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Better life quality with Integrative GIS (BIG)

The BIG project use Gävle as a test bed to understand how healthy, sustainable, and livable cities should be built in the future. The project is a cooperation between the University of Gävle and Future Position X (FpX)

BIG aims to create knowledge for urban solutions that simultaneously promote individual, social, and ecological health. We are interested in synergies and win-win situations that the urban landscape can create between individual, social, and ecological health. We are researching how urban solutions can be healthy, livable, and sustainable. This is what can be called regenerative urban solutions.

The BIG project is a collaboration between Future Position X (FPX) and the University of Gävle (HIG). The project runs over three years and it will contribute with innovative and practical tools for sustainable urban development.

Methods to collect data in the project

There are three methods to collect data in the BIG project:

1. Digital maps

This is a collection of digital maps of the physical environment of Gävle. Together with the department of Geospatial Sciences, the BIG project will produce, combine, and cross-analyze a multitude of GIS maps about the landscape of Gävle. This will include maps about the urban infrastructure (e.g., walkability, cyclability, and access to primary health care) as well as maps about the green infrastructure (map of trees, levels of biodiversity, ecological connectivity).

2. MyGävle

People living in Gävle will be able to use the app MyGävle. Using the GPS sensor of the smartphone, MyGävle will collect data on where and when participants interact with the city of Gävle. At the same time, MyGävle provides participants with possibility to highlight positive and negative experiences that shape their everyday life. At the beginning of every season, the impact of such experiences will be analyzed regarding to people’s perception of health and wellbeing, life satisfaction, social cohesion, and connection with nature.

3. Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart 4 will allow researchers to collect biometric data about participants (e.g., calories burnt, heart rate variability). In combination with MyGävle, the BIG project will be able to understand how a specific location in time with its geography and climate has influenced people’s personal or social health. Over time, this is crucial information to ensure that the living landscape of Gävle is safe and healthy for its population.

The Project Team

Participating Researchers

  • Matteo Giusti, PhD., Researcher in Sustainability Science, is Principal Investigator and project manager of BIG and MyGävle. He has previous experience of designing and running PPGIS studies and he is an expert in sustainable human-nature relationships and regenerative dynamics. (University of Gävle)
  • Karl Samuelsson, post doctor, is specialised in using GIS, PPGIS and spatial statistical models to explore relationships between the urban physical and social environment and people’s experiences and well-being. (University of Gävle)
  • Anders Brandt, Associate professor in geospatial information science with expertise in physical geography, GIS and spatial multicriteria decision. (University of Gävle)
  • Andrew Mercer, PhD in Physical Geography, with technical GIS expertise and expertise in BIG DATA science. (University of Gävle)
  • Stephan Barthel, Assistant Professor, acts as a mentor for the project group. (University of Gävle)
  • Nancy Joy Lim, PhD in Geospatial Information Science. She has technical competence in modelling, GIS analysis, and geovisualisation. (University of Gävle)
  • Per Andersson, is Process Manager. He acts as the bridge between research and academy creating connection and insights of great value for the whole BIG project. (Future Position X)
  • Malin Hefvelin (Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics) is a free-lance journalist and copywriter contributing with content to Future Position X
  • Andreas Franzén (Senior developer) is a developer at Future Position X
  • Julia Engström (Bachelor of Media an communication) is a communicator at Future Position X
  • Magnus Engström is CTO at Future Position X. He acts as mentor for all the technical aspects of the BIG project and MyGävle.

Facts about the project

Title: (BIG) Better life quality with Integrative GIS

Project Manager: Matteo Giusti

Cooperation: the University of Gävle in cooperation with Future Position X

Financier: The project is co-funded by the University of Gävle, Future Position X and Vinnova

Time: The project runs over three year, 2020–2022


The project is co-funded by the University of Gävle, Future Position X and Vinnova.

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Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Gunilla Mårtensson Updated: 2023-11-20
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)