Marja Mesimäki
M.Soc.Sc, doctoral student, associate leader of The Fifth Dimension -research program

My Research
My field of expertise is environmental sociology and environmental social science, specifically urban questions.  The aim of my thesis is to study people’s mental images about different kinds of green roof solutions, to test on-roof multisensory aesthetic and restorative experiences, to explore expectations and experiences of long-term green roof owners and  how green roofs are adopted and realized in large construction processes , to integrate user perspective into urban greening, using green roofs as model spaces and to develop methods for studying experiences of urban spaces in different surroundings, and tools for supporting user-centered urban design. I am developing an application of the method of empathy-based stories, MEBS, to be used e.g. in the context of participatory urban planning and design, also including approaches of futures studies.

My doctoral thesis is a part of a broader research program: The Fifth Dimension – Green Roofs in Urban Areas, which aims to produce scientifically high-level and broadly applicable knowledge on optimal green roof solutions in Finland. Scientifically, green roofs serve as experimental model ecosystems for research and provide an opportunity for inter- and transdisciplinary research that is societally relevant. The research policy of the program includes working in close contact with the end users of scientific knowledge, such as municipal and state authorities, companies and the citizens. The main target of the program concerns the potential of green roofs to enhance urban nature and ecosystem services. The aim of the program is to evaluate the various benefits green roofs may offer, and to develop optimal solutions and designs for green roofs that offer the best possible services for the urban residents. I am working in close contact with Kaisa Hauru and Johan Kotze.

I have contributed in launching and leading “The Fifth Dimension – Green Roofs in Urban Areas” -research program and the research group with Susanna Lehvävirta. Previously, I have for example coordinated projects like Master’s Degree Programme in Urban Studies and participated in creating the Master’s Degree Programme in Multidisciplinary Studies on Urban Environmental Issues (MURE).

My supervisors are Doc Susanna Lehvävirta and Prof. Marketta Kyttä (Aalto University).

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