FI-11 :: Sustainable urbanisation and healthy living environments

The future success and welfare of the society is greatly dependent on how the urbanisation process is carried out. To promote sustainable urbanisation, more knowledge is required on drivers and trends related to urbanisation and opportunities to create healthy environments, reduce carbon emissions, use of natural resources sustainably and integrate built and green infrastructure. The ageing of population and advancements in technology change the way of living in urban areas. The quality of environment is becoming increasingly important for cities to be attractive. Noise, impurities in the air, heat periods and lack of connections to nature will continue to be urban challenges in the future. Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions can be used to alleviate problems and produce new benefits in the form of recreation opportunities and other ecosystem services. Health issues are receiving growing attention, and the location of sensitive functions and population groups is emphasised.
Possible research questions may be:
• How will the continuation of the urbanisation process change the need for natural resources and ecosystem services in the future?
• How to better understand processes and interconnections related to urbanisation?
Net impacts
• How to prevent urban sprawl, minimise land take and support sustainable use of built-up areas?
• What are the appropriate methods, models and tools to assess sustainability of urban development?
• How to use green infrastructure and technical solutions to tackle problems with noise, and poor air quality and create pleasant environments for everyday life?
Natural capital:
• How to guarantee and improve the functioning of ecosystem services in urban areas?
• How to introduce market mechanisms for compensating harms to nature areas e.g. through improvements in other areas or use of temporary “ecosystem hotels”?
Land management
• How to secure water supply around big cities (e.g. considering both the changing environment and climate and the use of gravel/aggregates)?