Reimagining cities

We identify new ways of planning and governing cities that support carbon neutrality, biodiversity conservation and sustainable lifestyles in cities by 2030


Building a new paradigm

We seek to support the shift to more sustainable and respectful lifestyles, through zero-emission transport, the conservation of biodiversity and prioritisation of human well-being.

To achieve our goals, we carry out an integrated suite of active sensing approaches, investigating people’s life patterns with tools such as participatory mapping and serious gaming.

In addition, we combine these with a set of passive sensing techniques, using big data analytics that provide us key information about mobility.

Finally, we transfer our knowledge to policymaking to facilitate the adaptation of transformative governance methods. Thus, we aim at applying our strategies effectively to support reaching the goals of carbon neutrality, biodiversity conservation and sustainable lifestyles in urban areas of Finland by 2030.

The compass for sustainability transformation

How to navigate towards greener and healthier ways of living

Actions at a city level are critical to the achievement of global sustainability goals. In Transformative Cities we aim to understand the relationship between citizens and urban spaces, and inform decisions in support of sustainable urban transformation.

Covering three spheres of change

Methods for supporting sustainability in cities can be targeted at different spheres.

Finding the best strategy

Our tools and methods seek to help decision-makers find the most effective measures in each case.

Shifting towards better practices

The impact of the final actions selected can be measured to make sure they promote lifestyles that cover several key aspects of sustainable urban transformation.


A roadmap to success

Our six work packages mark the steps to achieve our project goals.
Passive sensing

Despite major advances in mobility, there is a lack of tools for assessing mobility patterns related to the likes of ride-sharing, e-scooters and city bikes. In the first work package we will develop a network analytical framework for tracking urban mobility and its temporal changes, as well as people’s preferred routes and environments. We will do this using passive sensing methods like mobile phone tracking and people-flow data.

Active sensing

Few participatory mapping methods exist for comparing mobility and a wider set of behavioural patterns linked to recreation. In response, in the second work package we will advance these methods by drawing on spatial and temporal indicators of residentsʼ mobility and behaviour that together can inform the sustainable lifestyle interventions. We will survey residents in our case study cities and develop spatially explicit lifestyle profiles integrating citizensʼ mobility, attitudes and wider behavioural patterns.

Urban planning

In this work package we address knowledge gaps on how to promote the effective use of active and passive sensing data in urban planning. We also look into creating evidence-based urban interventions and monitoring their impacts to support urban sustainability transformation. Here we aim at developing a method for monitoring individual mobility behaviour across space and time through location tracking combined with people’s subjective perceptions.


Despite law-making having a key role in urban transformation, a deeper understanding of these roles is currently lacking. In work package four we aim at bridging this gap by conducting legal-doctrinal analysis of land-use planning, mobility, and flood-management law in the EU and in Finland related to carbon neutral mobility and climate resilience. We will also interview city officials and planners to analyse how these legal requirements have been implemented. Our aim is to establish the roles of law in urban transformation, urban mobility and nature-based solutions to guide policy-making.

Exploring alternatives

Serious gaming methods can inform urban transformation, but the usability and policy relevance of the provided solutions can sometimes be limited. In this work package we will integrate passive and active sensing with existing gamification infrastructures to assess and unlock trade-offs to sustainable urban lifestyles, thereby improving the usability of gamification. We will survey the case study city residents and organise focus groups with city planners and businesses to co-create the decision-rules for a serious game for operationalising the trade-offs regarding sustainable urban transformations.

Strategising actions

 In this work package we focus on the coordination of the research and stakeholder engagement activities across the case study areas. In this WP we also aim at supporting internal communication, planning annual meetings, and supporting research mobility and training.

Discover our case studies