AG3162 Planning for Sustainable Urban Development 7.5 credits

Planning for Sustainable Urban Development

Please note

This course has been cancelled.

The course is jointly organized by KTH, Nordic Centre and Center for Urban Studies at Fudan University and includes one week of studies in Shanghai, 16-23 March 2009.  With a wish for an essentially cross-disciplinary intake, the course is open for students with a background in urban planning and development to deal with complex, mixed, land use and urban development issues.  

For application contact Lasse Orrskog, 

  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    P, F

Last planned examination: spring 21.

At present this course is not scheduled to be offered.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student shall:

• be familiar with and adopt a personal approach to the Sustainable Development concept and its different dimensions and interpretations and with all its inherent contradictions;

• have got an experience of applying the idea of Sustainable Development in an urban planning practice; • be able to identify and critically reflect upon the conflicts and power-mechanisms that might arise when sustainable development is implemented in urban planning practice;

• have developed a capacity to reflect upon the planning process as an arena for implementing sustainable development – what tools and methods are there to support a sustainable urban development? What is the role and responsibility of the planner in this context?

Course main content

In the course, focus is directed towards the idea of sustainable development and what it might mean in the context of urban planning and development. Literature on the concept and idea of sustainable development constitute an important point of departure for discussing, analyzing and critically reflecting upon current trends and challenges in urban planning practice – illustrated mainly by current examples from Shanghai and Stockholm. With the comparative study of the urban redevelopment in these two cities, the students are expected to explore a range of concepts and approaches upon sustainable urban development, and to interpret how cultural, economic and institutional forces influence the process of sustainable urban development. Being a course on both Chinese and European planning we will also take opportunity to discuss the cultural context in which sustainable urban development is carried through and also why and how European experiences can be applied far away.  When sustainable development is to be implemented in planning practice, it often leads to conflicts and struggles between different interests and different interpretations of sustainable development. Therefore, this course also includes a discussion of the planning process; key actors, methods and tools that might support the implementation of a sustainable urban development. The course relates explicitly to the concept ‘strategic thinking’, which recently has emerged as a theme in theories of planning and spatial development.  The course is organized through a number of seminars, based both on lectures and readings from literature. Therefore, it is important to note that participation at the course requires careful preparation by reading course literature in advance. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on applying the theoretical concepts and frameworks on concrete examples from planning practice.


The course is jointly organized by KTH, Nordic Centre and Center for Urban Studies at Fudan University and includes one week of studies in Shanghai.  

In addition, students have to submit two individual assignments that have to be presented at a seminar at KTH in April.

The maximum number of students is 36, half each from China and the Nordic countries.


Four years of university studies in planning, architecture, civil engineering or social science and at least 60 ECTS of coursework on the advanced level relevant for the scope of the course


Dovey, Kim. (2008). Framing places: mediating power in built form. 2nd ed. London: Routledge

Krueger, Rob & Gibbs, David (red.) (2007). The sustainable development paradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe. New York: Guilford Press


  • LIT1 - Literature Exercise, 2.5, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project Work, 2.5, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 2.5, grading scale: P, F

Literature excercise (2,5 hp), project work (2,5 hp) and individual paper (2,5 hp)

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies


Karin Bradley 08-7908511


Karin Bradley <>

Supplementary information

Participants will need to organize and pay for travel to and from Shanghai. The Nordic Centre can arrange for participant paid accommodation. A nominal fee will also be charged to cover some of our costs, including those for free meals and local transportation for participants during the Course. Participants will need to take own responsibility for Visa applications.

Your application for admission should be submitted at latest 10 February, 2009.

For application form - please contact Lasse Orrskog,


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2009.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2009.