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FAG3176 Literature Course in Built Environment Analysis 7.5 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAG3176 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This literature course takes a sweeping view of the ways we build our towns, neighbrohoods and cities, from macro, meso and micro levels. In doing so, it answers questions on how we effect and are affected by our environment and explores how components of what we make-from products, buildings, and cities-are interrelated, and why designers and planners must consider these connections. The quality and the livability of the urban environment in our cities, towns, districts and neighborhoods are the deciding factors in the social, cultural, economic, and environmental performance of societies and the quality of life of all its citizens. The course through extensive readings, special seminars and guest talks, will deal with the issues such as: in which ways are cities things that happen to us, and in what ways are cities things we do together, with more or less art and purpose? How do we understand both the geometries of cities and the ways that form might be connected—or not ‐ to their social organization, politics, and quality connection between urban form and content and can we allow ourselves the luxury of not penetrating these questions in research even further? What successful villages, towns or cities have to offer is attractive places where residents meet strangers and vice versa. This course looks at the evolving theories and practices of urban design since 1960, with a focus on current projects and debates. In addition to discussing readings from the past 50 years, we study a number of practices and projects from around the world. A focus will be given on the interaction between built environment and human behavior and its spillovers on psychological, social, functional, cultural and economic aspects of everyday life in cities. How Architecture, Urban Design, City Planning & Landscape Architecture, disciplines that shape & compose the built environment, influence public life and social interaction will be studied.

Intended learning outcomes

 to engage in a critical inquiry into the concepts and practices of urban design and planning;

- to introduce students to the main theories and body of literature in the built environment;

- to gain practice in the basic skills of writing a literature review synthetic analysys;

- to gain an appreciation of both the process and product of the design of the built environment;

- to emphasize the need for planners to learn design, and designers to learn planning;

Course disposition

The course will operate as a seminar. Participants will read and discuss literature and projects relating to built environment - urban design and city planning in western world and the global south; prepare presentations on different topics pertinent to the course but foremsotly to their literature review section in the dissertation; and write a paper/essay for the course, i.e. their literature review for the PhD thesis

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

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Recommended prerequisites

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Roger Trancik, Finding Lost Space Van Nostrand: New York, 1986

Great Streets by Allan B. Jacobs (1995) MIT PRESS: Cambridge

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961) Vintage; Reissue edition

The Built Environment A Collaborative Inquiry into Design and Planning by Wendy R McClure, Tom J Bartuska, Gerald L Young, John Wiley & Sons Ltd 2007, New York

Good City Form by Kevin Lynch (1995), MIT PRESS: Cambridge

How to Study Public Life, Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre - Island Press, Washington D.C. 2013

The Essential William Whyte by William Hollingsworth Whyte (2000) Fordham University Press

The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities by Alexander Garvin, W. W. Norton & Company, 2013

Cities and Design (Routledge Critical Introductions to Urbanism and the City) by Paul Knox, Routledge: London 2010

Bacon, Edmund. 1974. The Design of Cities. New York: Penguin Books.

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • LIT1 - Literature assignment, 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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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

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

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