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AG2809 Project Sustainable Urban Planning - Assessments, Plans and Processes 15.0 credits

In 2021, the course revolves around Bagarmossen, a 1950s suburb south of Stockholm. It is gentrifying, so far with positive effects, and residents are positive to development and change. However, suburban life is not on a level that can be sustained, neither in terms of climate impacts, nor in other aspects of resource use or social aspects.

Assessment tools for sustainable development in city districts conceptualise the problems and indicate measures to take, but are often weak in telling Who is the change agent. If we use such a tool for assessing today’s level of (non-)sustainability and to indicate a 2030s target, then we can identify the gaps between these two; the target gap, the actors’ gap, the measures gap and the time gap. They must be studied iteratively, asking alternately What to Change and Change by Whom.

In this course, we will combine back casting with three assessment tools to learn about how they conceptualise different aspects of urban sustainable development; BREEAM Communities, CityLab, and a tool from the Swedish Nature Preservation Agency to analysing climate impacts with a consumption perspective. We will use these tools to analyse how the climate target of Carbon Law can be realised. In the final part of the project, the scenarios and the tools are compared in seminars, to learn how different tools highlight different aspects of urban sustainable development (and hide others).

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Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2809 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This course give students an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of a specific topic or method through a project work. The project must have a strong connection to urban planning and policy-making (in a broad sense) and must focus on sustainability. The project work is carried out in small groups. Central to the course is to independently design and coordinate the project work, to select appropriate theory and method, and to identify literature. With its flexibility in terms of focus areas and the high demands on independence and scientific quality, the course provide a good preparation for the thesis work.

The course comprise three main parts. The first part comprise literature seminars where students themselves identify, select, summarize and discuss relevant literature. The second part comprise the project work. Here project coordination and reporting constitute an important part, alongside carrying out the study. The third part of the course comprise a written home exam, focusing on critically reflecting on the project work.         

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to integrate knowledge and skills gained during previous courses and apply these in a sustainable urban development project. After finishing the course, you should be able to:

- Design and delimit a project work, establish a project plan for this, and continously report on progress in a structured manner;

- Identify, select and summarize adequate theory and method for the project work, argue for the selections made, and critically reflect on how these affect the project work results;

- In relation to the selected study area, carry out a baseline analysis and, based on this, identify strategic sustainability challenges;

- Develop a proposal for how the identified sustainability challenges can be handled, by what stakeholders, and what effects the proposed intervention would have on different societal groups;

- Translate the project work results to an implementation plan and/or policy recommendations; 

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

The same as for the master's progrma in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design; a Bachelor’s degree, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits, in architecture, landscape architecture, or physical planning, civil engineering in the built environment, energy and environment or equivalent, urban and regional planning, social or natural sciences relevant to the scope of the programme. Previous studies should comprise at least 30 ECTS in the field of urban design, urban transport or regional planning, national/ regional economy or environmental sciences.

Recommended prerequisites

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Meddelas senare

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


  • LER1 - Learning reflection, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO2 - Project Work, 10.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • SEM2 - Seminars and literature report, 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

80% presence at all scheduled events

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 Mattias Höjer

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 AG2809

Offered by

ABE/Sustainability and Environmental Engineering

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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