Urban Lunch Hour

Photo of a seagull catching a piece of bread

Urban Lunch Hour has gone online since autumn 2020! 

Welcome to the URBAN LUNCH HOUR!

Urban Lunch Hour is a meeting of urban researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds. During each session, researchers will get to hear one or two presentations about current urban research from organizing institutions. Presentations and the discussions are mostly held in English. During the presentation, there will be time and possibility for questions and discussion about the impact of research results to the city and society development on a wider scale.

By Urban Lunch Hour, our goal is to gather urban researchers of Helsinki Urban Region together to network and share their expertise and ideas. By these lunch hours, our aim is to increase the fruitful communication between researchers and strengthen peer support among researchers within urban themes and different methods.

Past Urban Lunch Hour seminars

The event is or­gan­ized by:

Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria), Urban Research and Statistics Unit (City of Helsinki) , Association of Finnish Municipalities and  Aalto Living+ platform (Aalto University).

Spring 2021 programme

16.2. Multicultural Helsinki metropolitan area (from 12.00 to 13.30)

Please, find the link to the seminar stream here.

Senior Researcher Pasi Saukkonen (City of Helsinki): Migrants and their children at risk of marginalisation in the Helsinki metropolitan area

The integration of children with immigrant background has often been mentioned as an important yardstick of host countries’ success in integration. Some of them are foreign-born themselves; others are born in the country they live in. Many of them succeed in life but international experience also tells us that they commonly face difficulties and obstacles more often than their native-background peers do. In the Helsinki region, the share of children with a foreign background is rising rapidly, and several of them are coming of age every year. From various sources we can reach the conclusion that despite of much positive development there are also worrying signs that should receive due attention.

Docent at University of Helsinki & Senior Researcher at Migration Institute of Finland Marja Tiilikainen: Raising children of Somali descent in Toronto and Helsinki

Based on ethnographic interviews with Somali families in Toronto and Helsinki, I will discuss some differences and similarities with regard to experiences of everyday (in)security and wellbeing in the two cities. In particular, three dimensions of security and wellbeing will be addressed: material and physical dimension (e.g. neighbourhood security); relational dimension (e.g. family and community networks, interactions with institutions); and ethical dimension (e.g. racialization).

16.3. Social relations in the digital urban (from 12.00 to 13.30)

Please, find the link to the seminar stream here.

Professor of Sociology Ilkka Arminen (University of Helsinki): Digitalization of social relations

In the presentation will be discussed of ubiquitous digital connectivity in which everyone is (potentially) connected to everyone and to an infinite amount of digital content, everywhere and all the time. Discussion will be largely based on reading Rogers Brubaker’s article “Digital Hyperconnectivity and the Self” (2020). The question of the implications of digital hyperconnectivity is salient. According to Brubaker digitalization seems to impact on the inner and outer directness of the self. We may have fallen under more subtle forms of indoctrination.

Researcher Jukka Hirvonen (City of Helsinki): Digital exclusion

More and more services are moving to online. At its best, technological development is streamlining everyday life, improving the forms of new services and improving the accessibility of services. Yet, deploying new electronic services is not as easy or possible for everyone. Some people may be left out of the digitalisation trend, which the term digital exclusion or the digital divide highlight. On the basis of Statistics Finland's data, Hirvonen will be examining which factors increase the risk of digital exclusion in Helsinki and in Finland as a whole. (The presentation will be held in Finnish but the lecture material are available in English.)

13.4. Municipal elections and the mayoral model of the city of Helsinki (from 12.00 to 13.30)

Please, find the link to the seminar stream here.

Postdoctoral researcher Markku Harrinvirta (University of Helsinki): Building urban democracy: Management reform of the City of Helsinki

The City of Helsinki reformed its leadership system in 2017 to strengthen the city's democratic governance, improve it's overall governance, and increase the involvement of citizens. At the core of the reform were the mayor model ("pormestarimalli"), the industry  model ("toimialamalli"), the reform of the council work and increasing the involvement of citizens. The reform has been evaluated since 2019 and the results are largely now in place. How has democratic leadership progressed, to what extent and where are there places for improvement? How does the Helsinki model respond to the challenges of the changing environment in general?

Commentator: University researcher Emilia Palonen (University of Helsinki).

18.5. Urban Lunch Hour hosted by the Association of Finnish Municipalities Kuntaliitto (from 12.00 to 13.30)

For more information, please contact:

University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria)
Iiris Koivulehto, Coordinator in Communications and Society Relations
+358(0)40 564 9886, iiris.koivulehto@helsinki.fi

City of Helsinki, Urban Research and Statistics
Heidi Taskinen, Special Advisor
+358 (0)9 310 36297, heidi.taskinen@hel.fi