Topic outline

  • Course Teachers

    Raine Mäntysalo,

    Jouni Ojala,

    Janne Oittinen,

    Oya Duman,

    Contact Person

    The main point of contact for this course's general inquiries is Janne Oittinen. However, you can always get in touch with any of the teachers if you need to. Contact Janne via email ( or using Microsoft Teams' chat feature.

    Course Summary

    Currently, the City of Kouvola is updating its city strategy in a challenging situation brought by the war in Ukraine, bringing into question its previous strategy of developing into a major Finnish transportation and logistics hub and gateway to Russia and China. The Planning Studio course will collaborate with the city, bringing alternative future insights through scenario work, and preparing a strategic land-use and transportation plan for the city, based on these scenario studies. The strategic plan for Kouvola would enable making short range decisions, with a view on the longer-term vision and alternative scenarios and uncertainties.

    Planning Studio (10 cr) is a compulsory course in the master's programme "Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering".

    Course Structure

    The course consists of weekly learning sessions (including sessions with Kouvola City officials), group work and individual studying (see Course Schedule for detailed programme). The course will be held onsite (provided that no Covid restrictions will emerge). During the course, absence of max two sessions of the scheduled joint sessions is allowed.

    For further information on the course contents, pedagogical aims and student & teacher feedback, see the article titled "Enhancing knowledge, skills and identity development through collaborative student-led learning: Experiences with the gradual empowerment of students in a planning studio course" written by Eva Purkarthofer and Raine Mäntysalo (also available in Materials section).

    Commended by AESOP Excellence in Teaching Prize Committee, July 9th, 2020:

    “The Committee appreciated the module’s structure, strong pedagogical framework,  organisation, and strong links to theory (e.g. the use of notions of the temporal framing of planning and ‘strategic incrementalism’ as guiding concepts). There were very good links to practice too achieved through the format of working with different municipalities each year. This allowed coverage of a wide range of real life issues which can be faced by a municipality and gave learners an excellent opportunity to gain first hand experience and knowledge. The module culminates in the students producing a strategic land use and transport plan and vision for the selected municipality. The ‘resilience of teaching’ aspect was well-covered.”