Miia Suomela

Architect / Research assistant


Architecture, Urban design, Resilience thinking, Sustainability, Stakeholder engagement, Development studies, Communication


Experience from varying projects in Zanzibar, Tunisia, Ghana and Nepal

Work sectors

Urban resilience, Flood resilience, Urban design, Sustainability

In New Global, I focused on promoting ecological sustainability, while supporting social and economic sustainability, in a complex urban design challenge in the heart of Tunis, Tunisia. I strived to find innovative ways of protecting and enhancing the vulnerable and valuable wetland ecosystem through urban design solutions that also consider the social and economic aspects of the surrounding human communities.

Ecological sustainability is the precondition for social and economic sustainability and human well-being, which is why it should be prioritised. I consider urban design a central tool to promote sustainability in the urban world of today and tomorrow, because most of sustainability issues will be solved in cities. This can be achieved by improving urban resilience by clever and engaging design and planning.

New Global offered me an opportunity to deepen my understanding in my fields of interest, but also encouraged to appreciate the strength of multidisciplinarity even more than before. 

I was constantly surprised and awed by the thoughts and perspectives the other team members brought forward, because they paid attention to different details than I did. This taught me a lot and makes me want to continue working in multidisciplinary teams in the future.


Miia graduated as an architect from Aalto University in autumn 2019 and also holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a minor in development studies. The background in social sciences followed her in the studies of architecture, taking her to varying projects in Nepal, Ghana, and Zanzibar. 

Miia’s master’s thesis handled sustainable urbanisation and the resilient development of informal settlements in Zanzibar, Tanzania. As a continuation of her thesis, Miia was part of the project team that studied the ecologically and socially sustainable development of the Sebkhat Sijoumi area in Tunis, Tunisia.