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Real Estate and Sustainable Crisis Management in Urban Environments (RESCUE)

Rescue project logo

Real Estate and Sustainable Crisis Management in Urban Environments (RESCUE) is a multidisciplinary study funded by the Academy of Finland for 2020–2023. The research project aims to promote the dynamic resilience and crisis preparedness of societies by concretising the role of real estate in both anticipated and unanticipated crises, at local and global scales.

To address this aim, RESCUE brings together a team of researchers and methods from the fields of futures studies, land use planning, social sustainability and wellbeing, facility management, architecture, spatial planning, design, and real estate economics. The goal is to understand how spaces, buildings and land use should be organised, planned, used and managed in the future to support different stakeholders (such as households, office workers, real estate owners, space occupants, firms, public sector) in various crises. Such crises are of multiple nature, related to e.g. natural hazards, violence and conflicts, cyber security, economic decline, social upheavals, and so forth. Crisis awareness and an understanding of their dynamics, together with proactive measures for preparedness and recovery, will create futures resilience for communities. By combining this unique and interdisciplinary research approach and team, we produce novel results that have national and international importance for both academia and practice.

In the first phase of the study, we are examining the nature of crises of the future, their characteristics and joint impacts on real estate and land use. In a series of virtual workshops, we will identify the direct and indirect impacts of these various crises (on real estate and beyond) by harnessing the diverse knowledge of participating experts of different fields. During the project, we will build on the preliminary results and evidence concerning unforeseen events, and move towards the final phase of the study, to engage with stakeholders and present policies, regulations and management practices, oriented to the future, to promote resilience in the built environment as well as land and space use.

The RESCUE project team

The RESCUE project is led by Aalto University (Consortium Director, Assistant Professor Saija Toivonen). The consortium consists of consortium parties and researchers from Aalto University/Department of Built Environment and Department of Architecture (Assistant Professor Sofie Pelsmaker); Tampere University/Faculty of Built Environment (Professor Kimmo Lapintie); and University of Turku/Finland Futures Research Centre (Professor Markku Wilenius).

The RESCUE project convenes an International Advisory Board whose primary purpose is to provide holistic understanding and exchange ideas, perspectives, and knowledge on the project-related matters. Our advisory board consists of scholars with diverse backgrounds, including real estate economics, property, workplace management, sustainable housing, futures studies, urban and regional planning, urban studies and health and wellbeing architecture from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Australia. The field of futures studies is represented in the advisory board by Dr Karlheinz Steinmüller. The Millennium Project, led by CEO Jerome Glenn, is invited to embody a collaborating network in the project, participating in workshops and interviews.

The Research Team at Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) consists of PI Prof Markku Wilenius, Dean of Dubai Futures Academy, Professor Emerita Sirkka Heinonen, Project Researchers Joni Karjalainen, Matti Minkkinen, Hazel Salminen and Amos Taylor

Rescue project team at FFRC

> RESCUE consortium website