Finland projects

Ecology of war project

This project gathered togehter multidisciplinary group of researchers and scientist to study direct and indirect impacts of war on nature and environment.

Urban water history project

Between 1993 and 1998, the History of Water in Finnish Cities project supported by the principal academic funding organisation in Finland, the Academy of Finland, and several municipal water and waste water authorities, investigated the water protection policies of eight Finnish cities. The societal history of wastewater purification plants in cities has not been previously studied in comparative perspective anywhere. Our project can be felt to be of even international significance in developing a new area.

We found out that at least in Finland water pollution control did not begin as late as the 1960s; the first biological wastewater treatment plants were already built in 1910. Many cities built large activated sludge plants in the 1930s. Water protection expanded next in the 1950s, when municipal wastewater purification plants were also constructed in countryside. Before the 1962 Water Act, approximately 25% of all wastewater from the population served by sewers were purified. Although this is a relatively low figure from contemporary point of view, we must remember than even remotely comparable figures had not been achieved in any other sector of environmental protection.

Why then were some cities forerunners while others lagged behind? The eight case studies reveal the following features in common among the forerunners: water pollution, natural conditions, industrial emissions, almost simultaneous construction of networks, and the support of the authorities for projects.