Research groups and collectives

See below for research groups and collectives related to the sustainable transformation of urban environments at Tampere University. If you have a group or collective with similar interests and wish to collaborate (and be listed here), please contact Research Coordinator Alisa Vänttinen:

The Politics of Nature and the Environment

The Politics of Nature and the Environment research group PONTE aims to increase theoretical and empirical knowledge on the social essence of environmental issues and produce practical solutions to address specific environmental problems. It serves as a multidisciplinary platform to clarify the dynamics through which human relations with the environment and nonhuman nature emerge and interact on the political agenda. PONTE research is structured according to three focal and interrelated research areas: 1) Environmental policy and governance, 2) Politics of nature and 3) Urban studies.

Strategic and Innovative Organizations

Strategic and Innovative Organizations (SIO) brings together scholars from different subfields (e.g., strategy, organization studies, sociology of knowledge, entrepreneurship) and explores collaborative potential at the boundaries of these fields. Our research examines varied types of organizations (e.g., private, public, startups) and delves into topics such as strategy making, decision making processes, international business, collaboration in science, academic entrepreneurship, neo-institutional theory and historical approaches in organizational research. 


Multidisciplinary RESPMAN Research Group conducts research on the relationships between business, society and nature from different perspectives, including responsible management, firm-stakeholder interaction, corporate responsibility and sustainable development.

Insurgent Spatial Practices

Insurgent Spatial Practices gathers an interdisciplinary group of academics, activists, artists, and a diversity of urban dwellers to engage in and with insurgent spatial practices to think about and envision more political, democratic, and sustainable urban futures.

Tampere Centre for Societal Sustainability

Tampere  Centre  for  Societal  Sustainability  (TaSSu) addresses societal change and its meanings through a human-centred perspective. Our work is characterised by three thematic areas: cities, citizens, communities; wellbeing, equity, inclusion; and  politics, governance, the everyday.

JUSTSPACES – Research Network for Justice, Space and Society

Critical and qualitative research on rights, justice, and everyday democracy in urban contexts. Research topics include: rights and responsibilities to public space; socially sustainable and just cities; everyday democracy and participation; everyday urban life; urban marginalization; suburban neighbourhoods; governing and controlling urban space; urban politics and planning.

EnviWell Research Group 

Research in EnviWell group focuses on the relationship between restorative environments – whether urban or natural – and well-being and health. The group (currently 8-10 persons) consists of post docs, PhD and Master’s students working in environmental psychology, and it has several international collaborators.

Environmental Health

Infectious diseases are acknowledged as one of the most critical threats to global public health today especially in urban cities with high population density. Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) is a new epidemiology tool that has potential to act as a complementary approach for current infectious disease surveillance systems and an early warning system for disease outbreaks. The aim of the group is to further develop the WBE method for other clinically important indicators and utilize it into long-term diseases. Due to climate change and global population growth, the most critical shortages of raw materials are estimated to be clean water and fertile soil. We provide the necessary information such as microbiological and chemical composition of the recycled materials for safety use for the circular economy.

ASUTUT Sustainable Housing Design

The Sustainable Housing Design research group conducts user-centric and process-oriented research that responds to and pre-empts societal challenges in contemporary housing design in a rapidly changing world. The research group combines research and practice and merges unique areas of expertise. It embodies complimentary areas of expertise through which housing design is investigated: 1) Agile design, 2) Ecological design, and 3) Inclusive design.

Urban Planning Research Group

Based in the School of Architecture, the Urban Planning Group engages in multidisciplinary work for urban sustainability and systemic transformations. Group’s researchers study critically planning systems and practices, expressions of power in urban development, spatial justice and new forms of public urban space. Urban and planning history are important starting points. In recent years, the built environment’s impact for health and wellbeing, as well as biodiversity and rewilding of urban spaces have become important themes. The group combines data-driven quantitative methods and broad array of qualitative methods. It actively contributes to public debate in urban planning and development, providing expert services to municipalities, cities, urban regions, the Finnish Government and other stakeholders.

SPREAD – Spatial & Speculative Research in Architectural Design

The SPREAD research group explores new ways of relating practice and theory in the discipline of architecture by combining basic and applied research. The group’s research has put emphasis on healthy living environments by promoting carbon positive buildings. By means of multidisciplinary projects the group’s research aims at balancing the ecological and economic discourses of sustainability with those from the social and cultural realms to explore societally significant questions with a humanistic, qualitative approach. This is done by combining empirical data obtained through architectural research methods with those gathered by social sciences and technology disciplines to advance interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.

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