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AG2124 Contemporary Trends in Urban Planning and Design I 7.5 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2124 (Spring 2011–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

One of the major difficulties and problems with contemporary urban design theory, debate and practice is the sense that urbanism is ‘architecture, only at a larger scale and within an urban context’. This results in far too much emphasis on the ‘design’ and not enough of an understanding of the ‘urban’ factors. The course focuses on conscious design choices in the urban scale and examines selected aspects of urban planning and design and the results of contemporary theories and ideals. The basics of city-making and urban analysis is required from students first, and then in group work, they will apply a chosen contemporary trend in urban planning and design in the project area. The project are might vary from local Stockholm context or Swedish and -or European one. The idea is to problematize and contextualize a certain paradigm-trend in urban planning and design in order to illustrate and get ‘hands on’ knowledge of the practical consequences of different design approaches and ideals applied to a specific site. Complementary to this, the students will discuss, analyze, debate and visually present an individual design essay based on assigned contemporary urban planning and design readings, which will include a discussion of selected literature and specific design comparisons. The final design project will be presented in Studios with a Crit session that will include invited architects, planners and real estate developers.

Intended learning outcomes

The course will adopt a critical perspective towards contemporary trends in urban planning and design, in order to develop an in-depth approach toward a more meaningful understanding as well as planning and design of our cities. The objective of the course is to stimulate students to formulate their own viewpoints by sharpening their critical thinking and enabling a provocative debate into the inquiry of the conceptual nature of urban design. The course concentrates on urban design studios where students will investigate the complex nature of leading urban planning and design trends and identify and evaluate examples of programmatic and experimental urban design on macro, meso and micro levels. The course also includes seminar and analysis sessions as complement to studio project work that will enable the students in learning how to observe, analyze, problematize, discuss and criticize as well how to best design cities.

After completing the course the students will:

  • Comprehend more clearly the relation between theory and practice in urban planning and design and other akin disciplines involved in bridging architecture and planning on micro and meso scales.
  • Understand theoretically and practically the complexities of urban design issues in not just designing, but also retrofitting suburban or central city urban areas.
  • Discuss and apply lessons from contemporary planning approaches and urban design trends to everyday urbanism problems.
  • Express own urban planning and design ideas & results, as well as other viewpoints in a coherent and qualitative way by the way and means of drawings, sketches, discussion and ad-lib/oral manner.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning.
Previous studies should include courses corresponding to a minimum of 30 ECTS credits in the field of urban design.

In addition, AG2125 Defining the Elements of Urbanism and AD2850 Compositions in Urban Design or equivalent

Recommended prerequisites

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Contemporary Trends Course Compendium (Selected Urban Planning & Design Readings);

Moor, Malcolm and Rowland, Jon (Editors). 2006. Urban Design Futures. New York: Routledge;

Haas, Tigran (editor). 2008. New Urbanism & Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future. New York: Rizzoli;

Lance Jay Brown, David Dixon, Oliver Gillham. 2009. Urban Design for an Urban Century: Placemaking for People. New York: Wiley & Sons.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Assignments, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Studio Project, Critique (PRO1; 4,5c)
Seminar, Literature, Sketching, (ÖVN1; 3,0c)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Maria Håkansson

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AG2124

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Meike Schalk,