International
Federation for
Housing and
Planning

18th YTK/IFHP Summer School

Date(s): 
Monday 06.08.2012 to Saturday 18.08.2012
Location: 
Helsinki

Diverse Urban Living

Theme - Diverse Urban Living

Rapid urbanisation during the era of modernistic planning paradigms and focus on subsidised housing have had a remarkable effect on Finnish housing. Social differences are significantly smaller than in most European countries, and housing supply is on the one hand considered to be rather well-balanced, but on the other, very homogenous. Present housing stock with limited typologies does not meet the needs that changing society with differentiating social worlds and emerging housing genres has created. There is demand for more flexible, user-oriented and sustainable housing, calling for alternative solutions – enabling diverse possibilities of urban living.

YTK/IFHP Summer School approaches urban living from various viewpoints by considering spatial organisation as well as social and cultural aspects of housing. Urban living opens from the apartment to the streets and urban space. How can planning support both worlds? How can we support diverse lifestyles, vivid public life and also enable ecological choices and user-centred approaches by planning innovative urban housing? The Summer School aims to find solutions on various scales – from the apartment to the neighbourhood – to create unique dwelling spaces and urban living environments.

Task - Re-thinking Urban Block

The theme will be studied in the workshop cities. Rauma, with a population of 40,000, is a traditional mercantile and harbour city with a well-preserved wooden medieval urban centre, a UNESCO heritage site. Jyväskylä is an active hub of education and research with 130,000 inhabitants and some 20,000 university students. The task in both cities will be to create a fresh urban housing block that develops opportunities for the site and considers architectural, urban, social as well as environmental aspects.

The students are asked to critically and with an open mind explore new openings for urban housing to support versatile development of Rauma and Jyväskylä.

What does it mean to live in the city?
How can housing support different lifestyles?
Can we promote public life, ecological choices and urban culture via housing?
Where should we draw the line between the home and the city?
How to broaden the choice of building and block typologies?

The Structure of the Course

The first days of the course are spent at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus. This part of the course consists of lectures on topics related to the theme Diverse Urban Living and Finnish architecture, planning and culture. There will also be a full-day presentation of the City of Helsinki, including a tour of recent planning projects. This section of the programme aims at facilitating the practical work in the main part of the Summer School.

The core of the event is the active block of ten days in Rauma and Jyväskylä following the opening section. The participants will be divided into two groups and travel to the partner cities where active project planning and workshops will take place. In Rauma and Jyväskylä the participants are invited to analyse the existing conditions and to suggest innovative and realistic improvements to the environment of the planning area. Working in small groups, the participants will make their own proposals in accordance with the theme of the course. Work will be tutored by experienced planners and other experts of Urban Studies and the final proposals will be presented to the decision-makers, the general public and the local press.

The working language of the course is English. A perfect command, however, is not required. There will be mutual assistance within the groups.

Image by Ville Oksanen