Browsing by Subject "USP Plans"

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  • Mesimäki, Johannes (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Collisions and near accidents between pedestrians and cyclists can result in serious injuries and death but have received limited academic attention. Using an online survey, this thesis aimed to increase knowledge of such events, assess the sense of safety of pedestrians and cyclists in traffic as well as identify safety-related constraints to the uptake of walking and cycling with practice theory. Practice theory considers human behaviour to be guided via participation in established social practices constituted by interconnected elements of meaning, material and competence. As such, this thesis contributes to debates concerning barriers to walking and cycling from a safety perspective. The survey was directed to Finnish cities with over 100,000 population and asked frequent pedestrians and cyclists to report details of collisions and near accidents between pedestrians and cyclists that they had experienced in the previous three years. Additionally, the survey asked questions concerning respondents’ sense of safety in traffic when walking or cycling. Survey data was analysed with chi-square tests of independence and ordinal logistic regression. Constraints to the uptake of cycling and walking and ways to overcome them were identified with a practice theory analysis. This involved examining the implications of survey results for the elements constituting the practices, their interrelations and how the practices influenced each other. According to the results, near accidents are roughly 50 times more frequent than collisions. Only 16 respondents had experienced a collision, whereas roughly a third had experienced at least one near accident. Additionally, shared paths were associated with more collisions and near accidents compared to separated spaces, and respondents felt less safe and less willing to travel on them compared to separated paths. The most common type of collision and near accident involved both road users travelling in the same direction. Constraints to cycling and walking were found to surface from meanings of danger associated particularly with shared infrastructure, a material element of the practices. These issues are evidenced by a high near accident frequency, low sense of safety and low willingness to travel on shared spaces. In addition, these issues were exacerbated by a lack of competences concerning space sharing, resulting in poor rapport and respect between pedestrians and cyclists. Significant effects regarding sense of safety were detected between pedestrians and cyclists and across age and genders with ordinal logistic regression, suggesting variance in how different groups experience meanings of danger. Intervening in the material element of the practices by preferring the provision of spatially separated infrastructure was considered to have potential to help overcome these constraints due to their associated safety benefits and respondents’ more favourable position toward them. In addition, working to develop a shared code of conduct for travel on shared environments could further mitigate constraints. Overcoming these constraints could assist the promotion of active travel and help improve the sustainability of transport while improving traffic safety and increasing physical activity.
  • Sarla, Jalmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This master’s thesis explores spatial and aesthetic experiences and placemaking in two public spaces in Malmi and Malminkartano in Helsinki. It focuses on two case studies through ethnographic fieldwork in order to evaluate the added value of placemaking in the urban planning practices of the City of Helsinki from the citizens’ perspective. The case studies shed light on the possibilities and risks of placemaking, especially in the context of Helsinki neighbourhoods that are subject to densification and suburban regeneration projects. This research was commissioned by the Strategic Urban Planning Department of the Urban Environment Division of the City of Helsinki. This thesis explores three research questions. It aims to understand how the observed placemaking projects affected the spatial and aesthetic experiences in the public spaces in question. It also examines what kind of attitudes arose among informants regarding public space, placemaking, densification and urban planning in the context of the studied neighbourhoods. Lastly, it assesses the potential of placemaking to improve the spatial and aesthetic experience of public spaces in neighbourhoods undergoing suburban regeneration projects. The theoretical framework of this research utilises theories and viewpoints of human geography and philosophy of urban aesthetics. Building on the study of place and space, it employs the concepts of spatial and aesthetic experience to examine sensory perceptions in public spaces. Additionally, it continues the culture and tradition of qualitative urban planning research. The data was gathered through ethnographic fieldwork during the span of the studied placemaking projects between July and October 2021. The fieldwork entailed participant observation, informal interviews and conversations with informants and autoethnographic observations of sensory, spatial and aesthetic experiences in public space. In addition to the ethnographic data, placemaking theory was utilised to formulate the analyses and results. Based on the data, the observed placemaking case studies had a moderate effect on the spatial and aesthetic experiences in the public spaces in question. However, they raised valuable discussions about local viewpoints and provided important place-based knowledge for urban planners. The ethnographic process revealed both accepting and antagonistic narratives within the local communities regarding densification and the urban planning practices of the City of Helsinki. The latter attitudes did not, however, seem to negatively affect the informants’ conceptions of the studied projects or placemaking generally. Instead, place-driven attempts at making public spaces greener, livelier and more engaging were almost unanimously accepted and welcomed. Consequently, placemaking is proposed here as a viable method to develop and improve the experience of public spaces among citizens in neighbourhoods undergoing suburban regeneration projects. Based on the gathered data and theoretical reasoning, this thesis argues that placemaking is an urban development approach, method and philosophy that can create added value to conventional urban planning practices in Helsinki. Placemaking can improve the experience of public space by vitalising its experiential and sensory qualities, and thus complement technocratic urban planning and construction processes. Placemaking can provide planners with place-based knowledge about local conditions and aspirations that is useful for long-term planning goals. Placemaking can be utilised as a participation method that gives citizens more agency and shows faster impact than other means of participation, further empowering them to reclaim public spaces for communal uses. Placemaking can make public spaces safer and more pluralistic by broadening their usership and increasing vulnerable groups’ presence. By engaging in community-driven placemaking, the City of Helsinki can improve its public spaces in multiple ways and develop its current participatory and urban design practices in alignment with its strategic goals of enhancing the quality of life for its citizens.
  • Keurulainen, Ekku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Lack of physical activity and obesity are increasing problems that have caused higher healthcare expenses for society. As prior studies have shown, there is a connection between proximity to a sports facility and increased physical activity. Public sports facilities are a way of preventing segregation by providing opportunities for recreational sports for everybody. In my thesis, I studied spatial segregation and accessibility to swimming halls in the Greater Helsinki region. Spatial segregation was studied in terms of travel times to the nearest swimming hall between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged areas. The disadvantage sum index was used to identify the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged areas which were classified into quintiles by the index. The study was conducted using open source GIS data and applications apart from segregation analysis. Travel times to the nearest swimming facility were calculated using Helsinki Region Travel Time Matrix (250m x 250m grid). Travel times were calculated for six different types of transportation: walking, cycling, public transportation (rush hour and midday) and private cars (rush hour and midday). Statistically significant differences between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged quintiles were calculated with Student’s t-test in SPSS. The analysis showed that spatial accessibility to swimming halls in the Greater Helsinki region is generally good. Swimming halls have by far the best accessibility by cycling and private car. Travel times to the nearest swimming halls were shorter with all types of transportation for the most disadvantaged than the most advantaged which indicates that living in a more deprived area does not restrict spatial accessibility to swimming halls.
  • Radaelli-Muuronen, Barbara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In current city policies, cultural events take part in urban, social and economic development contributing in place making and city branding. This master thesis examines the role of the forthcoming Helsinki contemporary art biennial within the city strategies to fulfill social, economic and environmentally sustainable development. The vision of the city of Helsinki is to be the world’s most functional city, creating the best conditions for residents and visitors as well as an attractive knowledge hub for companies and individuals. The potential of achieving some of the strategies’ objectives through the contemporary art biennial is analyzed through interviews with experts of Helsinki Art Museum and benchmarking the city of Helsinki with other long-term biennial cities, specifically, Venice, Berlin and Liverpool. For the benchmarking, it has been used data provided by the European Commission’s on line platform “Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor”. Helsinki biennial takes part in the place-making, city branding as well as in the strategic plan for the city. Overall, the event is efficiently related to most of the objectives of the city strategies, of which the maritime strategy, the project for youth social inclusion, exercise and mobility, health and welfare promotion. The convergent outputs of the analysis of Helsinki provided positive scenarios on the creation of new jobs within the creative economy and revealed that human capital and education sectors might undertake a significant increase. Yet, a broad overview on the strategies for the city of Helsinki 2017-2021 revealed contrasting aspects within the sustainable development principles. The new jobs created through the maritime strategy seem not completely fulfill the ambitious aims of the city strategies to create new captivating jobs through new companies and startups. Furthermore, in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, environmentally sustainable alternatives for the Biennial in the island of Vallisaari should be carefully considered.
  • Stark, Ella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Espoon kaupunkirakenne tiivistyy yhä enemmän asukasmäärän kasvaessa. Viheralueiden tärkeys osana terveellistä ja viihtyisää kaupunkiympäristöä on huomioitu Espoon strategiassa valtuustokaudelle 2017-2021. Kaupunkirakenteen tiivistyminen aiheuttaa kuitenkin usein painetta rakentaa viheralueille. Viheralueiden väheneminen ja pirstoutuminen voi vähentää asuinympäristön viihtyisyyttä. Asukkaiden kokemusten kerääminen voi antaa tärkeää tietoa asuinympäristöjen viheralueista, jotka usein etenkin Suomessa koetaan merkityksellisinä paikkoina. Espoon kaupunkisuunnittelukeskuksen yleiskaavayksikössä onkin Kaupunkikeskustatyön yhteydessä tarkoitus selvittää viheralueisiin liittyviä arvostuksia, sekä kokemuksia eri kaupunkikeskusten viheralueista. Tämän tutkielman tavoitteena on selvittää viheralueisiin liittyviä kokemuksia ja merkityksiä Espoon viiden kaupunkikeskuksen asemanseuduilla asukasnäkökulmasta. Tulokset toimivat viheraluesuunnittelun tukena Espoon kaupunkikeskustatyössä. Tutkielmassa on pyritty vastaamaan siihen, millaisia viheralueita Espoon kaupunkikeskuksissa arvostetaan, mikä merkitys lähiviheralueilla on, sekä millaisia kokemuksia asukkailla on viheralueista muun muassa sosiaalisten arvojen osalta. Kaupunkikeskusten (Espoon keskus, Espoonlahti, Leppävaara, Matinkylä-Olari ja Tapiola) välisiä eroja tarkastellaan asemanseutujen viheralueiden osalta. Näitä viheralueiden käyttöön vaikuttavia tekijöitä tutkittiin karttapohjaisen PPGIS-kyselyn avulla, jossa asukkaat saivat paikantaa kartalle erilaisia viheralueita, sekä kertoa kokemuksistaan. Kyselytulokset kertovat, että kaupunkikeskusten asukkailla on läheinen suhde luontoon. Vastaajajoukon (N=616) vastausten perusteella Espoon kaupunkikeskuksissa lähiviheralueet ovat hyvin tärkeitä ja vaikuttavat asuinpaikan valintaan. Asukkaat arvostavat etenkin hyviä ulkoilureittejä, asuinympäristön vehreyttä, hiljaista ja rauhallista ympäristöä, sekä metsiä. Lisäksi tulokset kertovat millaisia positiivisia ja negatiivisia koettuja laatuja viheralueilla esiintyy. Kaupunkeskuksissa käydään erityisesti hyvin saavutettavissa olevilla ja sellaisilla viheralueilla, joilla on mahdollisuus eri liikuntamuotoihin, sekä virkistymiseen ja stressin vähentämiseen. Liikunta-aktiviteettien ja rauhoittumisen lisäksi moni tarkkailee luontoa. Kaupunkiluonto edistääkin asukkaiden psyykkistä että fyysistä terveyttä liikunnan ja positiivisten luontokokemusten johdosta.