Urban Aesthetics in Motion:
Bridging the Gap Between Philosophical Aesthetics and Urban Mobility Futures (UrAMo).

Consortium leader: Arto Haapala, University of Helsinki
Sub-project leader: Milos Mladenovic, Aalto University

This consortium brings together philosophical aesthetics, planning theorists in mobility studies, and urban planners. The nature of this collaboration, the extended expertise, contributes significantly to a new understanding of urban aesthetics and mobility. This will be the added value of the consortium. The central aim is to analyze the most salient meanings of the “aesthetic” and to develop conceptual tools for an improved understanding of the relevance and role of aesthetic values in the everyday lives of urban citizens as well as in planning processes, especially in relation to mobility possibilities. Contrary to standard engineering perspectives, a central premise for this project is that human mobility should not be considered only under the assumption that the major aim for planners is to minimize travel time. In collaboration with planning theorists and city planners, UrAMo will also develop research methodologies for applied aesthetics, strengthening the field of aesthetics of mobility as a sub-field of everyday aesthetics.

As part of the research methodology, UrAMo collaborates closely with the city of Lahti. Researchers of the project will contribute to the planning of the city. Lahti city planning officials are deeply involved in UrAMo, not solely by providing data for the project researchers but also actively contributing to the research activities. Thus, UrAMo is an example of participatory research.

UrAMo uses both philosophical analysis and empirical methods to explore the experiential character of urban mobility. Theoretical analysis will provide tools for questionnaires by which the project members engage ordinary people’s aesthetic experiences. The conceptual tools developed in UrAMo have a wide applicability in urban studies, and the materials collected in Lahti will serve the planning of the city into the 2030’s. In this sense, in addition to scientific advancements in concepts and methods, this applied philosophy project will provide a benchmark for urban planning processes in Finland and abroad.

Previous Event:

Towards these ends, we have organized the XIIth IIAA International Summer Conference on Environmental Aesthetics, taking place May 31st – June 1st in Finland. The conference program can be viewed and downloaded here.

REGISTRATION: Attending the conference without giving a paper is free, but we kindly ask everyone to register by sending an email either to Raine Vasquez (raine.vasquez(at)gmail.com) or Arto Haapala (arto.haapala(at)helsinki.fi).

REKISTERÖITYMINEN: Osallistuminen ilman esitelmän pitämistä on maksutonta, mutta pyydämme ystävällisesti kaikkia rekisteröitymään lähettämällä sähköpostiviestin joko Arto Haapalalle (arto.haapala(at)helsinki.fi) tai Raine Vasquezille (raine.vasquez(at)gmail.com).