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Anu Besson

Title- On Nordic Happiness. Finnish urban planning principles that support mental well-being. 

Anu Besson is a Finnish-Australian urban studies and architecture researcher with a PhD in Environmental Aesthetics, or philosophy of sensory perception of urban and natural environments. She lives in Perth but works remotely for a Finnish university. Currently, she conducts qualitative research on how people conceive and construct a sense of homeliness. Previously she has researched architecture heritage and urban planning and in-situ experiences of indoor and outdoor environments.  



Finland was assessed as the happiest country in the world for the 4th year in a row. This success stems from deliberate policy decisions, including the aim to create cities that support environmental, physiological and psychosocial health. This talk will explore how principles such as the ‘right to forage’, art funding in public construction projects, and accessibility/walkability reviews in urban planning have helped to build cities of happy people.  

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