18th YTK/IFHP Urban Planning Summer School: Finland
9th August- 18th August 2012
Attended by 40 international students and young professionals from architecture, urban planning and associated disciplines, the 18th YTK/IFHP Planning summer school in Finland offered a two week opportunity for its attendees to be actively part of creative urban planning projects. Based around the theme of ‘Diverse Urban Living’, the task was to explore the spatial and cultural elements of housing and to re-think the urban block to establish a unique living area and plan for the areas of Rauma and Jyväskylä.
The summer school structure was split into two areas, between academic study and practical project working in two Finnish cities. Located under the grand designs of Aalto’s amphitheatre like lecture halls at the Aalto University, the first few days provided the attendees with opportunities to develop their understanding of Finnish culture, architecture and planning. To welcome the international group to Finland the initial schedule of events included city walks to various key planning sites around Helsinki, guest lectures covering Finnish planning and history and a further exploration into the course theme of ‘Diverse Urban Living’.
With the groups divided between the respective cities, Finland’s third oldest town Rauma, welcomed one half of the summer school. Alongside the primary projects the groups had a unique opportunity to explore Aalto’s Villa Mairea and a guided walk through Rauma’s wooden Old Town. The extracurricular excursions provided unique learning opportunities to gain firsthand knowledge of Rauma’s history, place and landmark architectural achievements.
Presentation of the final projects
The group projects focused primarily on the revitalization of 60’s and 70’s housing areas of Lajo and Merirauma. The groups got together for 5 days to develop their ideas from site visits and presentations to formulate initial plans to propose. With the aid of local planners the groups throughout the working week each produced innovative and realistic solutions from the analysis stage of the course. The approach of each group varied but all aimed to address particular site constraints through design, land uses and new housing typologies.
It was the unique setting on the lighthouse island of kylmäpihlaja that held the final presentations. Each group in turn presented creative and comprehensive proposals to industry professionals and tutors. The presentations demonstrated the skills and efforts of each participant and with plans that bought together close area analysis, strategic uses of space and creative designs that aimed to address the theme of Diverse Urban Living.