Topic outline

  • The permanent zoom link to our online sessions is here. 
    Below you can find the timetable of the course.


  • Before the course starts on Tuesday 11.1., you should finish a small pretask.

    1. Identify two places that are personally meaningful for you

    Please identify both a positive and negative urban place experience, that is especially meaningful to you for a variety of reasons. The place can be:

    • A smaller scale place or a larger area
    • In Finland or elsewhere
    • The experience can be related to whatever part of your life

    2. Make a short presentation about your place experiences

    Describe the two places that you chose:

    • Use maps, photographs, drawings, video or text to describe the places. What are the places like physically?
    • Tell about your own place experiences. Why do you feel positively or negatively about these places? How does the physical setting contribute to your experiences?
    Please make a Power Point presentation with max 2 slides (no more!) or make a short video (max 3 min).

    During the first session you will introduce yourself while giving your presentation.

    Feel free to ask further instructions if needed!


    This group work is focusing on the ways we can use scientific knowledge about various themes related to urban experiences in planning and design. Please prepare in groups a peer-teaching session about the theme that you have chosen. You can use whatever pedagogical approach in the peer-teaching task. You will have 15-20 min time for your teaching session.

    Pick the theme that your group is dealing with and:

    • Watch the video lecture about the topic of your group to learn what I am going to teach related to the topic. You are not supposed to cover the same material that I will discuss in my lecture but complementing perspectives.
    • Read additional material about:
    1. The ways how to apply this knowledge in urban & transportation  planning and design
    2. Studies and theories related to the theme
    The focus in the peer teaching will be in the applications of the theme in planning and design but it is excellent if you deepen our understanding about the topic by reading additional research material and present some parts of it in your session. Once again: Please do not repeat the same themes that I am including in my lecture.

    Your first task in to choose your group. Then PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO FIND MATERIAL ABOUT THE THEME OF YOUR GROUP.
  • In your second group task you will analyze the Public Participation GIS dataset collected for the city of Espoo.

    The dataset includes everyday place markings and location of personally meaningful places.

    Your first task will be to choose your group (group task 2) where you work during the second group work.

    To help you to start analyzing the dataset,  we have created clusters, hot spots for negative and positive place markings. Your second task will be to choose from two to four clusters that you will analyze in your group. While choosing the clusters you will also get yourself familiar with the datasets from Espoo that we will analyze in this course. The dataset was collected with the MyEspoo survey in autumn 2020.

    When realizing the analysis challenge, you have a variety of possibilities for the task. You can for example analyze the cluster by using one or more from the options 1-4 listed below. In all these analysis it is important to reflect both the experiences of people and the characteristics of settings. Your analysis can focus to one of these dimensions or many but please always try to realize analysis that at least somehow reflects both the "soft" and "hard" layers of information. 

    Please frame your analysis with ideas from Environmental Psychology that you have learned during the course or you have been inspired elsewhere. This framing can be based on theoretical ideas or empirical findings that we have discussed.

    Please make a presentation about your work for the last session. The presentation can be  max 10 min long, you cannot exceed this time!


    1.  GIS-analysis or visualization and compare the land use in the clusters that you have chosen and analyze e.g.:

    • Mixed land use
    • Density level
    • Intersection density
    • Green structure proportion
    • Something else...

    2.  On site analysis of the users

    Get additional information about the users of the site for example by:
    • Realizing behavior mapping a la Jan Gehl and observing how people use the site
    • Realizing interviews among the users of the site: for example short street interviews or walk along interviews might be doable
    • Making a video on the site and how it is used
    • Something else...

    3. Deeper analysis of the site characteristics

    Get additional information about the characteristics of the site for example by:
    • Realizing an expert audit, systematically observing the characteristics of the site
    • Using Google street views to analyze the characteristics of the site
    • Realizing a historical analysis of the site
    • Something else...

    4. Do improvement suggestions based on the place experiences by people

    Based on the analysis of the clusters and the information you have collected when doing tasks 1-3, you probably can give some suggestions how the place could be developed. Please visualize your ideas and justify how the ideas would improve the places.

    If you need help in the group work, please contact your superwiser:

    Groups 1-5 -> Anna:

    Groups 6-10 -> Kamyar:

    PLEASE CONTACT  Anna & Kamyar via email to get support online!

  • Write an essay about what you learned about urban experiences and human-friendly planning during the course.

    •The lenght of the essay: 6-10 pages, New Times Roman 12, lining 1,5.

    You can start from thinking about your own personal urban experience, that you reflected during your pretask. Did you learn something more about human experiences and behavior in relation to various settings? How those lessons can be translated to human-friendly planning or design?

    Use the material provided on the course pages. The readings can be found both:
    • In the section related to the group work 1
    • In the section Additional readings
    • You can surely also find your own references and material
    • When possible, please try to find links to planning and design

    The format of the final work is free. You can write a traditional essay but you can also use visualizations, images or even make a blog, podcast or video.

    The deadline for the individual course work will be two weeks after the course has ended.  It is, nevertheless excellent if you start the work already during the course!