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AG2135 Challenges for Metropolitan Urban Regions 7.5 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2135 (Autumn 2015–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The objective of this course is to provide students with an active learning experience during which they will acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge in the realm of urban planning and design, regional development and urban sociology. The aim of the course is to assist planners, architects, urban designers, civil engineers and human geographers, to understand the concepts, skills, and strategies that are needed in dealing with contemporary cities, i.e. global metropolitan regions faced with increasingly complex challenges as well as opportunities but also converging crises ranging from climate change, economic crisis, urbanization to growing diversity and movement of people. This course aims to develop skills, through various course modules, for addressing metropolitan structural changes and for exploring strategies that will make a difference both at the city and on a regional scale. Both European/Nordic and non-EU (American, African and Asian) situations and cases are studied. An investigation of these will not only address site-scale planning & design issues but also it will cover in depth the broader social, ecological, cultural and political processes that dynamically shape our urban spaces, landscapes, and people’s everyday lives and experiences. The course “Challenges for Metropolitan Urban Regions” sets out to examine the multiple, multifaceted and competing forces that influence the (place) making of contemporary metropolitan cityscapes.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course requirements, students should be able:

  • To examine competing paradigms and discourses of postmodern city planning and design and develop critical understanding of the processes of rapid urban change in contemporary metropolitan cities.
  • To demonstrate a deeper understanding of the complexities and crucial issues within urban development and city planning of metropolitan regions through the exploration of design strategies and spatial practices considering the needs for social, economic and environmental sustainability.
  • To critically analyze the synergy of transportation, economics, ecology, urban forms and social aspects in the planning and management of metropolitan city regions from micro, meso to macro levels.
  • To describe and propose solutions for tackling the negative aspects of urbanization in cities demonstrated through rampant urban development, energy inefficiency, weak infrastructure systems, automobile dependency, uncontrolled sprawl, pollution, resource scarcity, housing shortage, crime and other related issues.

Course disposition

The course is organized into several modules. The modules are intended to share the context of the issues, advance a number of models, and share best principles and practices. Aside from allocated readings for seminars and talks, the course project will be done individually or in teams (depending on class size). The form of the project can be empirical, data-based, in essay form or experiential and visual.

A plethora of methods and topics will be encouraged and maximum flexibility for creativity, ctitical thinking and innovation will be permited. The aim to apply knowledge gained from the course discussions, talks and readings to a “real world” understanding of metropolitan city and region planning and development in context.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Documented proficiency in English corresponding to English B/English 6 and at least 180 ects within architecture, the built environment or a program witin social or natural sciences which includes at least 30 ects in urban studies, urban and regional planning, transport management, economical geography or environmental science.

Recommended prerequisites

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Richard T. LeGates and Frederic Stout. 2011. City Reader (Routledge Urban Reader Series) 5th edition, London: Routledge

Haas, T. 2012. Sustainable Urbanism & Beyond: Rethinking Cities for the Future, New York: Rizzoli

Edgar Pieterse. 2008. City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development, London: Zed Books

Mike Jenks, Daniel Kozak and Pattaranan Takkanon. 2008. World Cities and Urban Form: Fragmented, Polycentric, Sustainable? London: Routledge

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


  • PRO2 - Individual Project Assignment, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • SEM3 - Seminars, 3.5 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

Individual Project Work (PRO2; 4.0 credits)
Seminars, Workshops, Lectures (SEM3; 3.5 credits)

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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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 AG2135

Offered by

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Tigran Haas,