Topic outline

  • Welcome to the course - please find below the course schedule!

    Lecture slides and additional material related to lectures will be be uploaded to "Materials" (in the main menu) after each session.

    Info on course Assignments - with detailed instructions and specific materials - can be found on the main menu, too. Assignment 3 will be added on week 4 of the course and Assignment 4 on week 7.

    In case of questions, please contact the teacher in charge Tuomas Ilmavirta ( or post your question to the forum below.

    Course schedule 2022
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    Below you will find instructions on the assignment 1 as well as materials for each group. Each group has a specific theme with 2–3 articles to read. Feel free to use also other material in your presentation (definitely not necessary), but make sure to concentrate on the designated articles. Below you will also find a forum for group discussions (individual part of the assignment - see instructions).

    Presentations 3rd of May (Groups 1–4) and 5th of May (Groups 5–8). Discussions due the presentation date of each group.

    Group 1 - Branding, development & planning

    Jokela, Salla (2020) Transformative city branding and the evolution of the entrepreneurial city: The case of “Brand New Helsinki”. Urban Studies 57(10) 2031-2046
    Oliveira, Eduardo (2014) Place-Branding as a Strategic Spatial Planning Instrument. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2015) 11, 18–33
    Editorial (2010) Definitions of place branding - Working towards a resolution. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2010) 6, 1–10

    Group 2 - Neighbourhoods & development

    Mäenpää, P. & Faehnle, M. (2017). Civic activism as a resource for cities. Helsinki Quarterly 1/2017 68-81
    Meegan, R. & Mitchell, A. (2001). ’It’s Not Community Round Here, It’s Neighbourhood’: Neighbourhood Change and Cohesion in Urban Regeneration Policies. Urban Studies 38(12) 2167-2194, 

    Group 3 - City-regions

    Soja, Edward. On the concept of global city regions
    Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2008). The rise of the city region. European Planning Studies 16(8) 1025-1046, 
    Paasi, A. (2009). The Resurgence of the ‘Region’ and ‘Regional Identity’: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Observations on Regional Dynamics in Europe. Review of International Studies 35(S1) 121-146, 

    Group 4 - Regeneration & planning

    Lovering, John (2007) Relationship between urban regeneration and neoliberalism: Two presumptuous theories and a research agenda.
    Hermelin, Brita & Johnson, Robert (2020) Governance of Waterfront Regeneration Projects: Experiences from Two Second-tier Cities in Sweden.

    Group 5 - Temporary uses as urban development

    Madanipour, Ali (2018) Termporary use of space: Urban Processes between flexibility, opportunity and precarity
    Groth, J & Corijn, E. (2005) Reclaiming Urbanity: Indeterminate Spaces, Informal Actors and Urban Agenda Setting. Urban Studies, Vol. 42, No. 3, 503—526
    Henneberry, John () Introduction: Temporary Uses as Alternative Practices

    Group 6 - Narratives & storytelling

    Ameel, Lieven (2016) Towards a narrative typology of urban planning narratives for, in and of planning in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki
    Throgmorton, James (2003) Planning as Persuasive Storytelling in a Global-Scale Web of Relationships

    Group 7 - Planning & sustainability

    Campbell, Scott (1996) Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities?: Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development
    Naess, Petter (2001) Urban Planning and Sustainable Development

    Group 8 - 15-minute city & post-COVID cities

    Pozoukidou & Chatziyiannaki (2021) 15-minute City: Decomposing the New Urban Planning Eutopia.
    Florida R., Rodriguez-Pose, A.  & Storper, M. (2021) Cities in a post-COVID world.
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    You will find the material for Assignment 2 in this page. The material consists of city strategies. Feel free to look other information online that might relate to the the city strategy you analyse (one city per student). Or you can also choose another city and find its strategy. Please compare the city strategies in your group (choose three comparison criteria). Detailed instructions for preparing the group presentation can be found below in the PDF file.

    Presentations 10th May, submission to MyCourses 18th of May.

    Here are some useful articles you may utilise in your analysis - you can find the pdf's below:

    Andersson, I. (2016). ‘Green cities’ going greener? Local environmental policy-making and place branding in the ‘Greenest City in Europe’. European Planning Studies 24(6) 1197-1215,

    Brenner, N. & Wachsmuth, D. (2012). Territorial competitiveness: Lineages, practices, ideologies. In: Sanyal, B.; Vale, L. & Rosan, C. (eds). Planning ideas that matter: livability, territoriality, governance, and reflective practice. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, pp.179-204

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    You will find the instructions for Neighbourhood Development Opportunities on this page.

    This is an individual task. Each student selects a city neighbourhood that s/he knows well and prepares a SWOT analysis of the neighbourhood. Based on the SWOT analysis, each student identifies a small number of key development opportunities for his/her chosen neighbourhood.

    The assignment should follow a similar format to the neighbourhood development opportunities in the Stockholm City Plan (pp.111-165) - you can find the file below. Also below: more detailed instructions as a PDF file.
    Each student will present his/her analysis in a small group and will develop the work based on peer feedback.

    Presentations 24th May, submission to MyCourses 3rd of June.

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    Drawing on the course materials, write a critical reflective essay on one of the following questions:

    1. Analyse the extent to which urban plans and strategies in different cities follow a similar model and utilize similar themes, and discuss which theories can be used to explain the reasons for similarities and differences.
    2. Looking at an example of urban planning & development case, analyse how storytelling and branding are utilized in urban planning and development? Discuss the pros and cons as well as possible contradictions related to these approaches.
    3. Looking at a recent example of an urban or neighbourhood development case / plan, analyse the extent to which it includes human-centered and “soft” development approaches, and discuss the key challenges for implementing these concepts in practice. (for soft development approaches, see lecture slides)

    The essay needs to be critical, reflective and draw on theoretical and empirical materials. The length of the text should be approximately 2000 words. The hand-in date is 3.6. at 3pm

    Some characteristics of a good essay answer:

    -It refers to scientific texts, yet presents writer's own thoughts
    -It builds clear arguments
    -It is focused and logically structured

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    Each of the assignments has equal weight (25 %) in grading. Assignments 1 & 2 have both group and individual element, assignments 3 & 4 are made individually.

    Active participation in the teaching discussions and smaller tasks during lectures affect the grade, too. (+/- 1)

    The Final deadline for Assignments 3 & 4 is 17th June at 3pm. Late submissions (between 3rd June and 17th June) will affect the grade of the assignment -2.