Basic information

Code: ENG3073

Extent: 20-25 ECTS

Language: English

Organizing department: Department of Built Environment

Teacher in charge: Marketta Kyttä

Target group: All Aalto students  

Application process: None

Quotas and restrictions: The minor is targeted for master’s level students. Maximum 10 students/year.

Prerequisites: The majority of courses do not have any prerequisites. The exception is the “Smart & Livable City Studio –course (see course description). There is no strict order of the courses.

Content and structure of the minor

Livability of urban spaces, everyday urban experiences and wellbeing of inhabitants are the touchstones of good planning and design. The current urban challenges related to climate-change, urbanization, aging population and migration cannot be solved without people-driven approaches.  The minor, Human-Centered Living Environment searches for new ways to develop socially sustainable settings without compromising the planetary health. Participatory planning with collaborative practices and the utilization of high quality, co-created knowledge can help solving the wicked problems of sustainable urbanization in the networked society. Action research oriented, place-based approaches, utilizing the possibilities of digital, smart technologies provide promising new approaches to context-sensitive urban planning and community development. The overall aim of this transdisciplinary minor is to train professionals who are able to address the complex problems and processes of the city utilizing knowledge from people and applying participatory planning practices. The teaching style of the courses is interactive, consisting of debates, hands-on activities and testing of various methods and approaches. When possible, collaboration with real life planning cases will be realized.  Students from a variety of backgrounds are welcomed.

Learning outcomes:
Upon completion of the minor, the student will be familiar with a number of topical themes of human-centered living environment , so that he/she

  • Understands the complexity of natural, built and social environments in urban context
  • Can evaluate and study the interrelationships between the characteristics of settings and human behavior and experiences
  • Is able to critically assess urban development policies, their aims and means
  • Can critically evaluate the quality of urban spaces or the quality of plans from human perspective
  • Can apply the research knowledge concerning human-environment-interaction to the challenges of urban development
  • Knows a variety of methods and approaches of participatory planning and urban development
  • Learns practical tools to plan and design socially and ecologically sustainable living environments

Further information is available from professor Marketta Kyttä (

The minor will be 20-25 ECTS and comprises from three to four courses from the list below.





Participatory Planning



Urban and Regional Development



Urban Experience



Smart and Liveable City Studio