Spring semester: specializations and urban challenge studio II

In Spring 2018, USP students studied in four study-track specific specialization courses and in one common study module, Urban Challenge Studio II. The theme of the studio was "A tale of two cities: Helsinki-Nanjing". Read more about this semester below!
usp yearly programme structure

Second semester of the academic year 2018-2019 has directed USP students towards their specialization in three study tracks: Peoples, Plans, and Systems. Courses included to each track are specified in the image above.

USP PEOPLES specializes in Urban Life, Economy and Cultures. The study line addresses urban development by integrating analysis of socio-economic, digital and physical structures with planning. 

USP PLANS specializes in Urban Planning and Design. The study track addresses urban development by integrating the knowledge, skills and pedagogical approaches of both planning and design and by developing synergies across multiple disciplines. 

USP SYSTEMS specializes in Urban Eco­lo­gies and Sys­tems. The study track addresses urban development by integrating technical and natural science knowledge, including methodologies for studying, assessing and planning for social and ecological resilience, technological innovation and complex adaptive systems.

Urban Challenge Studio II

usp final studio

During the Spring semester, USP students had one core study module together - Urban Challenge studio II (10 ECTS). Compared to autumn semester's studio, UCS II is more advanced in terms of the breadth and depth of research and planning skills and applications. In 2018, the theme of Urban Challenge Studio II was "Helsinki-Nanjing - a tale of two cities" and included an international excursion to China on March 3-11, 2018.

The first part of Urban Challenge Studio II looked into the new Master Plan of Helsinki, focusing on the affects, challenges and possibilities of densifying Helsinki. The studio included tutoring teachers from the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the City of Helsinki. For part I, Learning from Helsinki, students presented the following final works:

  • Myllypuro - The complexity of gentrification
  • Malmi 2050 – Analysis and Future vision
  • Kannelmäki - Creative Urbanists
  • Laajasalo – Seaside development

In the second part, Learning from Nanjing, students travelled to Nanjing, China, to learn about rapidly urbanising Chinese cities through experimental learning. You can read more about the excursion here. Based on their observations, students produced concept plans for a specific development site in Nanjing. The following plans were presented in a final critique session on April 6th, in front of an audience consisting of students, teachers and visiting professors:

  • Housing: The Nordic Town
  • Green Roofs: Keuhko
  • Education: Science Hub and Neighbourhood Schools
  • Street Life: Creative Valley

USP students impressed the audience with their presentations! Students had worked hard on their concept plans and showed genuine enthusiasm in presenting them. The outcomes highlighted interdiscplinarity in urban planning while also represented the students strenghts in their own specialization areas. Studio working is proving to be a fruitful way of producing new scientific knowledge and concrete planning suggestions. It is shaping out to be a great Spring!