Nora Fagerholm profile picture
Associate Professor, Geography
Associate Professor


+358 29 450 4131
+358 40 708 0642
Vesilinnantie 5

Areas of expertise

human-nature interactions
socio-ecological systems
landscape research
landscape sustainability science, sustainability transformations
participatory mapping, Participatory GIS (PGIS), Public participation GIS (PPGIS)
landscape values
ecosystem and landscape services
green infrastructure
landscape characterisation
land use and land cover dynamics
participatory spatial planning
national parks
3D virtual landscapes
participatory methods in 3D context


I am Associate Professor in Human-Nature Interactions and Sustainability at the University of Turku and head of the Sustainable Landscape Systems Research Group (

I hold a PhD in Geography (2012) from the Department of Geography at University of Turku. I spent my main post-doctoral researcher phase 2014-18 at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management. In 2018, I have also spent a post-doctoral phase at Aalto University, Department of Built Environment. In 2018-19, I was university lecturer in geoinformatics at University of Turku.

Ongoing reserach projects:

Transformative Cities: Coupling citizen-inspired geospatial and transformative governance methods to promote carbon neutral and climate resilient cities by 2035 (2023-25, funded by the Reserach Council of Finland through the NextGenerationEU instrument, sub-project PI,

Wellbeing benefits of urban green infrastructure mapped through participation and 3D virtual landscapes (GreenPlace, 2019-24, Academy Reserach Fellow project funded by the Reserach Council of Finland, principal investigator (PI),

Regions for climate change resilience through Innovation, Science and Technology (RESIST, 2023-27, funded by Horizon2020, sub-project PI,

Interdisciplinary analysis of ecological and social complex feedbacks and relations linked to coastal tourism: the case of the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve (Intestour, 2022-24, funded by Maragarita Salasa grant, supervision of postdoctoral researcher Liliana Solé Figueras)

Drivers and Feedbacks of Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity (CHARTER, 2020-24, funded by Horizon2020, sub-project PI,


I have been teaching in the fields of PPGIS/PGIS, GIS, remote sensing, cartography, urban planning, landscape management, spatial planning, regional and development geography and sustainable development at the universities of Turku, Copenhagen, Dar es Salaam and Vaasa. I have teaching experience since 2006 at the undergraduate and postgraduate level and held the university lecturer in geoinformatics position at the University of Turku 2018-19. I have also been involved in geospatial data and field data collection training of in Tanzanian academic and government institutions in development cooperation and consultancy projects.

I am currently responsible teacher for the course MAAN7340 Participation, Spatial Planning and GIS (MSc) and MAAN6070 Sustainable Development in Geography (BSc). I also teach in the MSc module Social responsibility of science ( and supervise  Master's and Doctoral theses.


I am a geographer and landscape researcher whose research has for the most part focused on participatory spatial planning and applying a geospatial approach in the place-based assessments of people's perceptions on ecosystem services and landscapes. I have expertise in participatory mapping, often named as public participation GIS (PPGIS)/participatory GIS (PGIS).

My research has increased understanding of the role of socio-cultural values and perceptions for transdisciplinary planning and management of sustainable societies. My research interests link to a holistic understanding of human-environment interactions in a spatial context and are situated at the interface of human and natural sciences. In general, I have applied an integrated human geography and landscape ecological perspective to promote sustainable planning and management of multifunctional landscapes under the social-ecological systems framework.

My methodological interest is in the integration of expert and local knowledge, aiming to enhance a transdisciplinary approach in sustainable landscape management. Recently, I have developed my research interests to integrating emerging spatial information and technologies (such as 3D virtual landscapes and 3D city models) to promote participatory approaches for assessing the perceived quality of the environment in a place-based way.

I am one of the founding members of the 2020 establsihed global network of researchers and practitioners, the Participatory Mapping Institute (, committed to moving beyond the state-of-the-art in public participation and participatory mapping approaches.


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Maptionnaire (2023)

Kyttä Marketta, Fagerholm Nora, Hausner Vera Helene, Broberg Anna
(Vertaisarvioitu artikkeli kokoomateoksessa (A3))