Using ILUTE to increase urban sustainability: Samira Ramezani

Portrait in Bahen atrium

Dr. Samira Ramezani

October 26, 2018. Dr. Samira Ramezani is enjoying a two-month visit to UTTRI to learn more about the ILUTE (Integrated Land Use, Transportation, Environment) model developed by Professor Eric Miller and his research team, which simulates the evolution of an integrated urban system over an extended period of time. She is investigating the possibility of using its agent-based housing market sub-model in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and contributing to the model’s development.

Although Samira is widely travelled, this is her first time in Canada. Born in Iran, Samira’s education and research have taken her around the world – to Malaysia, Italy, USA, and the Netherlands – before leading her to Finland in early 2018. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering Research Group of the Department of Built Environment at Aalto University, near Helsinki, Finland.

Samira’s research interests have evolved over time in an organic way. Her early passion for single buildings led to an interest in larger spaces: from architecture to urban planning. Next, urban planning led to a fascination with travel behaviour in cities. She began studies in engineering and modelling, made easier by her lifelong love of mathematics.

Now, Samira focuses her attention on factors influencing transportation mode choice, residential location choice and the interrelationships between the two. From this research, she hopes to come up with hard and soft policies to increase the sustainability of our cities.

Samira’s current major research project, “Urban Daily Life and Travel Survey,” is a participatory survey of people in Helsinki Metropolitan Area who have moved house within the past seven months. The survey compiles actual travel – it includes an online mapping element – as well as attitudes and preferences, both before and after moving. The sample of 10,000 was provided by the Population Register Centre of Finland.


Samira Ramezani holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the Sapienza University of Rome, and an MSc in Urban Design from the University of Technology of Malaysia. She has been a researcher at Delft University of Technology, UC Berkeley and Shiraz University, and a lecturer at Shiraz University.