Public event

Pandemic city seminar

Registration deadline:
Urban scenery with people wearing face masks.
What is the safe and sustainable future of cities under pandemics? Tampere University's new profiling area Sustainable Transformation of Urban Environments (STUE) invites researchers and stakeholders to participate in an online seminar to discuss the future of cities and how we need to respond to pandemics. PANDEMIC CITY seminar offers two keynotes, four short inspirational talks and a possibility to discuss the diverse aspects of a pandemic in a multidisciplinary milieu.

The COVID pandemic has made us question our current urban sustainability. The issues revolve around safety, the monitoring and combating the pandemic microbes, the density of our urban fabric, the quality of public space, the usability of public transport, the habitability of housing and its relationship with economic, ethnic and gender inequalities, especially in vulnerable neighbourhoods. The pandemic has contested the sustainability of current communities, populations, nations and the environment.


Prof. Colin McFarlane, Dept. of Geography, Durham University, UK  
The crowd and Covid-19: spectacle, politics and value in the UK 

Deputy Chief Physician Reetta Huttunen, TAYS infectious diseases unit
COVID-19 pandemic in Finland and the Pirkanmaa Hospital District 


Short (15min) inspirational talks 

  •  Prof. Jouni Häkli (pandemic and new forms of mobility control) 
  • Prof. Panu Lehtovuori (urban planning after pandemic) 

  • Associate prof. Tarja Pitkänen (monitoring pathogens from wastewater) 

  • Prof. Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (preparing for environmental and other wicked crises in cities)  

Register here by Monday 20.9.2021 



10:00 opening words, Helena Leino & Sami Oikarinen 

10:10-10:40 Deputy chief Physician, dr. Reetta Huttunen (COVID-19 pandemic in Finland and the Pirkanmaa Hospital District) 

10:40-10:50 questions and comments for Reetta Huttunen 

10:50-11:00 Short Break 

11:00-11:15 prof. Jouni Häkli (pandemic and new forms of mobility control) 

11:15-11:30 dr Georgiana Varna (urban planning after pandemic) 

11:30-11:45 questions and comments for Häkli and Varna

11:50-12:05 associate prof. Tarja Pitkänen (monitoring pathogens from wastewater) 

12:05-12:20 prof. Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (preparing for environmental and other wicked crises in cities) 

12:20-12:35 questions and comments for Pitkänen and Lehtonen 

12:35-13:30 Lunch Break 

13:30-14:30 prof. Colin McFarlane, Dept. of Geography, Durham University The crowd and Covid-19: spectacle, politics and value in the UK 

14:30-14:50 questions and comments for McFarlane 

14.50-15.00 closing words, Helena Leino & Sami Oikarinen

Colin McFarlane, abstract for the keynote: The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a public debate on density and crowds in the city. While some initially blamed density for the spread of the virus, others cautioned against those claims. As the pandemic progressed, an imaginary of density-as-pathology gave way to a more nuanced geographical understanding of the urban dimensions of the crisis, focussed on connections, spatial conditions, domestic ‘overcrowding,’ and poverty, as well as concerns around different kinds of crowding. In this presentation, I reflect on the politics of density, and the crowd in particular, in the context of UK cities, and consider some of the possible longer-term consequences.


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Research coordinator Alisa Vänttinen,