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FAG3175 Higher Seminars in Urban Design and Planning 7.5 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAG3175 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This higher seminar will serve as an advanced introduction and focused overview of the basic tenets, disciplinary threads, and bodies of scholarship associated with the idea of urban design and planning - urbanism. Urbanism is often defined as the study of cities, where for in urban planning and architecture, urban form and structure are in main focus, while in sociology, urbanism may be more about social interaction and community within the context of cities. Historians may be particularly interested in historical patterns of urban growth and change. What all these fields have in common is a concern for the created human habitat and the problems – and potential solutions – that habitat inspires. This higher seminar course is designed in such a way to enable the students to adopt a critical & reflective perspective towards current urban design paradigms, pedagogy and conventional practice on the ground, and to develop an in-depth and interdisciplinary approach toward a more meaningful urban design for the future. The challenge for this course is to map & spot as well as study and define the relationships that exists between the controlled and spontaneous; between the design and urban and to try applying the results of previous theoretical and research findings of architects, planners, human geographers and historians, when new proposals and urban reconstructions and interventions are planned and done in existing city quarters. A special emphasis will be given to the importance of the variety of urban and architectural traditions of Europe and the understanding the traditions and economical/technical/social patterns that have formed these cities. Disposition of the course is done through lectures, discussions, readings, and case presentations; the course will focus on some of the significant themes in urban form and history of cities as well as the current urban condition of our cities.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course requirements, students should be able to:

To tackle and comphrehend the rapid forces or urban cahnge that affect cities and the inerrelation of different elements of urbanism; real estate, politics, economy, culture and heritage.

To demonstrate a deeper understanding of the complex and interrelated issues in urbanism, espcially the internal and external factors that compose, shape and transform the urban realm.

To critically analyze the selected theoretical readings and also to theorize spatial practices that emerge from one´s own critical reflection on the subject.

To develop a critical perspective and standpoint that comes from a deeper understanding of theory, practice and speculation in this field.

Course disposition

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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 similiar. Permission of Course Instructor.

Recommended prerequisites

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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. Alexander, Christopher, Murray Silverstein, and Sara Ishikawa. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977

Congress for the New Urbanism. Charter of the New Urbanism, New Edition, Edited by Emily Talen New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014

Collage City, Rowe, Colin, and Fred Koetter, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press 1978

Sitte, Camillo, City Planning According to Artistic Principles, Wien: Carl Graeser 1889

City Design: Modernist, Traditional, Green and Systems Perspectives by Jonathan Barnett, New York: Routledge 2011

Cullen, Gordon, The Concise Townscape, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold 1961

Kostof, Spiro, The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Forma through History, Boston : Little Brown 1992 + Kostof Spiro. The City Shaped : Urban Patterns and meanings Through History, Boston: Little Brown 1993

Space is the Machine: Configurational Theory of Architecture Hillier, 2007, Space Syntax:London

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • DEL1 - Participation, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, 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.

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 Tigran Haas

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

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Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Tigran Haas 08-7908504

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ABE/Urban and Regional Studies