Smart Land Use Policy for Sustainable urbanization (SA-STN SLUPSU/SmartLand)

The project helps to identify and develop effective land use policies that steer sustainable urbanisation. It focuses on alleviating the following urban problems: housing availability and affordability, socioeconomic segregation of neighbourhoods, and carbon emissions and energy use in cities. The FMI contributes with research that is key in understanding urban and regional mitigation and adaptation, as well as in supporting cities in drafting, implementing, and assessing related policies.

Kaupunkinäkymiä

Project description

The project helps to identify and develop effective land-use policies (LUP) focusing on alleviating the following urban problems:

  • housing availability and affordability

  • socioeconomic segregation of neighbourhoods

  • carbon emission and energy use in cities.

Land use policies are defined broadly, and the instruments studied within the project are various, ranging from more traditional command-and-control policies to economic instruments (incentives structures) and information-based instruments. The research will identify existing and completely novel policies that effectively steer sustainable urbanisation considering all the three above-mentioned challenges and their interconnectedness. The project will also study and further develop these policies and their implementation in co-operation with the key stakeholders in the field of land use planning and development. Also, research-based long-term scenarios are utilised in co-creating processes.

The FMI contributes with research that is key in understanding urban and regional mitigation and adaptation, as well as in supporting cities in drafting, implementing, and assessing related policies. Specifically, our activities include:

  1. the development and implementation of a high-resolution microsimulation model that creates and assesses scenarios (depending on the assumed land use practices) for the evolution of urban land use,

  2. the development of detailed models of urban dwelling stock and energy use, with links to SURFEX urban meteorology modelling,

  3. research in the role of the management of urban common resources as an amplifier or moderator of the effects of other LUP instruments.

Images of urban environment

WP1 (Land use policies, housing costs, and allowing for natural urbanization process) aims to provide new scientifically reliable and policy relevant information on:

  • influences of LUP tools and practices, and their combinations, on the adjustment of housing supply and thereby on price and rent growth patterns in the short/medium/long run

  • the potentials of these tools in steering the society towards more favourable outcomes in terms of better housing availability and affordability, and therefore increased well-being

  • propose amendments to existing tools and potential new tools that enable more efficient land use policy practices in Finnish cities.

WP2 (Land use policies and residential segregation) aims to provide new scientific understanding and information on:

  • the current state of segregation and its prevention

  • Finnish cities and neighbourhoods

  • the potentials of land use policy tools and practices, and their combinations, in preventing negative segregation in urban areas in the short, medium and long run.

WP3 (Energy and climate impacts in the housing stock steered by urban land-use policy) aims to:

  • provide tools to assess direct and embodied emissions of housing in current and future climate for different dwelling, energy system and neighbourhood types

  • evaluate the energy and climate effects of past/current policies, and evaluate scope for improvements,

  • account for the effects on housing equity and segregation phenomena

  • simulate the scope for future (new) land use policy in different scenarios with given goals for sustainability (emissions, wellbeing), affordability and urban growth

  • explore effects of alternative models for planning and funding housing and urban energy supply.

Project information

Project duration: 2019–2022 (first phase)

Partners: Aalto University (coordinator), Finnish Meteorological Institute, University of Helsinki, University of Turku

Project web page (in Finnish): https://smartland.fi/

Funding: Finnish Academy, Strategic Research Council (STEER program)

Publications, press releases, media coverage

Related projects

  • EU Life-IP CANEMURE

  • EU H2020 iSCAPE

  • EU ERA4CS URCLIM

Contact

Senior Researcher Athanasios Votsis (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi)