Helsinki summer school – The Welfare City

ORGANISER:    The University of Helsinki , Metropolitan Region Urban Studies Network
DATES:        August 4 to 20, 2015
PRICES:        640 EUR
COORDINATOR:    Mr. Giacomo Botta, giacomo.botta(at)
Target Students
The course is designed for Master’s degree students of social sciences, sociology, geography, cultural studies, architecture, urban planning, environmental studies, politics, and economics.

This Helsinki Summer School course takes a look at the welfare city as a sustainable model of urban development. A welfare city, such as Helsinki, promotes the wellbeing of its citizens, sustains a balance between the needs of both nature and the people, and responds to social and ecological awareness alike. Or does it? The course uses lectures, workshops and excursions in Helsinki to examine what makes the Finnish capital a welfare city.

Learning objectives
During the three weeks of the course, the students and teachers will analyse how a welfare city works. For example, how should we organise housing, social services and urban planning in a liveable welfare city? What has design to do with it? And what helps to make this welfare city sustainable?

Course format and teaching methods
The course consists of lectures, workshops and excursions. Before and during the course, the students will engage in individual and group work. The interactive learning method is based on an interdisciplinary understanding of urban studies. The students are encouraged to participate actively in the development of case studies and hands-on on-site planning activities in the Helsinki region.

Course readings
Course readings will be distributed electronically to students in advance. The readings will introduce students to the subjects and authors to be dealt with in lectures. Some workshops will take the form of a reading circle.

Teachers and lecturers
The course is organised and led by Dr Giacomo Bottà, Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Urban Studies at the University of Helsinki. Other lecturers include Prof. of Urban Studies Anne Haila (University of Helsinki). The course also features leading international researchers of the field and experts from Finnish think tanks, municipalities and other institutions.

Means and criteria of assessment
The course consists of 1) a pre-course assignment to be completed before the beginning of the course; 2) in-course assignments including workshops, group work, writing one lecture diary and one abstract; active participation in class; and 3) final assignments: writing the final essay, and a final group presentation.

More information?
Please direct any questions concerning the content of this course to the coordinator, Mr. Giacomo Botta, giacomo.botta(at)

Any questions on the general arrangements (accommodation, payments etc.) should be addressed to the Summer School’s office at summer-school(at)