There is an interesting thing about rivers, their cities and floods. Rivers are not consistent, time to time they like to be narrow or broad, sometimes they prefer to change their watercourse, or even direction of a flow, like Elbe in Hamburg. Planners and engineers don’t fancy that and build high stone banks, which water is told not to cross at any circumstances. Obviously it does.
It occurs that largest problems with floods are created by the same built environment we try to protect from being flooded. Everybody is sad and disoriented. But here we come, students of urban studies and planning! We are here to solve this problem and a thousand others, just to be the ones to make cities flourish! (Or not, if we prefer degrowth concept).
We, USP students, have just started our journey to master’s degree, and feel inspired by all the opportunities. We have chance to be introduced to the lecturers and professors from both Aalto and Helsinki universities, to ask them about their fields of research and practice. We can use both the extensive, accumulated for centuries library of the university of Helsinki and high tech equipment and spaces provided by Aalto university. Getting to know peers from both places is not a downside either. Studying in Helsinki, one of european major cities and transport hubs, gives a great live case study on all topics we learn. Also Helsinki has worldwide appreciated architectural and design context, evolving ICT sector, and is in process of transition from successful welfare state to a more liberal economic one. History is made here too!
International programme means all courses are held in English, improving everyone skills in academic writing, oratorical skills at big and small presentations, and negotiation skills during discussions and group projects. And discussions will be needed as to use all potential of multidisciplinary groups, that have been gathered! One can not know everything, but such restriction diminishes in a team of social scientists, historians, geographers, engineers, architects, economists and landscape architects! The amount of students is also not big, so it promotes trust, closeness and friendly bonding. It is also easier to influence the program and communicate with teaching stuff.
Being from multidisciplinary backgrounds students are able to choose the most interesting modules and courses available in universities, mixing and matching various practical and theoretical skills. Researching, planning, drawing, predicting, calculating, communicating, creating, participating - all at once or one at a time.
Btw, Helsinki does not have a proper river. Peculiar, isn’t it?