Browsing by Subject "nature"

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  • Suomalainen, Sari (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    Green areas in cities provide social, ecological, cultural and economical values. Furthermore, the effects and importance of green areas on human well-being in the context of day to day life have been investigated in previous studies. The creation of green structures, and the quality and quantity of green areas are defined at different levels of urban planning in municipalities. The aim of this research was to determine which factors influence the green area planning process. The study compared the planning processes of Tampere in Finland and Stuttgart in Germany. It also analysed the prevailing trends of the cities and the participation of inhabitants. The study utilized qualitative study methods. The material included documents, reports and laws relating to the planning processes. The themed interviews were carried out in the city offices of Tampere and Stuttgart. The results indicated that landscape and green structure planning were compulsory parts of land-use planning processes in Stuttgart, required by laws, and are applicable nation-wide in Germany. The aims of a Landscape Plan and Green Structure Plan were legalized in a Preparatory Land Use Plan and in a Local Development Plan. In Finland, Tampere had good regulations concerning green area planning, but these were not applicable throughout the whole country. The aims of the green area plans could be legalized in Local Development Plans or in Federal Building Code, but there were not as many specified symbols expressing the content of green areas than in Stuttgart (Germany). A special difference was also the compensation method and habitat network planning that influenced the planning process at many levels in Stuttgart, identifying every green space as a part of a green structure. In addition to ecological values, also city parks and gardens were developed in exhibitions and competitions throughout Germany. The aim of Landscape planning is to combine natural elements and values as part of a landscape and a green structure of every city in Finland. It would also provide ecological development. With increasing knowledge about biodiversity and importance for human well-being, different kinds of green areas in the vicinity could also become more familiar and acceptable to citizens. Resulting from this study, future recommendations would be to develop landscape planning, to include more strategic green area planning based on Land Use Act and utilize interaction with citizens. Furthermore, an understanding and consideration of the ecological and physiological aspects of the environment and the using indicators to measure the fruition of the aims should be mandatory during the co-operational planning processes in order to reach the aims.
  • Malyutin, Kirill (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The main objective was to identify and analyze the tourism management perspective to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the luxury Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (FCLL) Hotel and Resort in the Banff National Park (NP). It is viable for a company to conduct responsible business operations, especially in protected areas, because of a great influence of Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGO’s) and high customer awareness of environmental issues. Definitely, large chains of luxury hotels and resorts, such as the Fairmont, are greatly dependent on their reputation and engagement with the communities’ well-being and handling the environmental issues in the area of business operations. The thesis is divided into several parts, i.e. introduction, theoretical background, methodology and previous research, results of the research, and conclusions and discussions. Undoubtedly, all of the above mentioned parts are essential in order to get a complete picture of the thesis topic and its achieved objectives. As a matter of fact, the current Master’s thesis comprises various industries with hospitality, tourism, and forestry. In order to gain the stated objectives, a deep analysis of the literature related to the topic and online sources was conducted, as well as email interviews with some representatives, i.e. certain managers, of the FCLL. Obviously, not all of the respondents were able to answer in time or to answer at all due to various reasons; however, the received replies were enough to make their contribution to the current thesis. The questions were especially designed to fit the respondents and to get a better insight into the FCLL’s business activities in the Banff NP. As the results showed, the FCLL has a good reputation due to its dedication and achievements, regardless of the plans to build a conference center and previous negative impact on the environment in the area. FCLL is trying its best to become a good “citizen” by following its CSR practices and engaging stakeholders. The FCLL’s major focus is to diminish negative impacts from its business operations in the park, i.e. on its various environmental programs, engaging not only personnel of the company, but communities and customers. These results were used as a basis of a SWOT analysis to have a clearer and visible representation of the FCLL’s current position, taking all the issues into consideration. In conclusion, this research shows that the luxury Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and Resort in the Banff National Park has a good image and reputation due to its various environmental programs, dedication to its responsible business operations, and engagement of the involved stakeholders; therefore, it is clear the company has a great potential based on its achievements and willingness to make its positive contribution.
  • Kettunen, Pyry (Finnish Geodetic Institute, 2014)
    Publications of the Finnish Geodetic Institute
    This dissertation applies the research and methods of spatial cognition in order to contribute to the development of wayfinding support in geospatial applications. The design and development of geospatial applications, such as interactive maps and mobile navigation applications, has been typically founded on the expertise of surveying, cartography and geoinformatics. This has often led to relatively complex expert tools that many users find difficult to use. The research of spatial cognition can provide elementary understanding about human thinking in the use situations of these applications and supplement the knowledge gained using the usability research. Perception of landmarks along routes in nature was studied in season and time-of-day studies with participants who walked nature trails in summer, winter, day and night while thinking aloud about the surroundings. The recall of the route was measured afterwards using sketch-map drawing and photo recognition tasks. The think-aloud protocols were analysed using classification of propositions and natural language processing. The importance of landmarks for the human route perception in nature was confirmed. "Structures", "Passages" and "Waters" were the most perceived landmark groups. Season and time-of-day significantly affected landmark perception and, based on the results, the adaptivity of geospatial applications in the studied conditions can be improved. The transfer of the empirically acquired knowledge of the landmark perception to geoinformatics was illustrated with a formal landmark ontology for hiking in nature. The measures of landmark recall were found unexpectedly similar in all the studied conditions. The similarity was explained by the salience of landmarks in nature and the structure of route-like sketch maps but also by the participants' conceptions on what should be drawn on maps. "Passages" and "Structures" were the most-often drawn landmark groups on the sketch maps. Support of geospatial images for wayfinding was evaluated using a literature-based evaluation framework. Visualisation of elevation was experimented with by rendering a 3D map, a derivative of which was compared to 2D elevation visualisations in an eye-tracking study. Vertical elements and elevation were found to be central wayfinding elements in geo-images and the aerial oblique vantage point the most effective image parameter for transferring spatial knowledge. The rendered 3D map was evaluated as cognitively demanding to look at but, however, showed potential in representing the terrain relief. The dissertation also considers challenges in the application of the methods of spatial cognition research and identifies directions for future studies.
  • Byman, Jenny; Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Wong, Chin-Chin; Renlund, Jenny (2022)
    In this study, we investigate how digital storying creates opportunities for children to attend to their emotional experiences in and about nature. Following relational ontology and socio-cultural theorising, we focus our analysis on the temporal–spatial entanglements of children's emotional experiences. Our inquiry draws on a case study of two children at a Finnish primary school. Liam and Vera engaged in digital storying in their local forest using an augmented storycrafting app, MyAR Julle. The data were collected during two storying workshops by means of observational field notes, video recordings, interviews with the children and digital artefacts. The results illustrate how engaging in the narrative plot of a fictitious augmented character invited the children to create necessary open-endedness in the activity which further stimulated their storying. The children's experiences were imbued with emotions and distributed across human and non-human actors. The children's digital storying not only communicated their personal emotional experiences in local surroundings, but was also grounded in broader societal narratives, such as climate change and forest conservation, with considerations of the future of the planet. The results suggest how digital storying offers a pedagogical method for early environmental education that builds on children's emotional experiences.
  • Gentin, Sandra; Chondromatidou, Anna Maria; Pitkänen, Kati; Dolling, Ann; Præstholm, Søren; Pálsdóttir, Anna María (Finnish Environment Institute, 2018)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 16/2018
    Nature-based solutions are an efficient way to address simultaneously environmental, economic and social problems especially in urban areas. In the Nordic countries, there has been increasing interest in nature-based integration and a number of practical projects and initiatives have been launched to promote the benefits of nature in integration. This report presents the lessons learned and experiences gathered in these practices. The report analyses the similarities and differences of Nordic nature-based integration practices in terms of aims, environments, target groups and pros and cons. Based on the analysis a working definition of nature-based integration is presented. This definition summarises how nature can be used to support integration of immigrants through building of identity, providing positive experiences and strengthening institutional capabilities. The report concludes in a checklist of key components to be considered when planning, conducting or evaluating nature-based integration practices. In the second part of the report, 16 descriptions from practitioners in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway are described in more detail to illustrate the various ways nature is used for integration across these countries.
  • Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Renlund, Jenny Alexandra; Byman, Jenny Sofia; Wong, Chin Chin (2021)
    This study brings empathy to the centre of literacy practice by investigating children's augmented storying as it was related to empathetic encounters across the human and more-than-human worlds. The study applies sociomaterial theorising that defines empathy as relational and emergent across human-material-spatial-temporal assemblages. The empirical study was situated in a Finnish primary school in which children used an augmented story-crafting tool (MyAR Julle) to explore their local environment and to create and share their stories. The findings show how empathy emerged situationally across the children, other human beings, materials, technology and the natural world. The empathetic encounters of the children's narratives were more than romantic or smooth encounters, instead competing and in tension with one another, calling moral reasoning and agency. The study shows the potential of sociomaterial theorising to change the way we think about children's encounters with the world, using empathy as a framework.
  • Vazquez Harkivi Os Vazquez Garza, Mily (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Objectives. Communication is a basic human activity, and one that is also crucial for business. For those communicating with international audiences, lack of knowledge regarding how people communicate across cultures might create misunderstandings and in the worst case, conflicts. The research purpose of this thesis was to identify cultural discourses about nature and the environment that would illustrate deeply held values and beliefs about nature. The theoretical approach utilised in the thesis was Cultural Discourse Theory. This approach originates from the Ethnography of Communication tradition and contemplates not only the linguistic aspects of discourse, but also the context in which discourse is produced, utilised and maintained. Previous research has shown that communication is cultural and that both culture and communication can influence the way nature is constructed. The research question is aimed to identify beliefs and values about nature, personhood, and relationships hold by seven Finnish professionals of the environment working in the forest company UPM. Methods. The research material was collected through seven semi-structured interviews conducted in Finnish language and translated to English. The interviews were recorded digitally and lasted approximately one hour. To ensure confidentiality, the participants were given aliases and their real names were not disclosed publicly. The research participants reviewed the excerpts of text in the original language (vernacular Finnish) and also reviewed the translations to English language. The material was displayed in both Finnish and English language and analysed applying the Cultural Discourse Analysis (CuDA) method. The CuDa method proposed five analytical tools through which the research data could be analysed: dwelling, relations, feelings, action and identity. In this thesis the data was examined in light of the tools or themes of dwelling, relations, identity, and in some cases that of action. Results and conclusions. The research results indicate that three main discourses are present in the discourse of environmental professionals about nature. For the participants nature was a place to relax and calm down, to be with themselves and to maintain a sense of continuity. The values related to these discourses were peace, privacy, autonomy, identity, spirituality, and continuity as a way to preserve what is valued. The main value hold by the participants is that of continuation or sustainability. Further research could build upon the notion of sustainability as a cultural discourse. Research related to other business areas could be useful to understand how a deeply held value about nature like sustainability is common across businesses/industries.
  • Laine, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This thesis examines depictions of and attitudes towards nature in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The depictions can be divided into two different categories: those that highlight awe-inspiring qualities of nature and promote the idea of living in harmony with it, and those that concentrate on environmental destruction and the characters’ ethical stances concerning the loss of nature. Through its nature descriptions and underlying ethical stances The Lord of the Rings can affect the reader’s own relationship with nature. In the thesis, The Lord of the Rings is discussed from ecocritical viewpoints, concentrating on human-nature relationship and environmental destruction. Drawing on from studies concerning literature’s ability to affect us through imagination, character identification, narrative empathy and sympathy, and narrative ethics, this thesis demonstrates how the attitudes towards nature in the novel can make the reader appreciate the natural world. Through the above mentioned means the reader may begin to feel stronger emotional affinity to nature and as a result starts seeing nature as having value beyond using it as a commodity. The first discussion chapter focuses on the awe-inspiring and magical nature of Middle-earth and shows how descriptions of it can instil a sense of wonder towards nature in the real world. After that the characters who live in harmony with the natural world are discussed: Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, the Elves and the Ents all live in close connection with nature, presenting a model of a harmonious relationship with nature. In the second discussion chapter the environmental destruction of Middle-earth is examined: the destruction of nature goes hand in hand with the actions of the villains, and the heroes of the story constantly judge those who destroy nature. Underlying ethics of the novel are further highlighted by the story of Saruman which serves as a cautionary tale of using nature as a commodity. Through narrative empathy, narrative sympathy and character identification, the reader is likely to be on the side of the heroes, and therefore the novel guides the reader in the direction of its underlying ethical stance that presents nature as having intrinsic value. The discussion on The Lord of the Rings demonstrates the ways in which literature can help the reader form a new relationship with the natural world by highlighting awe-inspiring qualities of nature and presenting a model of living in a harmonious relationship with nature, and by presenting destruction of nature as ethically wrong. As one’s emotional affinity to nature is likely to lead to willingness to protect the natural world, literature may offer us some tools to tackle both climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
  • Pitkänen, Kati; Lehtimäki, Jenni; Puhakka, Riikka (MDPI, 2020)
    International Journal Environmental Research Public Health 17 18 (2020)
    Contact with nature is associated with numerous psychological, physiological and social health and well-being benefits. Outdoor recreation, such as rural second home tourism, provides extensive exposure to the natural environment, but research around health impacts of this exposure is scattered. We review current research on health and well-being impacts of nature and discuss how the characteristics of rural second home environments and their use and users can affect these potential impacts in Finland. We discover four key issues affecting the impacts. First, health and well-being impacts depend on the users; urban people can especially benefit from rural second homes, while child development and the performance of elderly people can also be supported by contact with nature at second homes. Second, the regularity, length and season of second home visits influence the potential to receive benefits as they have an impact on the intensity of nature exposure. Third, the type and quality of second home environment affect contact with nature, such as exposure to health-supporting environmental microbes. Fourth, practices, motives and meanings modify activities and attachment and crucially affect both physical and mental well-being. We conclude that rural second homes have extensive potential to provide nature-related health and well-being benefits and further research is needed.
  • Raunio, Anne; Jäppinen, Jukka-Pekka; Ahlroth, Petri; Kostamo, Kirsi; Mykrä, Heikki (Finnish Environment Institute, 2019)
    SYKE Policy Brief 28.3.2019
  • Mankinen, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis explores social representations of nature and happiness in nature among Finnish youth. Even though the concepts of happiness and nature are common in daily exchanges, they remain difficult to define, and little is known of their usage among laypeople. Similarly, nature’s effects on well-being are well documented, but how happiness occurs in nature has not been examined through social representations. Finland is an interesting country to study these phenomena, as Finland is often portrayed through its unique nature, and has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for three consecutive years. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how Finnish youth discuss happiness in nature, and whether there are distinctive shared social representations. The study used Moscovici’s Social Representations Theory as a theoretical framework. The theory’s purpose is to explore laypeople’s conceptions of everyday phenomena, making it suitable for this research. The research was part of a bigger LUODE-project, funded by the European Social Fund. LUODE aims to develop multidisciplinary collaboration and service innovations for youth. University of Helsinki’s role was to better understand the everyday lives of the youth and this research contributes to the latter aim. The participants consisted of 15-16-year-old Lahti 9th graders (n=355). They first saw a marketing video of Finland aimed at foreign visitors, in which the main theme was the experience of happiness in nature. They were then asked to write their responses to a paper questionnaire, with questions like “What does the video say about happiness in your opinion? Discuss, whether nature makes you happy? Why yes? Why not?”. Responses varied in length from one word to lists, and from sarcastic comments to personal, even poetic, descriptions of happiness in nature. This research will focus on their personal accounts, and when combined, these created shared social representations. The research questions were: What are the shared ideas the youth have about nature, and of happiness in nature? How are these social representations objectified or anchored? Do the youth have shared social representations about nature, and more specifically about happiness in nature? As a result of the research questions, the analysis identified two main themes. First, nature was defined through shared lay perceptions, and nature in the societal context of Finland. It was clear that there was not just one simplistic definition of nature among the youth. Instead, their descriptions varied from common objectifications of nature, like cleanliness, forests, and summer cabins, to societal issues including the national welfare system, and global issues like climate change. Second, happiness in nature was experienced in a holistic manner: nature was a place for peace of mind, for activities, and for sensory engagement. These representations of happiness revealed holistic, and multisensory experiences of happiness when spending time in nature. The results show that Finnish youth go to nature to relax, be active, and be mindful and that their experiences in nature involve multisensory approaches, which all contributed to their experiences of happiness. Multisensory experiences as social representations may offer new insights for future research. These representations explicate how detailed and varying the everyday terms of happiness and nature are. Nature served as an important milieu for daily moments of happiness among the youth. Finnish youth also criticized the claims in the video and discussed the influence of the Finnish welfare system as well as climate change in their responses. The current study proposes that these holistic and multisensory methods to experience happiness in nature should be taken into account when planning well-being interventions, city planning, and nature preservation.
  • Wendelin, Robert (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Economics and Society
    A focus on cooperative industrial business relationships has become increasingly important in studies of industrial relationships. If the relationships between companies are strong it is usually a sign that companies will cooperate for a longer time and that may affect companies’ competitive and financial strength positively. As a result the bonds between companies become more important. This is due to the fact that bonds are building blocks of relationships and thus affect the stability in the cooperation between companies. Bond strength affect relationship strength. A framework regarding how bonds develop and change in an industrial business relationship has been developed in the study. Episodes affect the bonds in the relationship strengthening or weakening the bonds in the relationship or preserving status quo. Routine or critical episodes may lead to the strengthening or weakening of bonds as well as the preservation of status quo. The method used for analyzing bond strength trying to grasp the nature and change of bonds was invented by systematically following the elements of the definitions of bonds. A system with tables was drawn up in order to find out if the bond was weak, of medium strength or strong. Bonds are important regulators of industrial business relationships. By influencing the bonds one may have possibilities to strengthen or weaken the business relationship. Strengthen the business relationship in order to increase business and revenue and weaken the relationship in order to terminate business where the revenue is low or where there may be other problems in the relationship. By measuring the strength of different bonds it can be possible to strengthen weak bonds in order to strengthen the relationship. By using bond management it is possible to strategically strengthen or weaken the bonds between the cooperating companies in order to strengthen the cooperation and tie the customer or supplier to the company or weaken the cooperation in order to terminate the relationship. The instrument for the management of bonds is to use the created bond audit in order to know which bonds resources should be focused on in order to increase or decrease their strength.
  • Pihkala, Panu Petteri (2016)
    Plans for a Lutheran “eco-reformation” are complicated by the polarization of views related to environmental issues. I argue that there is a special reason to take the agenda of eco-reformation seriously: a widespread and often unconscious environmental anxiety, which posits a pastoral and existential challenge that must be addressed by the churches. I contextualize the challenge of eco-reformation in the historical context of Lutheran eco-theology. Finally, I briefly discuss two key themes for Lutheran eco-theology: God's presence in nature and the theology of the cross.