Nora Fagerholm
Adjunct professor (Docent), Academy Research Fellow

+358 29 450 4131

+358 40 708 0642

Vesilinnantie 5


Office: Room 431b

ORCID identifier:

GreenPlace project

UTU Geospatial Labs

UTU Tanzania Team

Areas of expertise
Participatory GIS (PGIS), Public participation GIS (PPGIS); socio-ecological systems; landscape values; ecosystem and landscape services; green infrastructure; landscape research; landscape sustainability science; landscape characterisation; land use and land cover dynamics; participatory spatial planning; 3D virtual landscapes; 3D city models: national parks
spatial expertise: Europe, Tanzania (Zanzibar), the Faroe Islands


I am Adjunct professor (Docent) in participatory landscape research at the University of Turku. Currently, I am an Academy Research Fellow and principal investigator of the Academy of Finland funded research project Wellbeing benefits of urban green infrastructure mapped through participation and 3D virtual landscapes (GreenPlace 2019-24, I am also currently involved in the Horizon 2020 project CHARTER (2019-24, where I bring in expertise to assess herders’ livelihoods in the Arctic through land cover change analysis and participatory mapping.

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 short post-doctoral phase at Aalto University, Department of Built Environment. In 2018-19, I was university lecturer in geoinformatics at University of Turku.


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.


I have been teaching in the fields of PPGIS/PGIS, GIS, remote sensing, cartography, urban planning, landscape management, spatial planning, and regional and development geography at the universities of Turku, Copenhagen, Dar es Salaam and Vaasa in Finnish and in English. I have teaching experience since 2006 at the undergraduate (BSc, MSc) and postgraduate (PhD) 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 and supervise  Master's and Doctoral theses.

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Last updated on 2021-01-10 at 09:50