Copenhagen, Unsplashed by Tim Trad.

What is happening with NORDGREEN?

Here you can find the latest news from the NORDGREEN project.

Launch of new handbook- How can we plan, design, and manage healthy and green Nordic cities?

On 26 January we welcome you to the launch of a new handbook that is the culmination of the NORDGREEN project.

In this launch event, you will gain tips from researchers about using various methods, models, and guidelines for delivering health-promoting green space, as well as inspiration on some success stories emerging from the Nordic Region. 

Sign up here:

CITY TALKS 3 Webinar- How can green space improve health? Stavanger explores new design methods

On 22 September, 2023 we hosted the final event in a series of three webinars showcasing the results from the NORDGREEN project. This event featured panelists from the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences and Stavangar municipality who spoke about their use of evidence-based models for green space design.

Watch webinar here:

NORDGREEN Project meets in Stockholm and Täby, 4-5 May

NORDGREEN partners meet in Stockholm for a workshop around the practitioners handbook that will be released later this autumn. The group also had the opportunity to take part in a seminar and discussion about green and healthy cities in the Swedish Parliament with parliamentarians Per-Arne Håkansson and John Riise. On the second day the group also went on a study visit to partner city Täby where colleagues in the city's planning department gave presentations and a tour of the many development projects involving green space and the city's green plan.

CITY TALKS 2 Webinar- How to use and connect green space and health indicators in city planning

On 28 April, 2023 we hosted the second in a series of three webinars showcasing the results from the NORDGREEN project. This event featured panelists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences and Täby municipality who spoke about the use of green space and health indicators for planning purposes.

Watch webinar here:

CITY TALKS Webinar- Engaging youth in planning – Espoo broke all records with an online tool

On 10 February, 2023 we hosted the first in a series of three webinars showcasing the results from the NORDGREEN project. This event featured panelists from Aalto University and the city of Espoo who spoke about how you can engage youth in city planning.

Watch webinar here:

NORDGREEN featured on Nordregio blog

The connection between spending time in green urban areas and well-being, especially in light of the pandemic, can perhaps be taken for granted. Yet, NORDGREEN, is uncovering the ways in which the provisions of green spaces across Nordic cities work or have the potential to improve.

Read blog here:

NORDGREEN featured on NordForsk website

Green public spaces such as parks, cemeteries and forests are important resources for improving physical health and well-being, and preventing disease. That’s also what preliminary results from a Nordic research project show.

Read more here:

Espoo, Täby, Stavanger and Vilhelmina share experiences on green urban planning.

- 10 February, Engaging youth in planning – Espoo broke all records with an online tool
- 28 April, Overcoming departmental silos: How to connect green spaces and health indicators in city planning
- 22 September,  How can green spaces improve health? Stavanger explores new design methods

Read more and register here:

NORDGREEN project as a keynote at Nordregio Forum 2022

NORDGREEN project joined the main stage at the Nordregio Forum 2022 day 2 for a session about planning healthy and green Nordic cities. Luciane Aguiar Borges, Senior Research Fellow and project manager at Nordregio & Johanna Palomäki, Former Espoo city representative in the NORDGREEN project, currently City Architect in Lahti and Else Dybkjær, Landscape Architect in Stavanger discussed participatory processes in green space planning and evidence-based methodology in city development projects. Please check the recordings here:

NORDGREEN project meets in Hamar, Norway in November 2022

NORDGREEN project partners met in Hamar, Norway this week to finalise plans for the final year. Next year NORDGREEN project will publish a handbook for practitioners on green space planning and integrating health and wellbeing into city planning - It will showcase city development projects from Vilhelmina, Täby, Ii, Stavanger and Espoo! NORDGREEN also joined the NordForsk midterm event.

Local media story about NORDGREEN in Fredrikstad

Nordgreen researcher Emma Nordbø talked about the local development process in the city of Fredrikstad, a medium-sized city near the NMBU university campus. She stressed the importance of green space for public health, pointing to the fact that only three out of ten adults in Norway are sufficiently active in their daily lives.  One of the most important factors to leverage physical activity, therefore, is through ensuring neighbourhood environments that encourage people to spend time outdoors. In short, green spaces are part of improved public health for people across all age groups. The article is found here (behind a paywall):

Super November 2022: NORDGREEN in several events

1 November, Emma Charlott A. Nordbø from NORDGREEN project participated Active living urban spaces breakfast seminar organized by Fredrikstad municipality with a presentation on promoting neighbourhoods and urban spaces for good public health, which also led to a news article in the local newspaper (see above). On 7 November she joined the yearly Environment and Health seminar organized by the Norwegian Directorate of Health with a presentation The importance of nature and nearby green space for physical activity and nature experiences. And on the 30th of November Nordbø presented Why are nearby nature important for public health at an event organized by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

NEWS: Stavanger invests in green parks to improve people’s health

In Norway, the city of Stavanger is on a mission to improve its citizens’ health and quality of life with new green spaces. The most ambitious plan revolves around a new park on the Stavanger seafront but the workplan also includes the redesign of a public park and schoolyard. Read more here

25 October: NORDGREEN researcher Anna Sunding from SLU will have a midterm PhD seminar

The topic is Health-promoting urban planning & evidence-based design process.

5-6 May 2022, NORDGREEN had a partner meeting in Stavanger

After a busy spring with mid-term reporting, it was finally nice to gather again to hear about the activities and research outputs that have taken place since the group last convened in Espoo. One of the highlights this time was experiencing charming Stavanger in bloom. We were lucky to have a great tour given by our colleagues in the city's planning department, showing all the development projects they have been working on to develop public green spaces and community programmes for improved health and well-being. NORDGREEN is now halfway through its duration, and moving forward, we're excited to embark on the development of NORDGREEN's Handbook.

NORDGREEN NEWS, December 2021

NORDGREEN project is halfway. All the work packages are advancing and interesting results from the citizen surveys are popping up! We can't wait to share more, but currently these results are still being analyzed in most cities. Read the newsmail here.

Changes in project management

Project manager Ryan Weber moves on to future endeavours and we warmly welcome Luciane Aguiar Borges, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. Nordregio team will organize a good handover and she will take over from the beginning of 2022.

MEETING IN ESPOO - How did Espoo work with its citizen to get a groundbreaking number of participants to the MyEspoo survey?

After nearly two years of Covid kick-offs and teams project meetings, it was great to finally gather the whole research group with city partners in Helsinki & Espoo. During the meeting, the city and research partners discussed the relationships between green space access and health and well-being, citizen participation in planning processes and green space development. A relevant aspect of the project is to understand the governing processes that steer integrated efforts toward health-promoting green spaces in Nordic cities and municipalities. My Espoo project has integrated participatory planning into schools by providing educational material and working together with the teachers to introduce the planning process as part of schools' curriculum. This way the project was able to collect a significant amount of development targets for green space planning from its citizen, and especially from the vulnerable groups whose voices are not often heard. Espoo also has advanced ideas about how to make the most of the data in the future as well. Read more here.

Nordregio Magazine October #4 2021: Smart and Green Cities - how do we get there?

The articles of the newest issue of Nordregio Magazine discuss how the participation of citizens can improve cities, how smart planning can improve the health of the residents and what are the sounds of a green city! This issue of Nordregio Magazine focuses on the work of NORDGREEN and SMARTer Greener Cities projects, both funded by NordForsk. Read the issue here

NORDGREEN NEWS, September 2021

Project updates from NORDGREEN: NORDGREEN is advancing in many fronts - Research is moving along and Stavanger is getting ready to send out the final city partner PPGIS questionnaire to its citizens. A small group of NMBU students are involved with the PPGIS work in Stavanger this semester as a part of a university course. Read the newsmail here.


What is the state's role in preserving National urban parks? State authorities can and should support urban green infrastructure. A newsmail about the Research article (below). Read the newsmail here.

Research article: The role of the state in preserving urban green infrastructure - National Urban Parks in Finland and Sweden

A new article is out! The National Urban Park (NUP) is a planning instrument used by the state to preserve cities' green infrastructure. NUP has turned out to be an efficient tool, but a lot depends on the implementation process. Read more here.

4 June 2021, EU Green Week webinar

NORDGREEN partnered up with SMARTer project and hosted an event in the EU Green Week for about 100 signups. The event touched upon human wellbeing and access to green spaces and how they are co-created and integrated into city planning, how investment in and by cities can jointly support multiple urban objectives to be liveable, equitable, resilient and contribute positively to regional and global sustainability.

7 April 2021, The city survey in Vilhelmina is ongoing

NORDGREEN is currently asking the citizens of Vilhelmina and Vojmådalen area to contribute to development priorities through a survey. More here on Vilhelmina's website.. The citizen can give inputs to the project through a mapping tool.

23 March 2021, Interview at the Hufvudstabladet, Finland

Nordregio's former director and current advisor at the NORGREEN project gave an interview about city planning and green spaces in the biggest Swedish media in Finland. – I Stockholm, Helsingfors och Köpenhamn så finns det egentligen inget förnuftigt argument för att släppa in privatbilar i de centrala delarna.Den brandfacklan slänger Kjell Nilsson, tidigare direktör för Nordregio, in inför Nordens dag som firas i dag. Read the article here.

NORDGREEN News, March 2021

How are health and well-being integrated into city planning?
"We have a unique opportunity to understand how greenspace accessibility and design are linked to our health and well-being, and how to integrate this knowledge into municipal planning processes", explains Ryan Weber, the leader of the new NORDGREEN project (Smart Planning for Healthy and Green Nordic Cities). The project will create new knowledge and tools to make planning processes more integrated within municipal planning structures together with 5 partner cities: Täby, Stavanger, Espoo, Ii and Vilhelmina.

Professor Marketta Kyttä: "The collaboration with the city of Espoo in the PPGIS data collection has been exceptionally fruitful and devoted. I am looking forward to the analysis of the survey results and the collaboration with our multidisciplinary, Nordic network. Together we have already identified ten different topics that we can familiarize ourselves with - there are probably still more fascinating topics to come!."

Read the news here.

24 February 2021, Espoo breaking records: over 6000 citizen replies when mapping development with MyESpoo survey

The MyESpoo survey resulted in one of the largest, if not the largest, PPGIS data sets ever gathered in Finland, with over 6000 respondents and 70 000 mappings. The survey results shed light on peoples' everyday place networks, public places that are important to them, possible new places for housing and development, and their perceived health and well-being. The results will provide key information for researchers in the NORDGREEN project, where citizen well-being will be closely integrated into Espoo's city planning processes. The survey was conducted by researchers from Aalto University, in collaboration with planners at the City of Espoo. The survey was distributed as both an open survey and an invite-based survey with random sampling, and it was also aimed at youth and was completed by students in schools throughout Espoo. The survey results will also be used in Espoo planning projects and as a starting point for the new master plan process for Espoo. Read more from the: city website (link).

24 September 2020, Kick-off for the partners

At the official kick-off, the NORDGREEN partners found joint ambitions for the project and created practical tools, like a timeline for each of the city partner and Research work package to contribute to the project in a most fruitful way. The project is kicking off with speed and some cities together with NORDGREEN research partners are already conducting surveys. NORDGREEN brochure is now available here to get an overview.

4-5 March 2020, Kick Off by NordForsk

On March 4th and 5th NORDGREEN participated in the NordForsk Kick-off for the Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities Programme – where our project is one of four that have been funded. Nordregio and each of the research partners participated in the meeting, as well as Stavanger Municipality representing our city-stakeholders.

12 February 2020, NordGreen research partners meet for the first time

NORDGREEN research partners from Aalto University, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Nordregio met in Stockholm and planned the work packages.