Inclusive Urbanism

Global circulation of people, capital and goods is constantly changing our cities. Urban infrastructures are rather stable, but still, societal changes pose new demands for built environment. Urban dynamics can change more rapidly than we even think of: we work and live differently, our consumption habits change constantly, and mobility patterns are different than they used to be. All this calls for more adaptable urban environment, diverse public spaces and open processes to improve our quality of life despite challenges.

How can urban planning and design better prepare for this? Can we plan for flexibility? How to plan in the face of radical uncertainty?

Also new kind of spatial inequalities are being created, indirectly via global economical instabilities, but also directly, through sudden external changes. For instance the recent flux of refugees to Europe set new challenges for example for housing and social cohesion. This can abruptly change spatial settings and create new demands for cities. How can urban planning react to this and contribute to social cohesion? How can we create more inclusive public spaces to achieve more integrated cities? How could we respond to quickly changing housing needs and preferences?

In an uncertain situation, the challenge is to understand societal changes and create possibilities, via planning, for more adaptable and inclusive urban development. The 22nd IFHP Urban Planning and Design Summer School looks for solutions in a scale of urban block – be it a traditional urban block with adjacent public spaces, or an experientially meaningful part of a mixed urban neighborhood.  The aim is to plan urban blocks to support socially inclusive, spatially adaptive and ecologically rich urbanism.



These questions are studied in workshop cities, Jyväskylä and Rauma. Both cities provide topical urban development cases and are excellent platforms to study and innovate together with professional planners in an international environment.

Participants will be invited to explore the theme in an individual task and develop the ideas to an urban planning and design solution as group work in one of the two case-cities, Jyväskylä or Rauma. The projects will be developed in a semi-realistic manner, in interaction with planners of the two cities and experts of planning education and research.


Structure of the Summer School


The first days of the course are spent at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus. This part of the course consists of lectures on topics related to the theme Inclusive Urbanism and Finnish architecture, planning and culture. There will also be a full-day presentation of the City of Helsinki, including a tour of recent planning projects. This section of the programme aims at facilitating the practical work in the main part of the Summer School.

The core of the event is the active period of nine days in Jyväskylä and Rauma following the opening section. The participants will be divided into two groups and travel to the partner cities where active project planning and workshops will take place. In workshop cities participants are invited to analyse the existing conditions and to suggest innovative and realistic improvements to the environment of the planning area. Working in small groups, the participants will make their own proposals in accordance with the theme of the course. Work will be tutored by experienced planners and other experts of Urban Studies and the final proposals will be presented to decision-makers, the general public and the local press.

The working language of the course is English. A perfect command, however, is not required. There will be mutual assistance within the groups.