Urban Happiness – the eco-social sustainability of urban environment

Project description

The Urban Happiness project studied the social and structural prerequisites of sustainable urban environment. With the help of new, innovative methods, the essential elements of ecosocially sustainable environment were identified. New, innovative methodology was developed in the project: Internet based softGIS methodology was used to gather the experiential localized knowledge of the inhabitants. The structural analysis of urban settings was realised with GIS- methods allowing the morphological and functional modeling of urban structure. The underlying idea of the project was that the sustainability of urban environment is ultimately tested in the lifestyles, decisions and choices of inhabitants. We concluded that ecologically sustainable urban environment can also be socially sustainable i.e.  environment that supports the quality of life, wellbeing and happiness of the inhabitants.

Research themes

Active living and urban lifestyles

Participatory planning

PPGIS and VGI methods development

Project details

  • Start date:
    January 1, 2009
  • End date:
    December 31, 2010
  • Location:
    Helsinki metropolitan area
  • Funded by:
    TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation)
  • Objectives:
    A place-based study of the eco-social sustainability of urban environment

Project contact

Marketta Kyttä

Aalto University

Team members

  • Maarit Kahila
  • Anna Broberg

Participating partners

Related publications

Kyttä, M., Broberg, A., Haybatollahi, M., & Schmidt-Thomé, K. (2016). Urban happiness: Context-sensitive study of the social sustainability of urban settings. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 43(1), 34-57. doi:10.1177/0265813515600121

Kyttä, M., Broberg, A., Tzoulas, T., & Snabb, K. (2013). Towards contextually sensitive urban densification: Location-based softGIS knowledge revealing perceived residential environmental quality. Landscape and Urban Planning, 113, 30-46. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.01.008

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