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Juho Rajaniemi

Professor, Urban Planning and Design

About me

I work at Tampere University Faculty of Built Environment / School of Architecture as professor of urban planning and design. I am a sub-project leader in two multidisciplinary research projects funded by Research Council of Finland / Strategic Research Council: BIWE (Biodiversity interventions for well-being,, which restores microbiological diversity to urban areas and investigates the effects of the changes made on ecological and human well-being, and MUST (Enabling multispecies transitions of cities and regions,, which scrutinizes new strategies for changing nature-based solutions to support biodiversity in cities and regions. I have also focused on city growth in general and Finland's zoning system especially, as well as utopian thinking in urban planning. In addition, I participate in the activities of the interdisciplinary communities Tampere Urban Research Network for Sustainability (TURNS) and Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS). In my planning career, I have drawn up more than 70 urban plans and more than 50 building plans.


I am Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the School of Architecture / Faculty of Built Environment.

Fields of expertise

Urban planning and design, city planning, architecture.

Top achievements

Siikaluoto, Pietarsaari: Transforming Industrial Area to a Living Part of the City Centre, common architectural idea competition, purchase (together with architects Tapio Kangasaho and Jon Thureson) 2015 (31 entries)

Sibbesborg: International Competition for Sustainable Community Development, 3rd prize (together with architect Jouko Kunnas) 2012 (30 entries)

Henna Masterplan, Orimattila, 2011, an ecological city for 14 000 inhabitants (together with architect Jouko Kunnas)

The Innovative Town Concept for the Future, international idea competition, shared 1st prize (together with architect Jouko Kunnas) 2010 (72 entries)

Main positions of trust

Tampere Urban Research Network for Sustainability (TURNS), Founder member 2019-, Steering group member 2024-

Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS), Board member 2015-2019, Board Vice Member 2020-2022

Research topics

Finnish planning system, multispecies and biodiversity approaches in urban planning, healthy city, city growth and decline, urban utopias.

Research unit

Urban Planning Research Group


Urban planning and design research, city planning research, architectural research.

Selected publications

Rajaniemi J. (2023). Interdisciplinary urban planning courses: Learning about contexts and wicked problems. Cudoba C. & Griffiths G. (eds.) Curious pedagogy. Reflections on urban planning education. DATUTOP 41, Tampere University, 21-40.

Rajaniemi J. & Koponen O-P. (2023). Prince Charles' A Vision of Britain as Populist Retropia. Kelly M.G. & Paz M. (eds.) Utopia, Equity and Ideology in Urban Texts. Fair and Unfair Cities. Palgrave Macmillan, 113-132.

Ameel L., Bar-Itzhak C., Finch J., García P., Laine S., Lanigan L., Lappela A., Rajaniemi J. & Salmela M. (2023). Teaching Literary Urban Studies. Ameel, L (ed.). The Routledge Companion to Literary Urban Studies. Routledge, 11–25.

Nurminen N., Cerrone D., Lehtonen J., Parajuli A., Roslund M., Lönnrot M., Ilonen J., Toppari J., Veijola R., Knip M., Rajaniemi J., Laitinen O., Sinkkonen A. & Hyöty H. (2021) Land Cover of Early Life Environment Modulates the Risk of Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care.

Taylor J., Jokela S., Laine M., Rajaniemi J., Jokinen P., Häikiö L., Lönnqvist A. (2021) Learning and Teaching Interdisciplinary Skills in Sustainable Urban Development—The Case of Tampere University, Finland. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1180.

Roslund M., Puhakka R., Grönroos M., Nurminen N., Oikarinen S., Siter N., Vari H., Laitinen O., Rajaniemi J., Hyöty H., Sinkkonen A. (2020). Biodiversity intervention improves immune regulation and commensal microbiota among daycare children. Science Advances.

Corredor-Ochoa, Á., Antuña-Rozado, C., Fariña-Tojo, J. & Rajaniemi, J. (2020). Challenges in assessing urban sustainability. Verma P, Singh P, Singh R & Singh Raghubanshi A (eds.). Urban Ecology: Emerging Patterns and Social-Ecological Systems. Elsevier, 355-374.

Parajuli, A., Hui, N., Puhakka, R., Oikarinen, S., Grönroos, M., Selonen, VAO, Siter, N., … Rajaniemi, J., Hyöty, H. & Sinkkonen, A. (2020). Yard vegetation is associated with gut microbiota composition. Science of the Total Environment, Volume 713, 136707. 

Rantanen, A., & Rajaniemi, J. (2019). Urban Planning in the Post-Zoning Era: From Hierarchy to Self-Organization in the Reform of the Finnish Land Use and Building Act. Environment & Planning B: Planning and Design.

Puhakka, R., Rantala, O., Roslund, M. I., Rajaniemi, J., Laitinen, O., Sinkkonen, A., & ADELE Research Group (2019). Greening of Daycare Yards with Biodiverse Materials Affords Well-Being, Play and Environmental Relationships. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(16), [2948].

Rajaniemi, J., & Chudoba, M. (Toimittajat) (2018). Re-City. (Im)possible cities. (DATUTOP). Tampere University of Technology, School of Architecture.

Rajaniemi, J., Häkli, J., Rauhala, K., & Sumkin, H. (2018). Urbanisoituva yliopistokampus informaalin oppimisen mahdollistajana. Aikuiskasvatus, 2018(1), 18-29. 

Jama, T., Lehtovuori, P., Rajaniemi, J., Siikonen, M., Mäntynen, J., Rantanen, A., ... Saarniaho, K. (2018). Ideoita kaavoituksen sisällön uudistamiseen: Kaavojen merkintöjen ja määräysten kehittäminen (KAMMI-hanke). Helsinki: Ympäristöministeriö.

Rajaniemi, J. (2018). Epätoivon kaupungit ja perirealistinen dystopia. Futura, 36(4), 19-27. 

Rajaniemi, J. (Toimittaja) (2016). Re-city. Future city - combining disciplines. (DATUTOP; Vuosikerta 34). Tampere: Tampere University of Technology, School of Architecture.

Rajaniemi, J. (2006). Kasvun kaavoitus. Tapaus Raahe 1961-1996. Kankaanpää: Messon Oy.