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 introduce the student the possibilities to use research on person-environment relationship in land use planning. The course explores the experiential world of an urban dweller or the user of urban places. After the course the student:

  • Can identify the main approaches on person-environment transactions and human experiences in various urban settings
  • Knows a variety of methodological approaches of environmental psychology and human-environmental research and has a capability to apply some of them in knowledge creation for land use planning projects
  • Knows how to gather and analyze information about urban experiences and how to search scientific knowledge from empirical person-environment research

In addition she/he also

  • Can critically evaluate the quality of urban spaces or the quality of plans from the point view of the human experience
  • Can apply person-environment research in land use planning

Credits: 5

Schedule: 09.01.2024 - 13.02.2024

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Marketta Kyttä-Pirjola

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


Marketta Kyttä (

phone: 050 5124583

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course focuses on the study of urban experiences in relation to the physical characteristics of the settings. During the course the student will learn about the classic approaches in person-environment research and environmental psychology. These themes include:

    • Aesthetic experiences
    • Sense of community
    • Perceived safety
    • Restorative environments
    • Childfriendly Environments
    • Place attachment

    Each theme will be studied both theoretically and empirically. In addition, the course will cover some more holistic themes, such as social sustainability and various urban lifestyles.

    When possible, a collaboration with a real-life planning case will be realized.

  • applies in this implementation

    This year (2024) the course contents is slightly changed so that the theme "Childfriendly Environments" will be discussed as part of the theme "Various User Groups" during the latter part of the course. In the beginning of the course this theme will be replaced by the theme "Functional Quality".

    The course will be arranged in 2024 in contact mode.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course utilizes student-centered learning methods. The methods include online learning, group work and lectures. Assessment is based on the project work that is realized in groups as well as on individual performance and assignments.

  • applies in this implementation

    45% Individual assignment

    5% Classroom activity

    50% Group works & presentations

  • valid for whole curriculum period:


    • Lectures 24 h (6 x 4h)
    • Online sessions 6 h
    • Group work 50 h
    • Individual assignments 55 h

    Total 135 h (5 cr)

  • applies in this implementation

    This year the workload slightly differs from that of the previous years:

    Pretask = 2 h

    Lectures 6 x 4 h = 24 h

    Group works = 66 h

    Individual course project work & course readings = 43 h

    Total 135 h (5 cr)

    Please be prepared to work quite a lot also between the contact sessions. During the first part of the course you will have a peer teaching excersise group work and during the latter part of the course an analysis challenge group work.


Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    10 Reduced Inequality

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Spring III
    2023-2024 Spring III

    Enrollment :

    Registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( Max 40 students. The priority will be given to the students of Master's Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering.

  • applies in this implementation

    This year we will focus especially on two aspects:

    1. Searching information about how the research knowledge about human-environment
    interaction can be used in urban planning solutions (e.g. how you can plan urban space that is perceived safe)

    2. The analysis of place-based datasets from users of urban space. You will be analyzing
    public participation GIS datasets collected for research purposes as well as for real life public participation.

    These two tasks will be realized as group work.

    PLEASE NOTICE! There is a pretask! More information in the front page of the My courses.

Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    See the front page!