Turku Urban Research Programme

The Turku Urban Research Programme is a research collaboration and knowledge-brokerage initiative between the City of Turku, the University of Turku, and Åbo Akademi University, also involving co-operation with other universities and research institutes. The municipality aims to gain insights and policy advice, while universities benefit from the regional engagement and strengthening of urban scholarship, including the challenge to develop projects with both academic and practical relevance.

Within the programme, the municipality provides research funding on topics with strategic relevance. The research programme focuses on urban development and urban governance topics, ranging thematically from economic development to social policy, and from urban planning to democratic innovations. Research projects are designed to meet the interests of both the municipality and the universities.

Steering the programme as well as the individual research projects involves active, systematic collaboration. The project steering groups discuss the implications of the results. While the researchers are expected to publish in peer-reviewed academic outlets, the programme supports the dissemination of the results to practitioner audiences with its own online publications – Research Briefings (Tutkimuskatsauksia) and Research Reports (Tutkimusraportteja) – as well as podcasts (Kaupungin ääniä) and events.

Through the Turku Urban Research Programme, the City of Turku has been involved in and funded – either fully or partially – more than 100 research projects since 2010.

The programme document (available in Finnish only) explains how the research themes broadly follow Turku’s strategy. The urban research programme focuses on social and spatial change in cities, and the options for a municipality, either alone or together with other actors, to influence the course of development. The empirical research does not have to concern Turku if the applicability of the results for developing the city is otherwise justified. The programme supports multi-disciplinary research.

Turku Urban Research Programme 2019–2023 (In Finnish)