Meet Mahtab Baghaie Poor, a visiting PhD Researcher from Technical University of Munich

We are excited to share that Mahtab Baghaie Poor, a PhD Researcher from the Technical University of Munich, is visiting us this spring to collaborate on the GREENTRAVEL project. We had a mini-interview with Mahtab to learn more about her research topic and plans for her research stay in Helsinki.

A profile photo of Mahtab Baghaie Poor











Who are you and what is your role at your home university?

I am Mahtab, a research associate at the Technical University of Munich. I’m trained as an urban planner and designer and am currently researching the interactions of urban greenery with the comfort of walking and cycling in my PhD. You can find me on LinkedIn:

Please briefly introduce your research topic.

At the Research Training Group Urban Green Infrastructure (RTG-UGI), we’re a group of researchers looking into various aspects of greenery in cities. We cover a range of topics such as health, tree mortality and growth modelling, ownership, governance, etc and I am looking at the mobility aspect of human-nature interactions. More precisely, I like to understand how urban greenery affects the everyday active mobility experience and how it contributes to a more comfortable daily trip on foot or by bike. In doing so, I have a qualitative approach as the topic requires. I use User Experience capturing methods to go inside people’s heads while walking or cycling and track the live experiences of Munich’s and Helsinki’s residents and the reasons behind their feelings of comfort or discomfort.

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GREENTRAVEL project well represented at the People and Planet Conference in Lahti

After kicking off the GREENTRAVEL project (“Greener Urban Travel Environments for Everyone: From Measured Wellbeing Impacts to Big Data Analytics”) in 2023, the project team is in full speed with advancing various project activities and working towards attaining first project results. Some of these will be presented at the People and Planet – from Theory to Solutions Conference, which takes place on 13–15 February 2024 in Lahti, Finland. The GREENTRAVEL project team will participate at the conference in various ways.

🟡 Doctoral Researcher Robert Klein will be giving an oral presentation in the session “Transformation towards healthy and sustainable mobility” on Wed Feb 14, 13:00. In his study “Capturing seasonality in urban travel environment greenery throughout Europe”, he demonstrates how accounting for seasonal variation can influence which cities can be deemed more green or less green.

🟡 Technical expert Roope Heinonen will be presenting a poster on his recent advancements with the Green Paths 2.0 tool, which helps users to find healthier routes and displays environmental exposure along the way. The new version focuses on making the tool more widely applicable in different cities and for new kinds of exposure. The poster presentation takes place on Wed Feb 14, 14:20-15:20, and posters will be visible throughout the whole conference. See the poster below!

🟡 Postdoctoral Researcher Silviya Korpilo will be hosting a discussion session in a world café setting on Wed Feb 14, 16:30-17:15. There, all interested conference attendees can join in to get familiar with and discuss about ongoing research in the newly established Finnish Nature and Health Research Network (LuontoTerVe).

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GREENTRAVEL project in full swing!

We are having exciting times at the Digital Geography Lab! 2023 marks the start of the European Research Council -funded project “Greener Urban Travel Environments for Everyone: From measured wellbeing impacts to Big Data analytics” (GREENTRAVEL) – the biggest and longest research project of the lab to date. After months of planning and recruitments, we are happy to announce that the GREENTRAVEL project team is complete, and the project is running at full speed.

The transdisciplinary GREENTRAVEL project runs until 2027 and has a budget of 1.98 million euros. The project focuses on studying the greenery of urban travel environments from various perspectives. More specifically, the project has set out to produce a novel understanding of the quality, availability and wellbeing impacts of green urban travel environments. Moreover, it will produce knowledge on how equally green exposure during travel and related wellbeing impacts are available to urban populations. Ultimately, the project will provide approaches and analysis on where to add greenery to advance equity. The project is led by professor Tuuli Toivonen.

The GREENTRAVEL project team. Photo by Christoph Fink.

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New Travel Time Matrix 2023 and GREENTRAVEL project

Digital Geography Lab presented a new travel time matrix 2023 and a new big project GREENTRAVEL in a seminar held in Think Corner.

Helsinki region travel time matrix was published now for the fourth time. The matrix is an interactive open access dataset that allows investigation of travel times for different travel modes in Helsinki region. Professor Tuuli Toivonen gave an insight to the history of the matrix which was first published already ten years ago in 2013.

Since the first matrix was computed, the technology has improved and enabled the use of new methods. Christoph Fink explained how the new matrix was calculated and showed how it works.  Current accessibility prospects and changes in the regional structures of accessibility in Helsinki region were described by Elias Willberg. We also had two guest speekers, Miikka Haimila and Iiris Karvinen, from the city of Helsinki. Haimila reflected the importance of matrix for the city and its open data activities. Karvinen took the angle of a planner and demonstrated how the matrix has been serving the planning needs of the city.

In the end Tuuli Toivonen presented our new big project GREENTRAVEL which aims to explore the availability and quality of green urban travel environments and their impacts on wellbeing through the prism of urban informatics. We continued the discussions right after the seminar in a GREENTRAVEL workshop where we focused on the role of greenery in urban travel environments and how greenery can be better incorporated in current green infrastructure and travel and mobility planning.

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