Jukka Heinonen
Title: Associate Professor
Country of residence: Iceland
Institution: University of Iceland - Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Address: VR-II, Hjarðarhaga 2-6, 107 Reykjavík, Iceland
Telephone: +3545254637
Date of birth: 20/05/1977
Early Stage Researcher: Yes
Sex: Male
MC Member: Yes
WG membership:
1, 3, 4

My primary interests lie in studying the connections between the urban form, the lifestyles of the residents and the resulting greenhouse gas implications. The main steam urban planning concentrates on buildings, infrastructure and transport issues (including energy), but I think that without taking into account all the consumption activities of the residents and understanding the relations between consumption and the urban form the understanding is insufficient.

  • Heinonen, Jukka (2012): The Impacts of Urban Structure and the Related Consumption Patterns on the Carbon Emissions of an Average Consumer, Aalto University publication series, DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS 25/2012. Urban areas hold a central position in the search for feasible climate change mitigation opportunities as a significant share of all the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is closely related to urban structures. However, mitigation strategies are still evolving. One explanation is that the cities and urban areas in developed countries are demand and consumption centers where the majority of all consumed goods are imported from outside of the city boundaries. Thus, the traditional geographically restricted assessment methods cannot produce sufficient information for effective carbon management. The dissertation argues that in order to create city level carbon mitigation strategies, it is necessary to identify and understand the emissions caused by the consumers. The main argument of the dissertation is that the overall consumption volume seems to affect the carbon consumption so strongly that a higher consumption volume indicates higher carbon consumption regardless of the type of the urban structure.
  • Kyrö, Riikka; Heinonen, Jukka; Junnila, Seppo (2012): Assessing the Potential of Climate Change Mitigation Actions in Three Different City Types in Finland. Sustainability. 2012; 4(7):1510-1524. Many cities worldwide have adopted an active approach to climate change mitigation, but policy makers are not always knowledgeable of the true effects of their planned mitigation action. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies in achieving low-carbon urban communities. The assessment is conducted via means of consumption based hybrid life-cycle assessment, which allows the reduction potential to be analyzed from the perspective of an individual resident of the urban community. The assessed actions represent strategies that are both adopted by the case cities and possible to implement with current best practices in Finland. The four assessed actions comprise: (1) dense urban structure with less private driving; (2) the use of energy production based on renewable sources; (3) new low-energy residential construction; and (4) improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The findings show that the effectiveness depends greatly on the type of city, although in absolute terms the most significant reduction potential lies with lowering the fossil fuel dependence of the local energy production.
  • Heinonen, Jukka; Junnila, Seppo (2011): Implications of Urban Structure on Carbon Consumption in Metropolitan Areas. Environmental Research Letters, 6, 014018. Urban structure influences directly or indirectly the majority of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in cities. The prevailing belief is that dense metropolitan areas produce less carbon emissions on a per capita basis than less dense surrounding rural areas. Consequently, density targets have a major role in low-carbon urban developments. However, based on the results of this study, the connection seems unclear or even nonexistent when comprehensive evaluation is made. In this letter, we propose a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) method for calculating the consumption-based carbon footprints in metropolitan areas, i.e. carbon consumption, with the emphasis on urban structures. The method is input–output-based hybrid LCA, which operates with the existing data from the region. The study is conducted by performing an analysis of the carbon consumption in two metropolitan areas in Finland, including 11 cities. Both areas consist of a dense city core and a less dense surrounding suburban area. The paper will illustrate that the influence of urban density on carbon emissions is insignificant in the selected metropolitan areas.