Research Projects

The Urban Physics Research Group is involved in a number of different projects. Ongoing projects are described below.

Sustainable Urban Development

The Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) provides students with multidisciplinary skills and expertise related to urban development and sustainability. The Urban Physics Group leads on the teaching of the technology stream of the SUD programme.

RESCUE

The Real Estate and Sustainable Crisis Management in Urban Environments (RESCUE) is project funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Aalto University, with partners from the University of Turku and Tampere University. The project studies the role of real estate in crisis management and preparedness as a way to manage crises.

SEASON

A warming climate means that hot weather and heatwaves will increase in the future, and residents in affordable housing may be at increased risk due to the characteristics of their homes, less financial resources to adapt their homes, and higher rates of pre-existing health conditions. The SEASON project collaborates with VTS-Kodit and Pihla Oy to understand how different window and shading designs can reduce overheating risks in an affordable housing apartment in Tampere, Finland using a socio-technological approach

HEROIC

Cities can become ‘urban heat islands’, with higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. This is a global public health problem, particularly during heat waves, leading to reduced productivity and higher morbidity and mortality, disproportionately affecting disadvantaged communities. The Health and Economic Impacts of Reducing Overheating in Cities (HEROIC) project, led by University College London in partnership with LSHTM, Exeter University, and Tampere University, aims to assess the health and economic impacts of urban scale interventions to reduce overheating in a range of cities in different climate zones and in different socio-economic settings.

PICNIC

Respiratory Tract Infections are the most common reason for the hospitalisation of young children in the UK. The Air Pollution, housing and respiratory tract Infections in Children: National Birth Cohort Study (PICNIC) is led by University College London and in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the City University of London. It uses health databases and environmental and population data to understand whether outdoor air pollution and poor housing conditions during pregnancy or early childhood increase the risk of respiratory tract infections

ADAPT

The ADAPT project, in collaboration with University College London, aims to model the impact on ventilation rates and thermal comfort of pragmatic adaptations to the structure of primary healthcare clinics in South Africa, to inform interventions to reduce Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in healthcare workers.

T-Winning Spaces 2035

There is an urgent need to maximise the potential that digital remote working can provide to reach Finland’s carbon-neutrality goal by 2035. Funded by the Academy of Finland and in collaboration with Aalto University and the University of Turku, this study aims to increase understanding about the environmental and social impacts and challenges of digital remote work, and provide winning spatial solutions and strategy, policy and management recommendations for different types of organizations and individuals to empower them to support the double twin transition of digital/green and virtual/physical.