Credits: 10

Schedule: 09.01.2020 - 09.04.2020

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

The responsible teachers Kimmo Lapintie (, +358505842710) and Hossam Hewidy ( can be contented also during Thursday sessions, as well as teachers who are present.

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

Analyze the urban challenge theme and a particular urban situation in relation to relevant issues and theories drawn from across multiple disciplines; Demonstrate understanding of urban issues and dynamics across spatial and temporal scales, including local, regional, national and global impacts.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Common urban challenge studios integrate multiple expert areas to study and address contemporary urban phenomena from different perspectives. The challenge-driven educational model of the studio crosses disciplines and specializations, prioritizing design thinking, learning-by-doing experimentation, transdisciplinarity and solving societal challenges. The students will produce research exploration. For the USP-A and USP-LA students the focus will be in design work.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

In 2020, we will study the concept of urbanity, its meaning, history, applications and problems from different disciplinary perspectives. The student will be working both individually and in multidisciplinary groups. In their individual work they will study urbanity from their own disciplinary perspective (through thematic research projects, case studies or planning for design tasks), while in the group work they will address the integration of the different disciplines. The students and the groups will design their projects in the beginning of the course; thereby the working practices are also preparation for the final thesis of the program. These will be supported with lectures, tutoring, feedback and discussion. The groups will produce a report of their interdisciplinary analysis and findings, and each student will produce a report, plan or design. Intermediate feedback session will be organised in the end of the 3rd period and in the end of the 4th period, after which the students will have time to finalise their individual reports.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Active participation in the different tasks specified during the course, such as lectures and discussions, group work, field trips, presentations and final reports and learning portfolios. Comprehensive evaluation individually but also partly based on collective work. The grading is defined form 5 (outstanding) to 1 (acceptable).

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

The submitted reports and/or proposals will be evaluated using the established academic criteria that will also be used in the assessment of Master's Theses (e.g. definition of the topic, command of the relevant literature, methods and their use, professional quality of the eventual production part of the work (design/plan). The main criteria of the group work is the ability to integrate the different perspectives (from multidisciplinary to interdisciplinarity to transdisciplinarity). The individual submission will be evaluated based on their ability to address the course topic from the disciplinary perspective, while also using knowledge from the other disciplines. 50% of the grade will be based on the group work and 50% on the individual work. Active participation in the groups and in general discussion is required, but it swill not be evaluated separately – it should be used as a tool for the final performance.

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

The weekly meetings of the studio will be on Thursdays, including lectures, tutoring and group work assisted by teachers. On Fridays, student groups and individuals will work independently. It is important to use the two days effectively for the studio, including the reflection of one's own learning process. In addition to the seminar days (where students should develop both their common and individual tasks (around 166 working hours), one should dedicate around 100 working hours for the preparation of the individual tasks.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Will be announced before the course begins

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Prerequisite is acceptance to USP as ‘major’ or ‘minor’ studies option and completion of USP Urban Challenge Studio 1; final decision is program chair (in consultation with course leader) if the course is overbooked.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Weekly schedule (subject to changes)


Introduction by Kimmo Lapintie & Hossam Hewidy. Organising into groupsShort individual presentations of the chosen cities (to teachers and the group), discussion on the international dimension of urbanity. Initial discussion of the study plan. Reading task on the concept of urbanity. Submitting the draft study plan of the group and the individual (on Monday), which are commented on before next Thursday.


Defining urbanity. Lectures on history and sociology of the urban. Student groups present to class their understanding of urbanity and the topic that they will study. Continuing the preparation of the study plan in the groups and individually. Individual submissions (on Monday), needs to be accepted by the teachers.


Knowledge strategyLecture (Kimmo Lapintie, USP, on strategy and knowledge). Student groupsprepare their group’s knowledge strategy and submit it before Thursday.


Lecture (on multiculturalism and urban housing). Students discuss their topics and their knowledge strategy (with teachers and group). They start searching for the relevant knowledge, dividing tasks, presenting the first findings to their group.  


Lecture on segregation. Collecting knowledge and starting the analysis of the topics and the case studies both from the research and the planning perspective.  Drafting the planning/design proposals on the chosen sites to experiment with urban solutions. Individual tutoring by relevant teachers. Submitting the results before Thursday.


Groups present the results (to the class) from the literature review, the analysis of the topics and the draft planning proposals (design/planning/strategy). Interdisciplinary feedback.

17.2.-21.2. BREAK


Lecture on happiness and density. Updating the study plan of the IV period based on the results and the critique of the III period. Submitting the group and the individual study plans before Thursday. 


Lecture on urbanity and consumption. Continuing the group and the individual tasks. Individual tutoring.


Lecture on immigration and urban economics. Continuing the group and the individual tasks (flexibility according to situation). Individual tutoring.


Lecture on urban culture. Continuing the group and the individual tasks (flexibility according to situation). Individual tutoring.


Lecture (Seona Candy, Urbaria, on carbon-neutral city). Continuing the group and the individual tasks (flexibility according to situation). Individual tutoring.


Finalising the group reports and the planning proposals independently. No lecture / possible tutoringSubmitting the group reports on Monday. 


Final critique. Presentation of the results. Interdisciplinary feedback.


Submitting the individual reports and/or the planning proposals (instead of portfolios)





Registration and further information