Urban Academy

The Urban Academy is a research-based urban development cooperation project between Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and the cities of Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa. The project aims to promote interaction between urban research and urban development, and to support multidisciplinary cooperation.

The Urban Academy promotes research by identifying and communicating to university researchers the current information needs of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and by encouraging researchers and students to tackle these issues. The research themes defined for the doctoral research positions in urban studies support the implementation of the urban strategies of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. Regular interactive sessions are organised between the researchers and cities. The cities are funding the doctoral researcher positions from 2018 to 2025.

The key research partners of the Urban Academy are the University of Helsinki's Urban Research Institute Urbaria and Aalto University's Living+ network. The Urban Academy also otherwise supports the research activities of Aalto University and the University of Helsinki by promoting urban cooperation in projects. Businesses and other organisations can also be involved and take the initiative in launching cooperation. 

The Urban Academy together with its partner organisations produces events that promote cooperation and interaction, such as morning coffee events open to all. 

The Urban Academy also holds science workshops on topics chosen by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. 


The Urban Academy supports the implementation of urban cooperation in the university teaching of urban studies, collects suitable topics for theses from the cities, and organises a thesis market for students in the spring.  

All those interested in urban research and development are welcome to attend the coffee mornings, open lectures, seminars and other events. 

You can also suggest a new opportunity for cooperation or an idea to improve our activities. The contact details of the Academy’s staff and partner organisations can be found on the Academy’s website. 

Find out more about the Urban Academy on its website: 

urbanacademy.fi(Link leads to external service)