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Browsing by Subject "kunnat"

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  • Virtanen, Mimmi (2024)
    We have long been invited to engage in climate action in different forums, without specifying what is actually expected of us to solve the accelerating climate crisis. Traditionally, individual citizens have only been seen as consumers in climate action. Although citizen participation in climate work has also been studied more and more in recent years, there is a little research on how citizens themselves perceive their own role in climate action. Climate action at local level and small municipalities, as smaller administrative units, could also provide better opportunities to support individuals in their own climate actions. In this thesis, I examine the climate agency and participation of residents in local climate action through their perceived roles and means of participation. I am conducting a review at the level of one small Finnish municipality by carrying out a qualitative case study. The case municipality is Kokemäki in the Satakunta region, with a population of about 7000. My research questions are (1) how the municipal representatives and local residents perceive the roles of the municipality and local residents in local climate action, and (2) what means are identified by municipal representatives and local residents to strengthen the climate agency of local residents. The research material consists of thematic interviews of the municipal representatives, group discussions of the residents and a survey conducted for the residents. As a method of analysis, I have used qualitative content analysis. The results show that municipal representatives and local residents have a similar perception of the roles, even though there are differences. In total, six different roles were identified for the municipality, and communication as a cross-cutting role. A key finding is that local residents perceived their own role more active than the municipal representatives did. A total of five roles were outlined for the residents, two of which emerged mainly in the experiences of the residents: the role to support each other and the role to activate the municipality to act. The roles of the municipality and the residents are strongly linked, and instead of looking individual means to support climate agency, it might be useful for small municipalities to shift the examination more strongly to their own role in relation to the residents. The development of communication and interaction is a key means of supporting climate agency. In addition to communication based on positive tone and examples in particular, the need for encounter and discussion emerged. Discussions with local residents, also on the topic of climate change, could bring new knowledge, understanding and ideas to the municipality, and at the same time provide a forum for communicating the importance of climate action, which also supports sustainable choices in everyday life. Strengthening the experience of working together increases the potential for self-motivated action and also enables peer learning and interaction between residents. The desire to take care of one's own home region could also support local climate action, as long as the objectives and actions are set at a local scale.
  • Mokkila, Saija (2022)
    This thesis aimed to systematically map and review built environment low carbon and/or social justice experiments in Finland and understand how municipalities engage in experimentation and what challenges municipalities face when engaging in it. To find what forms of experiments for socially just low carbon buildings and housing can be found in Finland, 1 386 objects in 15 databases were systematically mapped. 204 unique built environment low carbon and/or social justice experiments were recognized and further reviewed. Municipality engagements and challenges in experimentation were approached through a case study of four Finnish municipalities Helsinki, Joensuu, Turku, and Vantaa. 14 case city officials and other persons working with experimentation were interviewed, and 1 839 pages of case-city-related documents were gathered. Triangulation was used to analyze the interview transcripts and additional documents in an abductive manner to find what kind of policy engagements for experimentation municipalities participated in and what kind of challenges the municipality representatives identified when doing so. This thesis discovered that there is a large focus on building and nurturing niches and testing technologies with a lack of focus on profound social justice and the behavioral side of the sustainability transitions. The sustainability experimentation in the built environment was technology-focused and lacked profound social justice aspects. Even though there were some overlaps between low carbon and social justice in the experiments, the experiments did not seek to increase social justice but rather to do low carbon in a socially just way. Municipalities strongly focused on building and nurturing niches and experimentation as a process. Municipalities did not do much experimentation in their operations and focused on the experimentation process rather than the subject matter. Also, the municipality experimentation engagements were characterized by a lack of novelty, flexibility, and uncertainty. This thesis also reveals that the links between sustainability experimentation and sustainability transitions may not be as straightforward as the scientific models and frameworks present. Though this thesis made several findings about sustainability experimentation, there remains a particularly urgent need to develop and conduct additional studies. They are needed to understand better the phenomena in the socially just low carbon experimentation in the built environment to enable just transition to low carbon buildings and housing.
  • Johansson, Anna (2018)
    Artificial light that produces some adverse effects is called light pollution. Light pollution has only recently been recognized as an environmental problem – it has been noticed to have adverse effects to organisms, ecosystems, human health and their well-being. The purpose of this study is to combine two aspects of light pollution that have so far gained little attention: the public’s point of view and the lighting solutions of municipalities and forest industry enterprises. These two aspects can be connected to each other through a concept called condition of lighting. Here the conditions of lighting consist of three areas with notable differences in lighting: city centers, countryside and forest industry production plants along with their surroundings. The study was conducted in South Karelia, Finland, and it was divided into two sections. The first section dealt with the public’s point of view on light pollution. The objective was to find out how South Karelians perceive the effects and obtrusiveness of artificial light both generally and also within areas of differing conditions of lighting. In addition, the intention was to uncover other factors that might influence the opinions of people. The second section of the study concerned the lighting solutions of municipalities and forest industry enterprises. The objective was to examine their lighting planning and implementation as well as the role of light pollution in the process. Interview was selected as the method of research in both sections of the study. The public considered electronic billboards and car headlights as the most obtrusive sources of light pollution. Bright lights and glare, on the other hand, were considered the most obtrusive types of light pollution. Most valued benefits of artificial light were its influence on safety, crime prevention and its positive effect on mood. Not being able to see the stars or experience natural darkness were considered as the biggest disadvantages of artificial light. The conditions of lighting in different areas also influenced the respondents’ experiences: people living in the countryside did not feel insecure in dark places outside the cities and did not consider abundant lighting pleasant. They also felt that being able to experience natural darkness was important. Among other factors, nature orientedness, light sensitivity, environmental attitudes and gender strongly affected the views of the respondents. In the municipalities and forest industry enterprises, the lighting planning concentrated on territorial plans. All but one of the municipalities and enterprises had taken light pollution into consideration at some level at least, but the forms and means varied. In the future both municipalities and forest industry enterprises will invest more in LED technology. The results show that artificial light can cause inconvenience to people who live outside the brightly lighted areas and who were not particularly interested in light pollution. Behind the inconvenience and disturbance were mostly the experiences, habits, values and attitudes of the respondents. The municipalities and enterprises have a lot to improve when it comes to light pollution. They should, for example, invest in comprehensive lighting planning, avoid over-illumination and pay attention to suitable direction and positioning of the light fixtures. In the future, it is important to examine the public’s opinion and to map the landscape of lights at a local scale. This would help in finding the most suitable lighting solutions for different areas. In the opinion polls, the subjective characteristics affecting the views of the respondents should be taken into consideration. Research regarding the municipalities and enterprises should be directed to the areas where light pollution is not regulated, in order to gather information on motivation and implementation of the voluntary activities reducing light pollution.