AG2184 New Urban Sociology and Environmental Psychology for Urban Design 6.0 credits

Ny urbansociologi och miljöpsykologi för stadsutformning

Urban Sociology and Environmental Psychology are interdisciplinary fields focused on the sociological study of life and human interaction in urban areas, and the interplay between individuals and their surroundings. The course explores the interdependent role cities play in the development of society and human relations, the complex links between urban processes, including economic, political and cultural developments. Students are introduced to key theoretical formulations and models in the area of environmental psychology related to people and places, such as personal space, place attachment, place identity, behavioral settings, environmental restoration, affordances, cognitive maps and wayfinding, among others. The course especially focuses on applications of behavioral studies in urban design projects. The course further introduces students to theories surrounding urban societal development, notions of urbanity and issues related to urban (re)development that cities face today. This includes aspects of social (in)justice, gentrification, and “urban sustainability”, as well as the role of power in planning. Topics addressed concern urban politics, economics and housing markets, democracy and participation in policy and planning, and questions of class, gender, ethnicity, and culture in relation to urban environments and lifestyles.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

Urban Sociology and Environmental Psychology are interdisciplinary fields focused on the sociological study of life and human interaction in urban areas and the interplay between individuals and their surroundings. The course explores the interdependent role cities play in the development of society and human relations, the complex links between urban processes, including economic, political and cultural developments. Students are introduced to key theoretical formulations and models in the area of environmental psychology related to people and places, such as personal space, place attachment, place identity, environmental consciousness, behavioral settings, affordances, cognitive maps and wayfinding and others. Relationships between the physical environment, natural and human-made, and the behavior of human beings are studied in-depth; focusing on perceptual, cognitive, and motivational aspects of the human-environmental interaction. The course especially focuses on applications of behavioral studies in urban design projects. The course further explores theories surrounding urban societal development, notions of urbanity and the issues related to urban (re)development cities face today. This includes aspects of social (in)justice, gentrification, and “urban sustainability”, as well as the role of power in planning. Topics addressed include urban politics, economics and housing markets, democracy and participation in public policy processes, and questions of class, gender, ethnicity, and culture in relation to urban environments and lifestyles

Intended learning outcomes *

After completing the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss key theories and concepts in urban sociology and environmental psychology relating to the interplay between people and their environment.
  • Identify and discuss potential conflicts or synergies in urban processes related to economic, political, social and cultural developments, and how it effects interactions between different groups.
  • Explain and reflect on how urban design and planning (including the role of design or planning professionals) shape the conditions for urban life and human behavior.
  • Discuss the implementation of theoretical frameworks and tools from urban sociology and environmental psychology in relation to a specific urban phenomenon or district.
  • Suggest how planning and decision-making can create possibilities for changing urban processes.

Course Disposition

The course is based on a set of seminars focused on assigned readings and deep discussions on the subject, where different views and viewpoints are presented. The students will hand in response papers for each seminar, and the course is concluded by a final paper on the students’ topic of choice from the course.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Three years of studies in urban planning, regional development, architecture, urban sociology, human geography, physical and town planning, urban design or similar, together with AG2182.

 This course is not open to international exchange students.

Recommended prerequisites

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Equipment

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Literature

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Examination and completion

Grading scale *

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

Examination *

  • MOMA - Literature assignment, 1.5 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • SEMA - Participation in literature seminars, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Final paper, 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 *

The final grade for the course (grade scale A-F) is an aggregation of these partial grades, contingent on your completion on all course parts. Seeing as TEN1 comprises a main part of the course credit and examines all learning outcomes, this partial grade is weighted the highest when combined with the partial grade for MOM2.

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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Examiner

Tigran Haas

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 AG2184

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study *

Built Environment

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Contact

Pernilla Hagbert (Pernilla.hagbert@abe.kth.se

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.