Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The aim of the course is to provide understanding of the multidimensional concept of ´smart and liveabe city' and the ubiquitous ICT in our living environment, what this means in different contexts and how it can be applied and evaluated from a variety of perspectives in the practice of planning and design.

As an outcome of the course the student achieves knowledge of different urban systems in the context of liveability, and recognizes the wide-ranging expertise necessary to the planning and developing cities.

Students will learn to cope with the uncertainties in available planning data and, to consider the reliability of methods through a hands-on process in which their planning principles are constantly tested.

Students will get familiar with the evolving field of computational planning and planning support systems.

Finally, students will receive practical skills which support their professional development.

Credits: 10

Schedule: 03.03.2021 - 02.06.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Otso Helenius, Antti Kauppi, Aija Staffans

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Aija Staffans

Contact information for the course (valid 28.02.2021-21.12.2112):


Aija Staffans,

Antti Kauppi,

Otso Helenius,

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The emphasis of the course is methodological. The students will conduct a series of methodological exercises related to planning and design. The course follows a human-centric framework and discusses widely the liveability of cities.

    Students will work both individually and in small teams in cooperation with professionals in the field. Besides the weekly contact teaching, an intensive week will be arranged to support working together.

    Lectures will be arranged related to liveability, smart cities and digitalized planning.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The pedagogy of the course is based on collaborative and problem oriented approaches, as well as learning by doing, and seeks to achieve both double and triple loop learning. Collaborative methods, rich use of urban information and ict-enabled tools, presentations and visualization skills are emphasized.

    The course will be passed when the student has the following assignments accepted:

    1) conducting all the planning related exercises on the smart and liveable city,

    2) co-creating of the smart & livable city concept from a holistic and integrative perspective.

    Therefore, 80 % participation in the classroom work is obligatory.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Exercises 210 hours

    Intensive weak 30 hours

    Lectures and readings 30 hours

    Total 270 h (10 cr)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Readings of the course (articles, book chapters etc.) will be specified later.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Readings (see also the Materials)

    Theoretical papers

    • Liveability: Lowe, M. et al. 2015. Planning Healthy, Liveable and Sustainable Cities: How Can Indicators Inform Policy?
    • Urban planning and ICT: Potts, R. 2020. Is a New ‘Planning 3.0’ Paradigm Emerging?
    • Big data and urban informatics: Thakuriah, P. et al. 2015. Big Data and Urban Informatics: Innovations and Challenges to Urban Planning and Knowledge Discovery.
    • Smart cities: Hollands, R. 2014. Critical interventions into the corporate smart city.

    Policy related papers and popular articles

    • Smart cities: Smart cities and sustainability initiative. American Planning Association. 2015
    • Liveability: Arundel. J. et al. 2018. Creating liveable cities in Australia. 
    • Critics on smart cities: Sterling, B. 2019. Stop Saying "Smart Cities".
    • Critics on liveable cities: Kotkin, J. 2009. Why The 'Livable Cities' Rankings Are Wrong?

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    For the project work of the course you should master at least one and be somewhat familiar with at least one of the following skills:

    You are able to utilize and combine various cad drawings and other data from different sources, often provided as autocad-files, potentially using different coordinate systems

    You are able to use either Revit or Archicad (and possibly Rhino/3dsmax + a rendering software) to open existing BIM models, quickly model, edit, and visualize anything from building parts to neighborhoods

    You are able to use a graphic suite of your choosing to create visually appealing illustrations, charts, drawings, maps and page layouts

    You are able to create real-time rendered 3d-scenes + simple logic and controls using a general purpose game engine such as Unity

    You are able to utilize GIS data provided in different formats and coordinate systems using a suite such as ArchGIS

    You can create interactive web-based visualizations HTML5 (with or without libraries such as D3) and/or mapping tool APIs, such as Google maps

    You are able to use advanced analysis methods either by powerusing Excel including Macros/Pivot tables, and/or using Matlab, Mathematica

    You are able to create simulations using traffic simulation software (e.g., VISSIM, Aimsun, Paramics, etc.) and/or use travel demand forecasting software (e.g., eMME, VISSUM, CUBE, etc.)

    You are proficient with some evaluation tools (e.g., accessibility assessment, cost-benefit analysis, multicriteria analysis, HDM, STEAM)

    You are able to create prototypes and implement algorithms using a programming language and a database management software of your choice (e.g., MS Visio, Simulink, Python, VBA, SQL)

    You are proficient with some of the traffic operations design tools (e.g., Synchro, Transyt 7F, HCS+, SIDRA)

    You are confident with your statistical analysis skills (e.g., SPSS, JMP, Minitab, R)

    You are able to utilize qualitative data analysis tools (e.g., NVivo, Atlas.ti)

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities