USP Students Immersed in Confused Suburban Identities

The first ever semester of the Master's in Urban Studies and Planning has flown by!  Over the last 10 weeks, the students have been immersed in topics covering all things urban, suburban, planning, and more.  
USP Vantaa Excursion

USP Students on excursion in Vantaa. Photo: Salla Jokela.

Each week has been a deep dive into various perspectives and elements of the urban and suburban, including topics such as: suburban dynamics of Vantaa, green areas and landscape architecture, history and archeology, branding and identity, density, economic development, social development and segregation, real estate economics, participation and planning, and design in governance.  It’s been a whirlwind of theory, new methodological research methods, and analyzing and mapping phenomena in GIS.  

As the semester begins to wind down, the students are heads down analyzing and synthesizing all of these perspectives. Students have come together in multidisciplinary groups to write articles around 3 themes: Urban Planning, Segregation, and Ecology/Sustainability:

  • Analysis of Hakunila Shopping Center from 4 perspectives: power relations in public space, market analysis and land use policy, human perception and experience of space, and design for identity
  • Vantaa as a part of Helsinki metropolitan region, through a study of multicentered metropolitan regions
  • Smart Cities, Smart Mobility, and Smart Art in Vantaa
  • How are young people doing in Vantaa? Case study: Koivukylä
  • Sustainable futures for Hakunila and Sotunki

In just one month these articles will be combined into the first ever USP program publication on Confused Suburban Identities in Vantaa.