Published On: June 6, 2023

Transformative Cities writing workshop was held in the facilities of Hotel Nuuksio, in the beautiful landscape of Nuuksio national park located in Espoo, Finland in the 29th – 30th of May.  

Transformative Cities research team from the universities of Helsinki, Oulu, Eastern Finland and Aalto as well as the international scientific advisory board met to discuss the latest progress within the project and ideas for synthesis paper writing. Almost everyone in the research team and scientific advisory board were able to participate in person, which enabled us to also get to know one another better and discussions related to the topics of Transformative Cities to emerge in different groups and settings.  

The workshops led by Christopher Raymond included both developing ideas in small groups as well as shared discussions among the nearly 20 participants present. Concepts and structures for synthesis papers were drafted and the topics were elaborated from the perspectives of all work packages and the various types of expertise among the advisors and research team. Between engaging in inspiring academic discussions, we enjoyed walks in the lush forests of Nuuksio national park, Finnish sauna and swimming in the fresh water of lake Siikajärvi. 

After the two-day workshop in Nuuksio, part of the advisors and research team members continued with discussions related to specific work packages in Helsinki. Work package 1 that uses passive sensing methods to elaborate mobility was advised by Age Poom (University of Tartu) while the researchers involved in work packages 2 and 3 had a shared discussion on topics related to urban planning and active sensing methods and were advised by Samira Ramezani (University of Groningen), Jasper Schipperijn (University of Southern Denmark) and Patrick Reed (Participatory Mapping Institute) together.  

Work packages 4 and 5 advised by Timon McPhearson (The New School, New York), addressed the development of the serious game. We discussed practical steps to collaborate across these work packages as well as interlinkages between legal aspects, governance and gamification in the context of urban transformations. Two paper ideas drawing from these two work packages were drafted. 

Besides paper writing and new ideas, the three days resulted with scheduling a number of follow-up online meetings in different groupings across work packages and with scientific advisors. The workshop strengthened the foundation for cross-cutting communication in the project and the meetings in the coming weeks will continue from where we got during the workshop days.