This section presents the research projects and publications to which ABE has contributed.


The following projects have utilized the ABE platform, technology or expertise. The projects have been based in different research groups and funded from various sources. Common denominator for them is the development and usage of new methods for studying and developing our built environment.

Plan P graphics. Image by Petri Kangassalo.Application for Participatory Urban Planning

Plan-P is an easy-to-use application for building 3D city plans and visualizing their impacts. It resembles city building games, but focuses on real city planning principles instead of entertainment. The idea of the tool is to generate discussion and participation in the visioning phase and in the general planning phase of a city area. It is an easily approachable and visually interesting way for non-professionals to participate in the discussion and create alternative city visions. Read more...


ABM Tool graphics. Image by Jyrki Vanamo.Agent-based Modelling in Urban


Jyrki Vanamo's prototype demonstrates how agent-based modelling could help urban planners in their work. The prototype can be used to calculate a range of possible design solutions based on some initial data. Andreas Hall's diagrams visualize the system architecture of the prototype making its operational logic accessible to the potential users. The prototype was created as part of PEKA reasearch project funded by TEKES. Read more...

 Otaniemi workshop.Campus Development

One of the objectives of Aalto Built Environment Lab is to study and develop new approaches to the urban planning process. Presently, ABE is focusing on the development of the Otaniemi area as a case study. The area is currently going through many significant changes which makes it an ideal living lab. Read more...

 Otaniemi Walks presentation. Photo by Maria Viitanen.3D Storytelling

Otaniemi Walks is a Master's thesis and a 3D storytelling debut by Elisa Andretti. Andretti’s thesis was set to find out “Which are the processes capable of turning Otaniemi into Finland’s leading sustainable campus by 2020?” The end product was a facilitating tool in the form of a visual story for different players in the process to find a common ground. The story was presented for the first time in ABE Space in Urban Mill in October 2014. The project was supported by the Energizing Urban Ecosystems Programme. Read more...

 Dronegame graphics. Copyright Ilkka Kelaranta.Prototyping Future Service Environments

Future is here. Virtually. Ilkka Kelaranta and Olli Poutanen studied in their Creative Sustainability master’s theses how to utilize virtual experience prototyping in testing future service environments. Poutanen, a researcher of kinesthetic experience, and Kelaranta, an industrial designer with a gaming background, combined their expertise to create and test a novel tool for service design. The project was funded by Energizing Urban Ecosystems programme. Read more...

 Proteus graphics. Image by Reina Magica.Game Design Meets Cruise Ship Design

Proteus is a new kind of tool for planning cruise ship interior layouts. The tool uses game design elements and methodology to improve upon current processes in cruise ship design. The tool was created as a part of master's thesis of Reina Magica, a graduate in New Media Game Design and Production at Aalto University. Read more...



The projects and research affiliated with ABE have also resulted in the following scientific papers.

Journal and conference papers

Ahola, M., Magica, R., Reunanen, M. & Kauppi, A. 2013. Gameplay Approach to Virtual Design of General Arrangement and User Testing. Conference of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects 2013.

Staffans, A. & Horelli, L. 2014. Expanded Urban Planning as Vehicle for Understanding and Shaping Smart, Liveable Cities. The Journal of Community Informatics. Vol 10:3.

Tähtinen, S., Staffans, A., Eräranta, S. & Kauppi, A. 2015. Collaborative Space for Human-Centred Urban Planning. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. In review process.

Eräranta, S. & Staffans, A. 2015. From Situation Awareness to Smart City Planning and Decision Making. Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM 2015).

Master’s theses

Reina Magica, 2013. Proteus: cruise Design tool for the Future. Master’s thesis. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media. Espoo. 74 p.

Elisa Andretti. 2014. Otaniemi Walks. Master’s thesis. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Architecture. Espoo. 104 p.

Salovuori H. 2013. Risteilykokemus ja turvattomuuden tunne – Analyysi toimijaverkkoteorian avulla. Maisterintyö. Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulu, markkinoinnin laitos. Espoo. 107 s.

Valencak, V. 2014. Lost on board – Enhancing User Experience  on Cruise Ships through Wayfinding Improvements. Master’s thesis. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design. Espoo. 92 p.