Contact with nature and vegetation is important for the well-being and health of people, particularly in densely-populated urban environment.
The vegetation of green spaces provides benefits which alleviate the harmful effects of built-up environment. Vegetation cools, binds dust, reduces noise and reduces the amount of runoff by evaporation. A successful green infrastructure is based on sustainable, healthy plant species, suitable for the purpose and planted in correct locations, as well as on good growing media.
Luke’s research is focused on the suitability of different plant species for different purposes, such as public parks, traffic areas and tourism centres. We find out the growth characters, hardiness and health of plant varieties and clones. We develop the foundation methods for urban landscaping, such as the use of perennial pre-grown mats and the establishment of green roofs using native plants. We test the suitability of different growing media mixtures and the use of recycled materials in them. We study plants suitable for providing ecosystem services such as the ability of native plants to absorb nutrients in stormwater management areas.
We collect, evaluate and conserve our genetic resources, plants adapted to the Nordic climate. We investigate how spreading of harmful invasive alien plant species can be prevented and their harmful effects mitigated.
Our goal is ecologically sustainable, low-maintenance and diverse urban landscaping.