Editorial: Regional development requires participation and utilisation of the diversity of regions and regional developers
Jouni Koski, Ph.D., President, Managing Director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
If the decision to construct a network of universities across the whole country was a significant one for regional development, then so also was the decision made over a quarter of a century ago to strengthen the higher education sector through universities of applied sciences which serve different areas of economic life. Regional development was further boosted with legislation that added the task of regional development to the duties of universities of applied sciences, in addition to the tasks of education and RDI (research, development and innovation). At the same time, or perhaps precisely because of this regional development task, the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences has seen impressive development. In contrast to how things were before, pedagogy is no longer a school’s internal matter, but it has become a shared issue for the region and the partnering organisations operating in it. A form of pedagogy has developed which integrates universities of applied science with society and with their region and which strengthens participation and partnership and regional development. In this way, new foundations have been laid down for further advancing regional development in Finland, which reached the grand age of 101 on 6 December 2018.
Although Finland is not large in population, it does cover a large area. In order to develop well, our country’s varied, unique regions require diversity, which is one of the strengths of our dual university system – also when considered from the regional perspective. Different kinds of regional development methods and models have been developed in different parts of the country, and a number of these will be presented in this theme issue. In the future, the role of universities of applied science in regional renewal and vitalisation may become more and more significant, and this requires the continual development of regional development methods and models. In this process, the open sharing and international benchmarking of different regional development methods and models are, without doubt, key factors for moving forward. Similarly, increasing the participation of local citizens in the development of their residential areas and living environments will certainly bring more effective solutions to regional and social problems because they are based on residents’ knowledge of their conditions and needs.
Universities of applied sciences have a significant role as developers of methods and processes for supporting civil participation. Through their pedagogic development, universities of applied sciences have become strong joint developers that know how to use diverse methods to engage citizens, businesses, communities and university students in joint development work. In this way, the objectives can include a good life for Finnish people, integration, and also, for example, the strengthening of regional vitality. When seeking to develop things, participation is of immeasurable value, whether it involves individuals or whole communities and organisations. I would like to return to consider again that significant decision to add the task of regional development alongside the universities of applied sciences’ tasks of education and RDI. If this decision had not been made, the involvement and participation of universities of applied sciences in regional development would not be at the level that it is today.
The strength of the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences for regional development is founded on participation, in which the involvement of students plays a central role. When university students, who are accumulating professional expertise, participate in regional development work together with employees, and when the learning takes place in cooperation with regional partners, the result is a huge and powerful contribution to development. The 145,000 students and around 10,000 experts at universities of applied sciences are a significant resource for the regional development of our country. It is excellent that we are learning all the time to make better use of this resource in our society.
Students as circular economy accelerators
Marketta Virta, M.A., Engineer, Project Assistant, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Sonja Lankiniemi, MBA, M.Sc.(Econ.), Project Specialist, Project Manager, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Students influence the development of their area already during their studies. In Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), the students are strongly involved in RDI activities from the beginning of the studies. Students have been an important asset e.g. in the development of Topinpuisto, circular economy hub located in Southwest Finland. Topinpuisto develops the value chains of circular economy and accelerates the transition to circular economy in Turku and in Southwest Finland.
Among other things, students have researched the opportunities of a circular economy to create a new business.
At TUAS, students are not seen as clients but as partners. Student-business cooperation is beneficial for students, companies and their regions. Students can deepen and develop their expertise and companies can take steps towards a more sustainable future. When participating in RDI, students have an impact on their region even before their graduation and promote, for example, the realization of carbon neutrality and circular economy.
Keywords: circular economy, project study environment, RDI activities, technology
Technological innovations in the developing of villages
Marika Ahlavuo, Science Producer, Cultural Producer, The Research Institute of Modeling and Measuring for the Built Environment (MeMo), Aalto University
Sami Alho, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Matti Kurkela, 3D-studio Manager, Lic.Tech., M.A., Aalto University
Jussi-Matti Kallio, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr. Tech., Docent, Aalto University
At Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (known as SeAMK), the School of Business and Culture, together with the School of Food and Agriculture, have carried out jointly with Aalto University various demos, projects and exhibitions centering on the theme of virtuality. This article focuses on the work applied in collaboration with SeAMK that has made headways and created joint ventures related to a Virtual Village Project and to two Master level theses in the field of digitalisation and virtual reality. New technology was used in a particular 3D virtual reality project (the so-called ’Virtuaalikylät 3D Liiverissä’ project) that was a joint effort with the villages of Southern Ostrobothnia and their active inhabitants. In the article, we examine from a 3D and technical innovations perspective how the cultural and knowledge resources present in the villages could be enhanced through virtual technology. As an important result from the co-operation between SeAMK and Aalto University, we have been able to predict future trends in the possibilities offered through the use of 3D virtual reality in assisting the development of villages.
Keywords: regional development, 3D, virtuality, cooperation, inclusion, culture, food and agriculture
Unique cooperation to boost regional development
Tuula Rajander, M.Ed., M.A., Planning Officer, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
This article considers universities of applied sciences as a regional developer in sparsely populated areas such as Kainuu region. The joint problem of these areas is a lack of workforce, which obstructs economic development. Education is one of the most efficient ways to affect the supply of workforce.
Universities of applied sciences are part of the brand and attraction of their regions. Student recruiting brings more young people and people of working age to the area. Graduated students also like to stay in the area where they have studied. Digitalization of education has facilitated student-recruiting challenges of the UASes in sparsely populated areas.
From the student-recruiting point of view, it is important that UASes specialize in their own strong lines and subjects. The chosen lines should also match the general focus areas of the region. Focus areas in Kainuu region are innovations of technology and mining industry, bioeconomy, wellbeing and health. Corresponding strengths of Kajaani UAS are production systems, game and measurement applications, adventure activities, intelligent home care and business potential.
Keywords: continuous learning, developing of regions, lack of workforce, sparsely populated areas, student recruiting
Participative development in Lahti, Finland
Mirja Kälviäinen, Principal Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Sara Ikävalko, Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Kati Kumpulainen, RDI Specialist, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
New digital native generations set new requirements for the city services and environments. In the City as a Service for Young Citizen project, young adults from 16 to 30 years of age have been participating in a mosaic of explorative user research methods to produce a rich picture of the possible use and needs of services by young citizens. The exploration-based methods have included user workshops, self-reporting design probes and theme-based material produced by users. The results have provided user empathy for envisioning service experiments to be tested in real user contexts and environments in the city of Lahti and with an ecosystem of local service providers. The participative user information and real life participatory experiments have produced evidence for the need of special service solutions for young citizen. These should be crossing the physical, face-to-face and digital realms and aligning with young users’ special requirements for authenticity and anonymity.
Keywords: design, participation, service design, young citizen, user driven research, experimentation
Co-creating urban art in Leppävaara with local volunteers
Martta Pirttioja, MSc, Environmental Designer, City of Espoo
In August this year, a colourful piece of art appeared on the wooden wall of the Galleria shopping centre’s parking area in northern Leppävaara. The artwork, was inspired by alder leaves, was co-created by multiple actors: active residents in the neighbourhood, the City of Espoo, the owner of the property and the Laurea University of Applied Sciences.
The project is an example of the work of the Environmental Design team which was established in April 2018 under a cross-administrative development program ‘Participatory Espoo’. The team’s principal task is to function as an easily approachable representative of the city and to boost the projects the inhabitants or other actors want to further. The ultimate goal is a network of active inhabitants, local businesses as well as third- and fourth-sector actors working together to create an Espoo they like. In an ideal case, the city’s role would be to enable these projects and to work as an equal partner.
Keywords: servicedesign, urbandesign, laureauas, Espoo, involvement
Youth, active part in development within different living areas
Jukka Piippo, PhD, Nurse specialized in psychiatry, Psychotherapist in specialist level, Principal Lecturer within Mental health, Arcada University of Applied Sciences
PAD – Positive Attitude Development project was a joint project between Arcada University of Applied Sciences and Tallinn University. The main aim with the project was to increase possibilities for young and young adults with mental health problems to get access to labor market within defined areas in the countries. This was done by decreasing stigma and influence attitudes towards mental health to become better. The main activities during the project were face-to-face meetings with citizens and employers. At the meetings, panel discussions were organized, in which issues concerning mental health problems were discussed between employers, professionals, members of target group and educational instances. One of important points during the project was when experts-by-experience become involved at the project. Their participation lead to many significant and positive developments of the projects activities.
Keywords: mental health, youth, cooperation, Helsinki, Tallinn, health and welfare
Assets based community participation and place making
Kate Miller, The University of the West of Scotland, Lecturer in Education, PHD
Ronald McIntyre, The Open University, Designer, Executive Masters in Business Studies
Gary McKenna, The University of the West of Scotland, Research Fellow, PhD
This paper discusses how processes of community development and community education tend to be dominated by a deficit discourse that is influenced by neoliberal political and economic forces. It provides an example of how a community outreach programme can turn the tide on these processes by implementing assets based approaches to place making and working with young people. Assets based approaches value the resources that exist in the community and build on the strengths and affordances of communities. We identify that there are a parallels between deficit models of community development and deficit or ‘banking models’ of education. We argue that a strong assets based approach that emphasises and values the experience of community members is an effective way to empower communities to make positive change.
Keywords: assets based approaches, community empowerment, critical pedagogy, education, place making
Creative Campus Arabia – Design Changes Cities
Tiina Laurila M.Sc., M.A., Project Producer, Metropolia UAS
Petra Lassenius, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS
Päivi Keränen, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS
This article presents how design discipline can contribute to the city and campus development. Two projects are introduced: Live Baltic Campus project (2015–2018) brought together city planners, government representatives, campus developers and stakeholders in utilizing the campuses of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki and 5 partner universities in Turku, Uppsala, Stockholm, Riga and Tartu as labs and developing them as innovation hubs. Creative Campus Arabia Project (2016–2018) focused on identifying stakeholders, vitalizing the neighborhood and providing services like a planned coworking space and XR Centre, new networks that support creative fields and the Arabia-Toukola area in Helsinki. At the same time the new XR Design degree program was founded by Design and Media Degree Program. Collaboration between educational institutes is also part of the development towards digitalization where technology-based solutions are utilized in designing future cities.
Keywords: campus development, city development, design
3D City models and virtuality as tools in regional development
Juho-Pekka Virtanen, M.F.A., Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Kaisa Jaalama, Doctoral Student, M.Sc. (Admin.), Aalto University
Arttu Julin, M.Sc. (Tech.), Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Matti Kurkela, Lic.Tech., M.A., Studio Manager, Aalto University
Mikko Maksimainen, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Research Professor, Aalto University
Matti T. Vaaja, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Professor, Aalto University
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Associate Professor, Aalto University
The development of 3D city models is progressing towards an interactive, smart digital twin of the urban environment. This allows the stakeholders of the urban environment to obtain information concerning the functions, planned changes and infrastructure. In addition to receiving data, citizens, officials and commercial actors can also communicate their own needs and actions, either via direct participatory actions, or indirectly, by accumulation of data to various services. Future 3D city models offer a multitude of benefits for cities, citizens and business.
Keywords: 3D, city model, urban environment, digital twin, engineering, geospatial data
Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago?
Rasmus Karlsson, M.Pol.Sc., Project Manager, Novia University of Applied Sciences
Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago? Novia UAS is involved in several regional development projects in the archipelago between Finland and Sweden. All these projects connect to local entrepreneurship. Regional development projects have a long history in the archipelago. Projects that are considered failures, or not leading to change for the better on a local level, might lead to distrust in project efficiency and lower interest in future project participation from the local community. Mapping local level needs and wishes in the application phase is important to make sure sufficient funds are allocated.
A university of applied sciences has a role as project partner not bound by municipal borders, providing a professional project organization, a wide network of contacts on different levels of the society including financing frameworks, and professional knowledge in a variety of subjects.
Keywords: regional development, archipelago, interreg, project leadership
Stakeholder informed curriculum development in the Central Baltic Area
Sanna-Mari Renfors, PhD, Researching Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
This article presents a case of international curriculum development in higher tourism education in the Central Baltic Area. The aim of the curriculum is to provide an aligned and relevant skillset for the area to grow as a coherent and competitive tourism destination. In practice, the curriculum aligns higher tourism education with the needs of the tourism industry and the labour market in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia into a new, joint curriculum and a study programme. As Europeanisation enables cooperation between the higher education institutions in a broader geographical context, the curriculum is designed and delivered by four universities situated in three countries in cooperation with the tourism industry.
Keywords: tourism industry, regional development, curriculum development, Central Baltic Area
Does international cooperation enhance local social innovation?
Susanne Jungerstam, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Novia University of Social Sciences
Annika Wentjärvi, M.Soc.Sc., Research Manager, Novia University of Social Sciences
International cooperation and interprofessional work are both expected to enhance social innovation. Social innovation, in turn, is often expected to be locally developed in close cooperation with end users, organisations and stakeholders. In the BSR Interreg-project Social Empowerment in Rural Areas (SEMPRE), the aim has been to combine the elements of international and interprofessional cooperation and social innovation in a regional and local context. The aim of the article was to discuss both opportunities and challenges that the project encountered, primarily focussing on international and interprofessional competences. The main findings include both positive experiences of good practices and learning across borders, and challenges related to project activities primarily related to the development of both interprofessional and international communication competences, as well as to the project format of developing local social innovation in an international setting.
Keywords: social innovation, interprofessional, international cooperation, project, social services
Efficiency in maritime business both in Satakunta, Finland, and in Southern Africa
Teija Järvenpää, B.Eng., Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Nina Savela, M.Pol.Sc., Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Minna Keinänen-Toivola, D.Phil., Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
The changing environment, rapid development of technology and climate change will increase pressure to produce multiskilled personnel in Satakunta, Finland. The efficient maritime cluster in Satakunta constitutes of knowledge, energy efficiency and export actions. Maritime training in Satakunta dates back to 1880 and today, digitalization is emphasized in maritime training. Energy efficient solutions, developed in shipbuilding and port operations in Rauma, generate new business opportunities. The maritime cluster in Satakunta is strongly export-orientated. For example, in Southern Africa, potentials for SMEs include the maritime industry, cleantech, and opportunities in the circular economy. The sector’s eagerness to grow opens up possibilities for job creation and SME growth. This increases international recognition, enables the exchange of ideas, and the development of technologies. Know-how, digitalization and environmental friendliness are uprising accelerating trends in the maritime cluster in Satakunta as well as in export markets.
Keywords: maritime cluster, energy efficiency, export, Satakunta, Southern Africa, technology
The challenge of producing information that promotes regional welfare
Erkki Saari, MAdSc, DSocSc, RDI Senior Lecturer (social services), Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Leena Viinamäki, DSocSc, Principal Lecturer (social services), Lapland University of Applied Sciences
When we think about the role of higher education institutions as producers of information that promotes the welfare of those living in the various regions of the country, we take as our starting point the drawing up of welfare reports that are intended to be part of the welfare management of municipalities. Political decisions based on information provided by welfare reports can influence the polarisation of the country, e.g. whether its regions differentiate in terms of migration gain or loss or well-off and disadvantaged populations. In order to make justifiable political decisions concerning welfare, there is a need for statistical data that describes the welfare of the areas and the view and experience information of the authorities and of the population about the welfare of the population and the functionality of welfare services it can use. However, the welfare reports intended to be drawn up by municipalities should be replaced by regional welfare reports containing the above-mentioned information and drawn up by researcher groups formed by the higher education institutions responsible for the education in health care and social services, the Centres of Excellence in Social Welfare and the research institutions operating in different regions.
Keywords: regional development, welfare barometer, welfare account, welfare report, service system, social services, health care
Regional development and future knowledge in municipalities
Jaana Laitio, Degree Programme in Customer-Oriented Development in Social Service Work, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Saara Jäämies,Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design , Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Sanna Juvonen, Master of Education, Senior Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
In the future, the population of the world centralizes more and more in cities. The development of urban areas has a major impact on sustainable development of the European Union and its citizens from the economical, ecological, and social point of view. At the same time, urban areas are places where different challenges, inequalities, unemployment and poverty are concentrated. The development of municipal and urban areas and the skills of employees working there need to be ensured in a changing environment. The key challenges and at the same time competences of experts in the future municipalities are to work with digital services and to strengthen the inclusion of residents, as well as to promote human-centered work in changing environment.
Key words: public sector, municipality, employee, future, competence, Social Service Degree Programme, Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design