Perceived urban greenery in high-rise suburbs in Finland : A case study in Helsinki

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning
Suburb as a topic is very relevant nowadays in Finland. Most of the buildings in Finnish suburbs are built during the 1960s and 1970s, and they need maintenance and improvement of the community environment. Infill development is currently recommended as a suburban regeneration approach in Finland. A dense concentration of high-rise buildings is becoming a new suburban scene. The densification makes suburbs gradually change from sparse to compact. Due to the infill planning, urban space with greenery faces a big challenge. Most of the research on urban green spaces is related to socio-demographic research and questionnaires about residents’ preferences in the Finnish context. There is little discussion on the configuration of urban space with greenery, especially in suburbs. This thesis aims to research the social relationship between users and urban space with greenery. Additionally, this thesis discusses the relationship between users and greenery, the relationship between urban space and greenery, and how to integrate each other. Space syntax is an analysis tool that is used to model human spatial behaviour in this study. Integration and choice analysis simulated how people used the street in the community. Isovist analysis analysed the field of view during the pedestrian’s movement. In cooperation with space typology analysis, this study presents a clear image of urban green space’s features in the 3D dimension. This study found that infill planning affected pedestrians’ green experience in residential areas. The new densified construction ignored the role of the community yard and the impact of the building layout on urban space with greenery. In future suburban planning, urban spaces with greenery should be functional, and accessible to residents. Urban design should consider the communal and privacy aspects of urban space. Community yard plays important role in pedestrians’ green experience in the community.
Joutsiniemi, Anssi
Thesis advisor
Cerpnjak, Tina
suburb in Finland, urban space with greenery, the configuration of urban space, space syntax, integration and choice analysis, isovist analysis
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