University of Tartu and Ülemiste City cooperate to create a unique healthy city concept

On 20 October, the University of Tartu signed a memorandum with Mainor Ülemiste and Technopolis Ülemiste (the developers of Mainor and Ülemiste City) to enter into a broad-based cooperation in the fields of research, development, teaching and traineeship.

The signed memorandum establishes a comprehensive health promotion programme, one aim of which is to create a concept of a healthy city that is unique in the world and fosters the mental, physical and social development of the talents living and working there.

Among other actions, the cooperation will lead to the creation of an original model of a healthy city in Ülemiste City, aiming to change and significantly improve the health behaviour of the 12,000 talents living and working in the city. The companies operating in the city will get a tool to help them improve their work environment and health-supporting services.

According to Kadi Pärnits, chair of the management board of Mainor AS that develops Ülemiste City, different models considering the level of companies and individuals have been created, but to her knowledge, no city, campus or developer has so far managed to take the needs of the person’s physical, mental and social health into account at once. “This means the cooperation with the University of Tartu will lead to a solution that is unique in the world and can be developed further in other communities,” said Pärnits.

“We wish that the knowledge created at the University of Tartu would benefit the society faster and faster. I am happy that in Mainor, the university has found a partner who is willing to engage in a diverse cooperation. We have agreed that in creating the healthy city concept we will mediate the opportunities for research and development, teaching and traineeship. By that,
we can change the understanding of what a human-friendly densely populated area could look like,” said Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu.

Ursel Velve, member of the management board of Mainor Ülemiste, explained that the cooperation proceeds from a sense of mission and the wish to focus on prevention instead of dealing with the consequences. Velve finds it important to contribute to social values, think about how to increase the talents’ everyday wellbeing and sense of belonging and thus improve their mental health. “We are aiming to create an ever motivating environment for working, living and development, in which the infrastructure fosters communication and movement and, together with community action, facilitates new success stories. This helps to decrease the risk of stress, exhaustion and burnout,” Velve added.

The University of Tartu started to develop the three-stage talent’s health model already in spring. It is part of a large study of the university, focusing on three main influence factors: the person’s physical, mental and social health. These are monitored on three levels: what could be done by the employee, by the employer and by the city as a whole.

Further information: Andres Vaher, Consultant at the communications firm Dalton, 507 9643, andres@dalton.ee

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