kaltainen interventio helpottaa innovaatioiden syntyä sekä mahdollistaa kunnianhimoisemmat asumiskonseptit. Vaikka tässä tutkimuksessa käsiteltiin sitä, kuinka lakien ja säädösten avulla voidaan ohjata rakentamista toivottuun suuntaan sekä sitä, milloin nämä muutokset ovat tapahtuneet, näiden muutosten vaikutus itse Kehittyvä kerrostalo -ohjelman hankkeisiin on yhä selvittämättä.
  • Farstad, Miia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Due to the harsh conditions in high latitude alpine and arctic regions, climate or land use changes make them very vulnerable. Thus, it is vital to study the habitats of these regions and increase our understanding of what factors impact species distributions. Species distribution modelling can be used to predict possible habitats for species and further inspect the relationships between different environmental variables and species. Generally, these species distribution models have been created using variables describing the topographical and climatic conditions of the study area. Recently there has been more evidence supporting the inclusion of biotic variables to species distribution models at all scales. Including biotic variables can be difficult, as these relationships can be challenging to quantify. This study uses the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a surrogate for plant biomass, thus representing biotic interactions. This study aims to answer what are the relationships between environmental variables and the predicted distributions and will including a biotic variable improve the species distribution models. The study data includes observational data from 683 arctic and alpine plant species from Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The observation data were collected from the three national databanks of Norway, Sweden and Finland and completed with observations from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and observation data collected by the BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab. The cohesive study area was outlined with the biogeographical regions defined by the European Environment Agency. Overall, six environmental variables are used in this study: annual mean temperature, the maximum temperature of the warmest month, annual precipitation, elevation difference in a cell, bedrock class, and NDVI. The NDVI data was gathered by NASA’s MODIS sensors. The observations and the environmental variables were projected into a grid consisting of 1 x 1 km cells covering the whole study area. This study uses the ensemble modelling technique with four individual modelling methods: generalized linear models (GLM), generalized additive models (GAM), generalized boosted models (GBM) and random forests (RF). The modelling process consisted of two modelling rounds so that the impact of NDVI could be evaluated. The first modelling round included all the environmental variables except NDVI (the topoclimate model) and the second modelling round included all the environmental variables (the full model). The two temperature variables, annual mean temperature and the maximum temperature of the warmest month, had the highest mean variable importance values. With the topoclimate model, annual precipitation ranked third with the rest of the climate variables, but when NDVI was added to the models, it rose above annual precipitation. Overall, among the studied arctic and alpine species, the variable importance values of both the edaphic and topographical variables were low. In general, both the topoclimate models and full models performed very well. The mean AUC- and TSS-values were all higher for the full models, indicating that including a biotic variable improved the models. When the binary predictions of both modelling rounds were compared, it was clear that NDVI refined the projected distributions for most species. The results from this study confirm the discovery that including a biotic variable, such as NDVI, has the potential to increase the predictive power of species distribution models. One of the main problems with including biotic variables in species distribution models has been the difficulty of quantifying biotic interactions. NDVI can thus be a promising tool to overcome these difficulties, as it is one of the most direct variables to describe ecosystem productivity, can be acquired at various scales, and as remotely sensed data, it can also cover areas that are difficult to access.
  • Ehnström, Emil Mattias (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The number of people belonging to a language minority in Finland is increasing and people are becoming more and more spatially mobile. This has also led to an increase in transnationals and higher rates of cross-border mobility. With new methods involving social media big data, we can map spatial mobility patterns in new ways and deepen the understanding of how people relate to space. Differences in spatial mobility can for example give us an indication of the rate of integration into society. Some claim that a more spatially mobile life is a sign of success, but can we see differences in spatial mobility between people in Finland? The three language minorities considered in this thesis are Swedish, Russian, and Estonian. The history and culture of these groups are different as well as their status in Finnish society. Swedish speakers, with a national language status, have a different role in society, but do this well integrated minority differ from the other ones spatially? By using Twitter data and looking at the spatial mobility within Finland, we see where differences occur between language groups. To understand how strong ties the language groups have with neighbouring countries, we look at cross-border mobility to Estonia, Russia, and Sweden. The results show that there are differences in the spatial mobility of language minorities in Finland. Estonian speakers most frequently visit Estonia, while at the same time they are less mobile within Finland. The variation was large for Russian speakers, with some visiting Russia often and others almost never. Swedish speakers seem to have relatively weak ties to Sweden, compared to the other language groups and have very similar spatial mobility to the majority Finnish speaking population.
  • Lämsä, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Urban environments are constantly changing and expanding. They grow, evolve, and adapt to society and residents’ needs. Environmental changes have an impact also on urban green such as trees. This is because the increase of building stock and expanding cityscape will target these green spaces. However, the significance of those green spaces is understood as they have a positive impact on the residents’ well-being and health. For example, urban trees are known to improve the air quality and to provide mentally relaxing environments for residents. As this importance is emphasized, changes in the areas must be monitored, which increases the importance of the change detection studies. Change detection is a comparison of two or more datasets from the same area but at different times. Principally, changes have been detected with various remote sensing methods, such as aerial- and satellite images, but as airborne laser scanning technology and multi-temporal laser scanning datasets have become more common, the use of laser scanning data has also increased. The advantage of the laser scanning method is especially in its ability to produce three-dimensional information of the area. Therefore, also vertical properties can be studied. The method’s advantage is its ability to detect changes in urban tree cover as well as in tree height. The aim of this study was to investigate how tree cover and especially canopy height have changed in the Kuninkaantammi area in Helsinki during 2008‒2015, 2015‒2017, 2017‒2020, and 2008‒2020 from multi-temporal laser scanning data. One of the starting points of this study was to find out how airborne laser scanning datasets with different sensors and survey parameters are suitable for change detection. Also, what kind of problems the differences between datasets will raise and how to reduce those problems. The study used laser scanning data from the National Land Survey of Finland and from the city of Helsinki for four different years. The canopy height models were produced of each dataset and changes were calculated as the difference of each canopy height model. The results show that multi-temporal laser scanning data require a lot of manual processing to create datasets comparable. The greatest problems were differences in point density and in classification of the data. The sparse data from the National Land Survey of Finland affected how changes were managed to be studied. Therefore, changes were detected only in general level. In addition, each dataset was classified differently which affected the usability of the classes in the datasets. The problems encountered were reduced by manual work like digitizing or by masking non-vegetation objects. The results showed that the change in the Kuninkaantammi area has been relatively large at the time of the study. Between 2008 and 2015, 12.1% of the tree cover was lost, 9.9% between 2015 and 2017, and 13.2% between 2017 and 2020. In addition, an increase in canopy height was detected. Between 2008 and 2015, 44.2% of the area had greater than 2 m increase in canopy height. Similarly, increase occurred in 11.1% and 3.5% of the area in 2015‒2017 and in 2017‒2020, respectively. Although the changes were observed at a general level, it can be concluded that the used datasets can provide valuable information about the changes in urban green that have taken place in the area.
  • Aroalho, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Africa has recently increased its share of the global market, and the continent’s potential has been recognized globally. The continent has experienced a lot of oppression and forced changes in history, and it is currently developing its new identity with relatively young states and its fast-growing population. African Union (AU) is calling pan-African ideology to bring together the African people in their blueprint and master plan Agenda 2063, where the cultural heritage is at the core. Culture is also at the core of the creative economy, and the creative economy's share of the global economy is growing. Due to globalization and digitalization, the knowledge from other cultures is spreading rapidly, which is the basis of a cultural shift both at local and global levels. This research investigated the culture and the creative economy as builders of society in Kenya. Kenya has been very successful in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the state takes its cultural heritage seriously in its development programs and their focus is especially on the potential of the youth in the creative economy. Kenya has a vast cultural diversity in the state with its officially recognized 44 tribes. This cultural diversity plays a significant role in the creative economy. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, 2020), the creative economy has no single meaning, as the concept is constantly evolving. The basic elements of the concept are from human creativity, ideas, and intellectual property, knowledge and technology. The creative industries include such as music, film, video, arts and crafts and performing arts. These elements are the basis of the creative economy, in addition, they have a significant commercial and cultural value. The research was conducted in Kenya during January and February 2021, and the data was collected from two main geographical research areas, the city of Nairobi and Taita-Taveta County. The geographical research areas were chosen by their cultural diversity, the creative economy and their urban and rural statuses. Nairobi has a classification of a creative city where the digital creative economy is booming, and the city is attracting people around East Africa. Taita-Taveta respectively is a rural county near the Kenyan coast, where the creative economy is mainly in the traditional form, for example, crafting and basket making. The research combined the elements from the ethnographical, hermeneutical and critical approaches by using unstructured, structured interviews and observation, as the methods combined qualitative methods with numerical data. The results show that the culture and the creative economy do build the society in Kenya. It is seen in each level of society, for example, among the families, tribes, counties and even the government. Each level influences and controls the way culture and the creative economy build the society in Kenya. The meaning of the community arose in culture and the creative economy shifts, as they provide help in the mitigation and adaptation into new situations. With the exponential population growth, the share of the youth is rising, culture and the creative economy have the potential to provide jobs for the youth in the future. There are challenges with culture and the creative economy in Kenya. First, to preserve the cultural diversity in Kenya among the youth. Second, to target the governmental policies to the right actions and towards the right groups, which would then support the sector itself. Due to attitude shifts, the role of the youth is a significant point to consider. Furthermore, there is a vast gap between the government and the community, which causes a lot of harm to the creative economy, as the policies do not support the creative sector. If these significant points are solved, there is a vast potential for the culture and the creative economy to continue building the society in Kenya.
  • Tolvanen, Pinja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The role of geographic thinking is essential in tackling topical challenges such as climate crisis, biodiversity loss and sustainable production of food. One powerful tool that helps to model and analyze these complex geographic phenomena is geographic information systems (GIS). Using GIS as part of geography high school education has many benefits when it is applied intentionally. However, many teachers still struggle to implement GIS in long-term classroom use even if they have gotten previous GIS training and have access to internet-based GIS, easy-access data and easier to use software. There is still a need for further research on how teachers can be supported in GIS education on a practical level. This thesis research aims to find solutions to this need. The research is conducted as design-based research that consists of problem analyses and a cyclic development process where a design solution, a GIS learning activity, is created. Problem analyses showed that combining new and existing knowledge, using multimodal learning environments, and supporting motivation and development of metacognitive skills are important to take into consideration in designing the learning activity. They also examined features that lead to successful GIS teacher training. Conducted interviews revealed that the biggest challenges with GIS education relate to scarcity of time, insufficient technical skills, and training that does not provide practical value. Teachers wished for very practical level support that is efficient timewise and offers them learning materials that are ready for easy classroom use. Based on these findings, a GIS learning activity was designed to answer the common challenges. The practical was tested consecutively by two geography teachers from a collaborative high school. Feedback revealed that the first teacher faced some challenges relating to time management during the lesson but found the activity useful. The second teacher tested the activity after some modifications had been made and the testing was overall successful. Both teachers expressed interest in using the material and the GIS software again in the future. The findings suggest that providing teachers this research-based GIS learning material has potential to support them in GIS education and to remove many common challenges. Some advantages of the practical were offering teachers a web-based GIS with simple user interface, preprocessed data already included in the service and a ready practical that can be completed in one lesson. The theme also supported the national core curriculum which is very valuable in creating new GIS materials for educational use. This study showed that relevant and inquiry-based GIS activities are still needed in high school geography education. It also serves as the first opening for new LUMA Taita -project that promotes international science education collaboration and brings research into schools in an inspiring way.
  • Leppämäki, Tatu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Ever more data is available and shared through the internet. The big data masses often have a spatial dimension and can take many forms, one of which are digital texts, such as articles or social media posts. The geospatial links in these texts are made through place names, also called toponyms, but traditional GIS methods are unable to deal with the fuzzy linguistic information. This creates the need to transform the linguistic location information to an explicit coordinate form. Several geoparsers have been developed to recognize and locate toponyms in free-form texts: the task of these systems is to be a reliable source of location information. Geoparsers have been applied to topics ranging from disaster management to literary studies. Major language of study in geoparser research has been English and geoparsers tend to be language-specific, which threatens to leave the experiences provided by studying and expressed in smaller languages unexplored. This thesis seeks to answer three research questions related to geoparsing: What are the most advanced geoparsing methods? What linguistic and geographical features complicate this multi-faceted problem? And how to evaluate the reliability and usability of geoparsers? The major contributions of this work are an open-source geoparser for Finnish texts, Finger, and two test datasets, or corpora, for testing Finnish geoparsers. One of the datasets consists of tweets and the other of news articles. All of these resources, including the relevant code for acquiring the test data and evaluating the geoparser, are shared openly. Geoparsing can be divided into two sub-tasks: recognizing toponyms amid text flows and resolving them to the correct coordinate location. Both tasks have seen a recent turn to deep learning methods and models, where the input texts are encoded as, for example, word embeddings. Geoparsers are evaluated against gold standard datasets where toponyms and their coordinates are marked. Performance is measured on equivalence and distance-based metrics for toponym recognition and resolution respectively. Finger uses a toponym recognition classifier built on a Finnish BERT model and a simple gazetteer query to resolve the toponyms to coordinate points. The program outputs structured geodata, with input texts and the recognized toponyms and coordinate locations. While the datasets represent different text types in terms of formality and topics, there is little difference in performance when evaluating Finger against them. The overall performance is comparable to the performance of geoparsers of English texts. Error analysis reveals multiple error sources, caused either by the inherent ambiguousness of the studied language and the geographical world or are caused by the processing itself, for example by the lemmatizer. Finger can be improved in multiple ways, such as refining how it analyzes texts and creating more comprehensive evaluation datasets. Similarly, the geoparsing task should move towards more complex linguistic and geographical descriptions than just toponyms and coordinate points. Finger is not, in its current state, a ready source of geodata. However, the system has potential to be the first step for geoparsers for Finnish and it can be a steppingstone for future applied research.
  • Heikkinen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Subarctic ponds are important habitats for many freshwater species. The recent increase in global temperatures have stressed on the study of these habitats as rising water temperatures may have severe consequences to these cold and harsh ecosystems. Despite its importance, this topic has been largely overlooked in scientific research. Diatoms are microscopic, single-celled benthic algae, which are important indicators for environmental quality. Elevation is one of the main environmental variables controlling the composition and richness of diatom species as it shapes communities through several environmental variables such as temperature and water chemistry. The aim of this thesis was to illustrate the variability in diatom species richness and community composition along an elevational gradient in Kilpisjärvi and reveal the most important environmental drivers. As an additional focus, the applicability of the BenthoTorch sampling device was tested in measuring benthic algae biomass. Field and laboratory measurements were done using universal standards. Statistical analyses included multiple univariate and multivariate data analysis techniques. It was found that water pH, aluminium concentration and air temperature explained the variation in species richness and community composition the most. Elevation had only a secondary, non-significant role in shaping the diatom communities in subarctic ponds. Nearby sites showed similar compositions in terms of water chemistry and diatom communities. Biotope characterisation did not provide any further insight into the differences or similarities of diatom community composition or species richness. There were some differences in how genera responded to environmental variables. The centre of distributional range of many taxa was below the mid-point of the elevational gradient but species often occupied the whole elevational gradient. Rare taxa appeared at the ends of the elevational spectrum. The amount of singleton taxa was high (25.8%) and can be expected to increase with climate change. The BenthoTorch did provide reasonable results for benthic algae in the subarctic when compared to previous literature, but further research is required to grasp its full potential. More examination into the relationship between explanatory variables can be suggested (e.g. total phosphorus and ion balance) to gain better understanding on the changes in diatom species richness and community composition along elevational gradients.
  • Edvinsson, Pontus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Socio-economic segregation has been increasing in Helsinki for decades and the relation between socioeconomic factors and educational outcomes have been discussed frequently recently and have been an important topic for politicians and researchers. An increasing segregation and dwindling school results in the more disadvantaged areas of Finland have been connected in various reports. The main objective in this master’s thesis is firstly to investigate the spatial socio-economic differences between school catchment areas of the 26 municipalities in the Uusimaa region. And secondly, the relationship between educational outcomes and socio-spatial segregation in Uusimaa, as the former research evidence has only documented the socio-spatial differentiation within the municipalitan core of the region. The aim is to analyze the relationship of the four different socio-economic variables of basic level education, higher education, unemployment and low income households in each school catchment area and present them with help of four different maps created in GIS. Lastly data consisting of educational outcomes from first year pupils (N=1 920) from 41 different schools in the Uusimaa region provided by Kansallinen koulutuksen arviointikeskus were analysed. The data consisted of two standardized tests, one regarding mathematics and one about the finnish language. These two tests were part of a longitudinal evaluation which started in the fall of 2018. The core finding of this study is that Helsinki is by far the area with the largest socio-economic differences between the school catchment areas in the Uusimaa region, where eastern Helsinki often displayed low socio-economic levels and where western Helsinki and southern Espoo often presented a high socio-economic level compared to the rest of the Uusimaa region. And that the educational results regarding the Finnish language had a stronger correlation with the socio-economic data compared to the mathematical educational outcomes. These findings offer new insights for Finnish educational policies and demonstrate the need for supporting schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in different types of urban and rural areas.
  • Rönnberg, Oskar (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Segregation is usually treated as a place-based phenomenon based on residential locations, but during the last ten years more emphasis has been put on understanding segregation as a multi-contextual phenomenon, where mobility in urban space affects the individual’s exposure to segregation. Such research has not yet been done in Helsinki, where socio-economic and ethnic segregation has been on the rise since the 1990’s, but there is anecdotal evidence of for example young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods not being as mobile in the urban space as others. The aim of this study is to find out how socioeconomic differences and experiences from the past are linked to how people move around and use urban space in Helsinki. A survey study was carried out (N=1 266) in spring 2020 for the purposes of this research. The study is based on a self-selected sample, so the results cannot be generalized for the whole population. Spatial mobility is analyzed with four measures: which parts of the city the respondent usually moves around in, how often they visit the city center, how many of their everyday activities are located near their home, in the city center and in other neighbourhoods and municipalities, and how many of the listed places in the survey they had visited during the last year. The main research methods are linear regression, correlation analyses and statistical tests. Spatial mobility varies based on education, age, family background and mobility practices in the youth. These factors explain at most a quarter of the variance in mobility. Cultural and economic capital also correlates with mobility, but their explanatory power diminishes when education and age are controlled for. The spatial mobility is low for them who had small activity spaces in their youth, and especially for them who still live in the same neighbourhood. Those who live in the outer suburbs are among the least mobile and many of the respondents in Northeastern and Eastern Helsinki do not regularly visit Southern Helsinki. Even though there are many different factors that influence the level of mobility that are not ad-dressed in this study, the results confirm that family background and past experiences affect the individuals’ mobility practices. The results indicate that people who live in disadvantaged neighbourhoods risk exposure to segregation in different contexts of everyday life as a result of low mobility. As people with low education are underrepresented in the study, it is possible that there are some kind of immobilities in the city that have not been covered in this study. The results underline the need for more research in multi-contextual segregation and the experiences and conceptions of the city, especially regarding children and young people.
  • Nurmi, Marisofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Globally, there is a constant shortfall of financial resources in conservation, which has partially been supplemented by combining conservation and conservation-compatible businesses. Many protected and conserved areas in sub-Saharan Africa are largely funded by revenues generated within the area, mainly through ecotourism. While ecotourism revenues are bringing in money into the system, dependency on this single type of revenue source is making conservation areas – or even the whole protected area system – vulnerable to changes in visitor numbers, which are prone to different political or socio-economic disturbances (such as conflicts, economic recession, and epidemics). A sudden substantial decrease in revenues or increase in costs may threaten the existence, extent, and quality of conservation areas in terms of biodiversity conservation. Collecting and analysing economic information on protected and conserved areas can help investigate their long-term sustainability and resilience to financial threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic outcomes. In this thesis, I assess how conservation costs and revenues vary between different types of protected and conserved areas, how financially self-sufficient they are, and how economically resilient these areas may be in the face of global changes. The analysis is based on financial data from different types of protected and conserved areas in South Africa: state-owned national parks (South African National Parks, later SANParks), provincial parks (Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, later Ezemvelo) and private conserved areas. With the use of simulation modelling and resilience theory, I discuss how potential economic resilience varies between protected areas. The findings indicate that there are significant differences in the cost-revenue structure of different kinds of protected and conserved areas, and especially between public and private. Ezemvelo receives most of its funds from the provincial government, whereas SANParks covers the majority of its costs from tourism revenues. Private game reserves again need to cover their costs independently. According to the findings, size is an important attribute to predict the per hectare net income and running costs of public protected areas but has no significant influence on those of private game reserves. For public protected areas, the running costs per hectare are significantly higher for protected areas less than 1000 hectares. Based on the economic modelling and resilience theory, I concluded that private game reserves are generally financially more viable, but their vulnerability lies in their lack of embeddedness within a larger system (e.g., a conservation organization) that could support them during difficult times and require and encourage a long-term commitment to conservation. The economic resilience of public protected areas is more closely tied to the political atmosphere regarding conservation funding: self-generated revenues form only a part of the budgets of public protected areas. In addition, protected areas which have large fixed costs and depend on high tourism revenues are likely to be less economically resilient. Because of the higher running costs and resultant sensitivity of net income to changes in costs and revenues, parks that are home to the “Big Five” species (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) are in a more vulnerable position in the face of disturbances, as the pandemic. To address the threats that upcoming socio-economic disturbances pose to the funding base of protected and conserved areas, more focus should be given to the economic resilience of these areas, especially in countries and occasions where the areas rely on self-generated revenues.
  • Saarimaa, Saku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Recent studies on day-care staff have reported on problems in hiring qualified staff, and in increased resignations in existing staff. These problems are connected to an increase in workload and stress, and reduced wellbeing at work. When workload and challenges in day-care work increase, there can even be a risk of diminishing the pedagogical quality of education. The problems seem to occur differently and in different magnitudes in different day-care units, which indicates learning conditions’ possible segregation. In the case of schools, the socioeconomic status of nearby population has been noticed to affect children’s predisposed abilities to learn, and their support requirements in learning. This effect can be assumed to affect early childhood education similarly, which would lead to day-cares in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas to require extra resources and staff to compensate for the children’s increased support requirements. If those extra resources are not available, the staff will experience increased workload and stress, which will cause problems in the long term. The city is known to be somewhat socioeconomically segregated, and if this is mirrored in day-cares so that the backgrounds of children in day-cares get segregated, it may also start to affect the quality of education. In this case the unevenly distributed challenges would cause institutional segregation of learning conditions in early childhood education. The institutional segregation of early childhood education or schools has not been studied much in Finland. Earlier studies on Finnish schools have been able to explain differences between schools through differences in children’s backgrounds, and there has not been a reason to doubt the institutional equality of schools’ quality. The basic principle of the Finnish early childhood education and school system is to provide every child with equal conditions and opportunities to grow and learn. These equal conditions equalise segregation in the population by offering equally high-quality education in both disadvantaged and well-off areas of the city. However, if the segregation of children’s backgrounds is accompanied by the segregation of learning conditions in day-cares, there is a risk of the cumulation of both socioeconomic disadvantage and lower quality of education. In this case, the quality would decrease exactly where it would be most needed. In my thesis I study whether there is differentiation in problems related to hiring or keeping staff in the day-cares in Helsinki, through the numbers of resigned and unqualified staff in each unit. I also look at whether this segregation of day-care units is at all related to the socioeconomic segregation of the city’s population. In the study I utilize HR data from the city of Helsinki and socioeconomic population data from Statistics Finland, which I join onto spatial data of day-cares’ locations. I use this combined dataset to study the segregation of day-cares and its connections to socioeconomic segregation using quantitative statistical methods and spatial analysis methods. The results indicate that there is perceivable segregation in the staff of day-cares in Helsinki, but socioeconomic segregation is able to statistically explain the patterns only slightly. Therefore, mostly other phenomena seem to cause the differentiation in staff related problems, but these phenomena are not yet known. In terms of institutional segregation, the early childhood education system in Helsinki seems to still be quite equal. However, more knowledge about the subject is needed, because both the results in this study, as well as previous studies show some worrying signals pointing to the possibility of institutional segregation. In addition, intense public discourse around the topic of early childhood education, and a wide-ranging worker’s strike, including day-care staff, seem demonstrative of the seriousness of these challenges in day-cares.
  • Kokkonen, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    European Union is a notable political actor that strives for governing and producing EU territory through spatial policies and planning. So far, spatial planning has been a technology to govern the terrestrial environment, but now marine space is seen as the new frontier of spatial planning. In 2014, EU has given a directive of maritime spatial planning (MSP), which aims to that every coastal member state had established spatial planning practices to their national marine areas by 2021 according to EU’s spatial agendas. The MSP has been looked at as a managerial tool helping to enhance the ecological condition of the seas, but not as a policy that produces spatiality. In this research, EU’s MSP policy is used as to research Europeanization of space in ‘EU’rope. The aim of this research is to interpret how understanding of ’EU’rope as a territorial entity is shaped through the structure of the maritime spatial planning policy and the meanings attached to it, in order to create a perception of the future development of EU and marine areas in general. The research is conducted from a social constructionist approach as an interpretive policy analysis. The concept of policy integration is in-built to MSP and is used as an indicator to Europeanization in this study. The policy integration effort is seen to steer social networks of actors that create the MSP in practice. Therefore, semi-structured theme interviews were conducted to the actors carrying out the MSP process in Finland. These actors’ understanding of the Finnish MSP is seen to construct ‘EU’ropean space in and through the domestic MSP process. Accordance with the hermeneutic traditions, comprehensive contextualization is conducted in this research in order to understand the maritime spatial planning policy. The research suggests that the spatiality and territoriality of marine areas produces different kind of planning practices than is seen in the terrestrial environment. The EU’s MSP policy is a policy tool for the EU territory, but at the same time, it is used as a tool to carry out domestic regional objectives as well. In Finland, the coastal Regions have benefitted from MSP and gained more power over the Finnish marine territories and the MSP may be used as to reinforce Regional planning. By adopting MSP policy, EU has changed the spatial governance structure of marine Europe. It has transformed heterogenic marine areas in Europe into single entity in order to be spatially governable by EU. These spaces have therefore been submitted under larger decision-making processes than before and EU is able to harness the national marine territories for the benefit of the whole Europe, and mainly due increasing economic growth in the territory. By means of policy integration efforts, the MSP creates new kinds of socio-spatial dimensions to Europe in where political bargaining over domestic marine spaces becomes a norm for the domestic maritime spatial planners. The research suggests that the territorial policy integration efforts reinforce the objectives of the EU directive in transnational collaboration, and this new platform of negotiation can be predicted to unify neighbouring domestic planning practices and goals in some extent.
  • Dok, Matilda Carol (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Abstract This thesis explores the everyday spatial practices in the gentrified and micro-segregated Eastleigh, Nairobi. Gentrification is one of the most important aspects of urban studies, as well as social geography contributing to significant socioeconomic changes in many metropolitan cities in the world. Although the emerging empirical studies indicate socioeconomic impacts of gentrification, less research has been conducted to examine social and economic interaction in gentrified spaces in the Global South. Additionally, there are limited studies on how cultural diversity influences gentrification. In the case of a diversified neighbourhood, such as Eastleigh, assessing the effects of culture on gentrification is significant. Therefore, this study aimed to see by observing and interviewing residents, whether the developments in Eastleigh can be analysed and interpreted through the theoretical framework of gentrification and micro-segregation. The study used descriptive research to build on literature and graphics to collect data on gentrification indicators and socioeconomic interactions. The qualitative part of the study entailed observation, questionnaire survey, and key Informant interviews, while quantitative analysis was based on the graphical presentation of data. The outcomes of the study strongly suggest that an increase in the housing variables, the influx of wealthy population, increased employment, and shift in consumption trends are the significant indicators of ongoing gentrification in Eastleigh. The empirical studies indicate that social interactions in gentrified spaces appear to be marginalized due to cultural differences that have a strong impact on social and economic agents. The review made similar observations regarding social interactions between the new-comers and the long-time residents. The results of the study also found out that the reason for social and economic inequalities among the residents and the gentrifies was cultural differences which hindered access to social and economic services. However, since this study is one of the initial studies on gentrification in Eastleigh, Nairobi, more and in-depth studies are recommended