Credits: 5

Schedule: 16.04.2019 - 28.05.2019

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): All the information regarding taking the course will be updated to
MyCourses before the start of the course. In case of unclear
instructions or other uncertainties, please post your question to
"General discussion" forum on front page of MyCourses. Teacher in charge
can be reached via e-mail, or for face-to-face meeting during the
course on Thursdays 13.00-14.00 at room 309 / Otakaari 4.

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

V (spring term)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

After the course a student:

  • is familiar with the theoretical discussion on urban and regional development and can engage in academic discussions on the theme
  • is able to critically analyse urban environments, urban development, and related policies: their aims and means as well as their relation to spatial planning
  • recognizes and can analyse the contested nature societal context of planning and urban development, and can reflect on one's own role as a planner accordingly

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course provides a critical overview of urban and regional development and related theories. Including e.g. following topics:

  • Cities and regions in urbanizing world
  • Historical overview of urban development
  • Topical themes and emerging trends in urban development and spatial planning
  • Human-centred living environment
  • Urban change and spatial differentiation


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Assessment is based on learning outcomes, students are assessed based on their individual performance during the course. (40% on classes and reading seminars, and 60% on exam / course work)

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

The aim of the course assignments is to understand urban development urban environments in some areas in Helsinki, as well as to learn to collect and analyse data on urban areas and urban development. There are both
individual and group tasks during the course. We will divide into groups of four - each concentrating on one urban area and related development case.

ASSIGNMENTS (60 % of the grade)

Urban analysis (weeks 1–3 of the course) is an analysis of your case study area. You will analyse the nature or profile of a neighborhood. What are the
key characteristics? Which factors contribute to the nature
of the area? What is the service structure or social fabric? Based on your interests and chosen approach, you can concentrate
on a certain subtheme in your analysis: for example housing, resident profiles,
social interaction, resident experiences, representations of the area in media
or planning and development documents, historical change, functionality,
connectivity, transportation, urban structure, or something else.

The key findings will be reported as a one page summary (plus maps,
statistics or field notes etc. if needed). In addition everyone will wrote a short reflection on the methodology used.
(5 % of the grade)

Essay (weeks 4–6 of the course) is a critical and analytical text
and it is based on one’s own thinking and analysis but it will utilize academic
texts and follow the form of academic writing (use of references, general tone
of the text). You task is to analyse the processes and stakeholders of the development case of your group’s
case study area. Essay will be based on academic texts on urban development as well as your own analysis on the case. (20 % of the grade)

Home exam (week 7 of the course) is taken at the end of the course. During the exam period, you will answer one question based on course material. (35 % of the grade)

GROUP ASSIGNMENTS (40 % of the grade)

Neighborhood profile (weeks 1–3 of the course)will be compiled in groupsbased on results of individual urban analysis tasks. This is a
power point presentation or a pdf consisting of maps and few pages of text. These will be handed in and presented 2nd May. (25 % of the grade)

Development proposal (weeks 4–6 of the course) is made in groups, and it is based
on groups understanding on processes of planning & development (individual essays) and nature and profile of the neighborhood (neighborhood profile). Based on
critical analysis, each group will present a tool, process, policy, project or
other idea for development for their case area.
Presentations and hand-in date 23rd May.
Output: One page executive summary and presentation with a few slides. (15 % of the grade)


Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

24 h lectures, 116 h independent work and working in small groups

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

Readings: 12 academic articles or book chapters /appr 200-250 pages of text (28 h) (4 hours per week / 7 weeks)
Lectures: 24h of lectures (4 hours per week / 6 weeks)
Group work: 24h
Individual assignments and reflection: 64h (9 hours per week / 7 weeks)

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Academic readings. In addition, also material about urban development from various sources (planning documents, city strategies, media articles, videos, etc.)

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Maa-78.3240 Kaupunkien ja alueiden kehittämisen politiikat

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 


Lectures Tue & Thu (14.15–15.45 at R008/326, Otakaari 4) during the weeks 1–6 of the course. No lectures on week 7 (28th May & 30th May)

Due dates of the assignments:

Urban analysis & Neighborhood profile / 2nd May at 14.00.
Essay & Development proposal  / 23rd May at 14.00.
Home exam / 31st May at 14.00.


Registration and further information