Examining Life Cycle Management in Urban Development - Identifying Unexploited Value through a Life Cycle Management Approach

Miro Ristimäki

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Sustainable urban development presents a great opportunity to mitigate climate change as urban areas are responsible for the majority of energy consumption and environmental impacts. In combination with our growing cities and urbanization, our current urban development practices are questioned in terms of a sustainable outcome from a life cycle perspective. Obtaining a long-term perspective is essential in urban development, however the urban development process is perceived as fragmented resulting in an unsustainable life cycle outcome. The purpose of this study is to examine how life cycle management is perceived in urban development and is there added value created through a life cycle approach. A qualitative research approach is utilized through case study research. Data is collected in form of interviews, questionnaires, participant observations and life cycle assessment modelling as both qualitative and quantitative data are combined to enhance understanding of the phenomenon. This dissertation argues that a life cycle approach is overlooked and that there is a lack of life cycle responsibility in urban development. This study identified that there is added value to be created through a life cycle management approach in terms of sustainability. However, value creation is challenging due to unsuccessful alignment of business models, interest conflicts between public and private actors and lack of common targets. Since life cycle management in urban development has not yet been examined comprehensively in the academic literature, this dissertation presents novel empirical findings to the field of urban development. Pragmatic contribution for the industry is recognizing the sustainable value creation potential through a life cycle management approach.
Translated title of the contributionElinkaarijohtamisen tutkiminen kaupunkikehityksessä – hyödyntämättömän arvon tunnistaminen elinkaaren huomioivan lähestymistavan avulla
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Junnila, Seppo, Supervising Professor
  • Junnila, Seppo, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6721-6
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6722-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • urban development
  • urban sustainability
  • life cycle management
  • sustainability
  • life cycle assessment
  • life cycle thinking


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