Browsing by Subject "urban"

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  • Vuolteenaho, Jani; Lappalainen, Hanna; Ainiala, Terhi (2019)
    In the article, spatializations (discourses of ideal or stereotyped spaces) are conceptualized as powerful discourses of the surrounding society, providing resources for place‐bound identity construction in interaction. We combine a sociolinguistic analysis with Bakhtinian dialogism to understand how such “third” voices in dialogue empower and pluralize self‐ and other‐positionings embedded in the evocations of unofficial place names. Empirically, the focus is on toponyms that divide the socially mixed Vuosaari suburb in Helsinki into “older” and “newer” territories. The results show that when the stereotypes of “good” and “bad” neighbourhoods or other spatializations interpenetrate the uses of “Old” and “New Vuosaari,” they open room for the (re‐)voicing of the meanings of these toponyms for highly differentiated social ends. With the Bakhtinian framework bridging between socio‐spatial theory and sociolinguistics, the article develops a spatially sensitized approach to analyse the entanglements of the micro‐level contexts of interaction with the macro‐level discourses of meaning‐giving.
  • Nuotio, Joel; Vahamurto, Lauri; Pahkala, Katja; Magnussen, Costan G.; Hutri-Kahonen, Nina; Kahonen, Mika; Laitinen, Tomi; Taittonen, Leena; Tossavainen, Paivi; Lehtimaki, Terho; Jokinen, Eero; Viikari, Jorma S. A.; Raitakari, Olli; Juonala, Markus (2019)
    Aims: Disparity in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and risk factor levels between urban and rural regions has been confirmed worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine how living in different community types (urban-rural) in childhood and adulthood are related to cardiovascular risk factors and surrogate markers of CVD such as carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and left ventricular mass (LVM). Methods: The study population comprised 2903 participants (54.1% female, mean age 10.5 years in 1980) of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study who had been clinically examined in 1980 (age 3-18 years) and had participated in at least one adult follow-up (2001-2011). Results: In adulthood, urban residents had lower systolic blood pressure (-1 mmHg), LDL-cholesterol (-0.05 mmol/l), lower body mass index (-1.0 kg/m(2)) and glycosylated haemoglobin levels (-0.05 mmol/mol), and lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (19.9 v. 23.7%) than their rural counterparts. In addition, participants continuously living in urban areas had significantly lower IMT (-0.01 mm), LVM (1.59 g/m(2.7)) and pulse wave velocity (-0.22 m/s) and higher carotid artery compliance (0.07%/10 mmHg) compared to persistently rural residents. The differences in surrogate markers of CVD were only partially attenuated when adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusions: Participants living in urban communities had a more favourable cardiovascular risk factor profile than rural residents. Furthermore, participants continuously living in urban areas had less subclinical markers related to CVD compared with participants living in rural areas. Urban-rural differences in cardiovascular health might provide important opportunities for optimizing prevention by targeting areas of highest need.
  • Allen, John A.; Setälä, Heikki; Kotze, David Johan (2020)
    Urban residents and their pets utilize urban greenspaces daily. As urban dog ownership rates increase globally, urban greenspaces are under mounting pressure even as the benefits and services they provide become more important. The urine of dogs is high in nitrogen (N) and may represent a significant portion of the annual urban N load. We examined the spatial distribution and impact of N deposition from dog urine on soils in three urban greenspace typologies in Finland: Parks, Tree Alleys, and Remnant Forests. We analyzed soil from around trees, lampposts and lawn areas near walking paths, and compared these to soils from lawn areas 8 m away from pathways. Soil nitrate, ammonium, total N concentrations, and electrical conductivity were significantly higher and soil pH significantly lower near path-side trees and poles relative to the 8 m lawn plots. Also, stable isotope analysis indicates that the primary source of path-side N are distinct from those of the 8 m lawn plots, supporting our hypothesis that dogs are a significant source of N in urban greenspaces, but that this deposition occurs in a restricted zone associated with walking paths. Additionally, we found that Remnant Forests were the least impacted of the three typologies analyzed. We recommend that landscape planners acknowledge this impact, and design parks to reduce or isolate this source of N from the wider environment.
  • Pareyon, Gabriel (2015)
    This essay is simultaneously registered in social and socio-acoustic anthropology focused on a Latin American context, adopting concepts from sociolinguistics and semiotics to formulate the hypothesis that, in urban postmodernity, when the social tissue is broken down by the violence of the structure of a concentrated power, the subjugated groups and individuals replicate violence in the form of noise. As part of this game of forces, some “social lifestyles” are created, fostered by a dynamic of flows between human groups with different behaviors, and nevertheless with negotiation spheres, in the field and the habitus of social theory (adapted from Attali and Bourdieu). It is in these areas of power and negotiation where noise plays a crucial role in the social dynamics contained in "socio-acoustic bands", transient processes of sound signs, eloquent about a specific community. Finally, it is explained how these dynamics can configure coexistence modalities, that is, socio-acoustic damping systems between different social groups. The work is also a detailed critique against conventional "solutions" to the noises of postmodern society, with special attention to the Mexican case.
  • Torkko, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Urban greenery is vital to the people in our increasingly urbanizing societies. It is diverse in nature and provides numerous life improving qualities. Traditionally urban greenery has been assessed with a top-down view through the sensors of aerial vehicles and satellites. This does not equate on what is experienced down at the human level. An alternative viewpoint has emerged, with the introduction of a more human-scale viewpoint. To quantify this human-scale greenery, novel and disparate approaches have been developed. However, there is little knowledge on how these modelling methods and indices manage to capture the greenery we truly experience on the ground level. This thesis is an undertaking to better understand what the greenery experienced by people on the ground level, termed humanscale greenery (HSG), means. The goal was to grasp how the various modelling methods, indices and datasets can be best used to capture this phenomenon. Simultaneously, the study tries to better comprehend how different people experience greenery. To achieve this, human-scale greenery values were collected via interviews at randomly selected study sites across Helsinki. These values were then compared to modelled values at the same sites. The methods and indices tested include modern approaches developed specifically for HSG and traditional greenery assessment methods. Along the greenery values, sociodemographic variables were collected in the interviews and compared to each other in relation to HSG values. The modelled values were on average smaller than HSG values. All methods indicated very strong or strong linear relationships with human-scale greenery. NDVI and semantic segmentation Green View Index (GVI) had the strongest relationships and least deviation. Land use (LU) and color based GVI had the highest error deviations from HSG. The sociodemographic assessment showed hints that age might affect the amount of experienced greenery, but this is uncertain. With a random sampling of interviewees, 25–34-year-olds and less nature visiting people were more common at sites with low HSG. Based on the results obtained here, many different types of novel methods are suitable for modelling HSG with strong linear relationships. However, also traditional greenery assessment methods performed well. It is difficult to curtail the experience of greenery into a single approach. A solution could possibly be obtained via the combination of methods. The results also advocate the usage of machine learning methods for greenery image segmentation. These cannot be applied everywhere due to data coverage problems, but alternative methods can also be used to fill in gaps. The significance of age on the experience of greenery needs further research. Because urban greenery’s benefits are known, attention should also be given onto how different kinds of people are able to experience it. In the future we should also discuss the meaningfulness of assessing absolute greenery in comparison to the types and parts of greenery.
  • Schmidt, Dietrich J. Epp; Kotze, David Johan; Hornung, Erzsebet; Setala, Heikki; Yesilonis, Ian; Szlavecz, Katalin; Dombos, Miklos; Pouyat, Richard; Cilliers, Sarel; Toth, Zsolt; Yarwood, Stephanie A. (2019)
    Urbanization results in the systemic conversion of land-use, driving habitat and biodiversity loss. The "urban convergence hypothesis" posits that urbanization represents a merging of habitat characteristics, in turn driving physiological and functional responses within the biotic community. To test this hypothesis, we sampled five cities (Baltimore, MD, United States; Helsinki and Lahti, Finland; Budapest, Hungary; Potchefstroom, South Africa) across four different biomes. Within each city, we sampled four land-use categories that represented a gradient of increasing disturbance and management (from least intervention to highest disturbance: reference, remnant, turf/lawn, and ruderal). Previously, we used amplicon sequencing that targeted bacteria/archaea (16S rRNA) and fungi (ITS) and reported convergence in the archaeal community. Here, we applied shotgun metagenomic sequencing and QPCR of functional genes to the same soil DNA extracts to test convergence in microbial function. Our results suggest that urban land-use drives changes in gene abundance related to both the soil N and C metabolism. Our updated analysis found taxonomic convergence in both the archaeal and bacterial community (16S amplicon data). Convergence of the archaea was driven by increased abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea and genes for ammonia oxidation (QPCR and shotgun metagenomics). The proliferation of ammonia-oxidizers under turf and ruderal land-use likely also contributes to the previously documented convergence of soil mineral N pools. We also found a higher relative abundance of methanogens (amplicon sequencing), a higher relative abundance of gene sequences putatively identified as Ni-Fe hydrogenase and nickel uptake (shotgun metagenomics) under urban land-use; and a convergence of gene sequences putatively identified as contributing to the nickel transport function under urban turf sites. High levels of disturbance lead to a higher relative abundance of gene sequences putatively identified as multiple antibiotic resistance protein marA and multidrug efflux pump mexD, but did not lead to an overall convergence in antibiotic resistance gene sequences.
  • Nordbo, Annika; Jarvi, Leena; Vesala, Timo (2012)
    Eddy covariance (EC) measurements of turbulent fluxes of momentum, sensible heat and latent heat—in addition to net radiation measurements—were conducted for three consecutive years in an urban environment: Helsinki, Finland. The aims were to: (i) quantify the detection limit and random uncertainty of turbulent fluxes, (ii) assess the systematic error caused by EC calculation-procedure choices on the energy balance residual, and (iii) report the energy balance of the world’s northernmost urban flux station. The mean detection limits were about 10% of the observed flux, and the random uncertainty was 9–16%. Of all fluxes, the latent heat flux— as measured with a closed-path gas analyzer—was most prone to systematic calculation errors due to water vapor interactions with tube walls: using a lag window that is too small can cause a 15% lack of data (due to the dependency of lag time on relative humidity) and omitting spectral corrections can cause on average a 26% underestimation of the flux. The systematic errors in EC calculation propagate into the energy balance residual and can be larger than the residual itself: for example, omitting spectral corrections overestimates the residual by 13% or 18% on average, depending on the analyzer.
  • Jarvi, Leena; Havu, Minttu; Ward, Helen C.; Bellucco, Veronica; McFadden, Joseph P.; Toivonen, Tuuli; Heikinheimo, Vuokko; Kolari, Pasi; Riikonen, Anu; Grimmond, C. Sue B. (2019)
    There is a growing need to simulate the effect of urban planning on both local climate and greenhouse gas emissions. Here, a new urban surface carbon dioxide (CO2) flux module for the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme is described and evaluated using eddy covariance observations at two sites in Helsinki in 2012. The spatial variability and magnitude of local-scale anthropogenic and biogenic CO2 flux components at high spatial (250 m x 250 m) and temporal (hourly) resolution are examined by combining high-resolution (down to 2 m) airborne lidar-derived land use data and mobility data to account for people's movement. Urban effects are included in the biogenic components parameterized using urban eddy covariance and chamber observations. Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme reproduces the seasonal and diurnal variability of the CO2 flux well. Annual totals deviate 3% from observations in the city center and 2% in a suburban location. In the latter, traffic is the dominant CO2 source but summertime vegetation partly offsets traffic-related emissions. In the city center, emissions from traffic and human metabolism dominate and the vegetation effect is minor due to the low proportion of vegetation surface cover (22%). Within central Helsinki, human metabolism accounts for 39% of the net local-scale emissions and together with road traffic is to a large extent responsible for the spatial variability of the emissions. Annually, the biogenic emissions and sinks are in near balance and thus the effect of vegetation on the carbon balance is small in this high-latitude city.
  • Knickel, Karlheinz; Almeida, Alexandra; Bauchinger, Lisa; Casini, Maria Pia; Gassler, Bernd; Hausegger-Nestelberger, Kerstin; Heley, Jesse; Henke, Reinhard; Knickel, Marina; Oostindie, Henk; Ovaska, Ulla; Pina, Carlos; Rovai, Massimo; Vulto, Hans; Wiskerke, Johannes S. C. (2021)
    Decision-makers, planners and administrators involved in different policy domains at different governance levels face the important challenge of fostering more balanced, sustainable and territorially integrated development. Well-designed, multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor governance arrangements can play a key role in this process through orchestrating the interplay between different spheres, activities, actors and interests. In this paper, we examine the role of spatial planning in improving the relations between rural, peri-urban and urban areas. We analyse the strengths and limitations of spatial planning and explore the connections with territorial development. The methodology used for this analysis combines regional case studies in seven European locations-Ede, Frankfurt/Rhein-Main, Styria/Graz, Helsinki, Lisbon, Lucca and Mid Wales, with rapid appraisals, the analysis of published data, expert judgement and triangulation. We ask under which conditions spatial planning can induce more balanced, sustainable territorial relations, and look at the contribution planning can make to achieving sustainable development goals. The problem of ineffective (or toothless) plan implementation provides the entry point into the analysis and discussion. We illustrate why mutually beneficial relations between urban, peri-urban and rural communities (and territories) cannot simply be planned. Instead, these relationships need to be supported by strategies, policy instruments and governance arrangements that foster synergies between different actors and activities. The planning process itself needs to become more transparent and participatory. We conclude that the questions addressed in this article in an exploratory fashion merit further research especially as a more sustainable and territorially integrated development is becoming increasingly important in European policy making.