URBAN ACADEMY PARTNERSHIP
Urban Academy (Kaupunkiakatemia) is a platform and network that brings together multidisciplinary research, teaching and societal impact in the field of urban studies. It is a partnership of five organizations: University of Helsinki, Aalto University, City of Helsinki, City of Espoo and City of Vantaa.
The Urban Academy vision is to create better and more sustainable cities through collaboration. The method is co-creation, which enables the demolishing of boundaries between traditional academic disciplines and also between different divisions of cities. Urban Academy brings together researchers and students, policymakers, urban planners, officials and residents to learn from each other through concrete case studies and problem solving.
Urban Academy activities:
- The study progamme: Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning
- Research projects (distribution of knowledge and results and support for creating new projetcs)
- Forums for interaction (workshops, seminars, challenges)
HOW DID WE GET HERE
Urban Academy was founded in 2012 and started as partnership of the two universities offering a joint bachelor level minor study progamme (Kaupunkiakatemia minor studies). In 2015 the agreement of the strategic partnership with the City of Helsinki was signed and in 2016 a shared coordinator for the city-university collaboration started working as a mediator and matchmaker of interests and ideas. In 2017 the universities started a new joint international Master’s Proramme in Urban Studies & Planning based on the previous experience of successful collaboration in the minor programme.
In autumn 2017 the new international multidisciplinary Master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning started. The joint programme of University of Helsinki and Aalto University prepares students to excel as professionals capable of understanding and addressing complex urban development challenges. Students learn to address such challenges through a curriculum and pedagogical approach that includes interdisciplinary breadth as well as depth in core areas of knowledge, skill and practice. The challenge-driven educational model of the studies give the students real life and hands-on experience of the different urban phenomena and relevant development processes in the Helsinki Capital Region. In the Urban Challenge Studio courses the students work with topical issues and development projects of the cities in the region. Read more: URBAN STUDIES & PLANNING PROGRAMME
In 2018 a new hub for urban studies was established in Helsinki when the Helsinki INSTITUTE OF URBAN AND REGIONAL STUDIES started working at the University of Helsinki. The institute works closely with AALTO UNIVERSITY LIVING+ PLATFORM and the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.
In 2018 Urban Academy collaboration got new resources when the cities of Helsinki Capital Region started funding postdoctoral researcher posts (6 positions/year) in urban studies at both partner universities for the period 2018-2023. The research themes to be started in 2018 were selected directly from the current strategy programmes of the cities. In 2019 the Urban Academy collaboration is planned to expand to cover the cities of Espoo and Vantaa. Read more: NEW RESEARCH COLLABORATION IN THE CAPITAL REGION
THE STRUCTURE AND RESOURCES
The Urban Academy has an executive board with members from the partner organizations. The Urban Academy Project Manager works in the all the partner organizations and meets with the Urban Academy working group regularly.
In addition the Urban Academy has an International Advisory Board that is invited to Helsinki annually to bring international examples and networks to Helsinki and to give open guest lectures.
URBAN ACADEMY ADVISORY BOARD members
- Mike Batty, Prof. of Planning/University College London
- Simin Davoudi, Prof. of Environmental Policy & Planning/Newcastle University
- Thomas Elmqvist, Prof. of Natural Resource Management/Stockholm University
- Sako Musterd, Prof. of Social and Urban Geography /University of Amsterdam
- Charles Landry, Urban innovator and consultant
- Tina Saaby, Chief City Architect of Copenhagen
URBAN ACADEMY RESEARCH
Partner universities are the research engines of the collaboration. Read more about the research activities of:
University of Helsinki: INSTITUTE OF URBAN AND REGIONAL STUDIES
Aalto University: LIVING+ PLATFORM
URBAN ACADEMY RELATED NEWS
IN 2090, WE WILL ALL LIVE IN CITIES LINK
- Interview with Professor Mike Batty, Professor of Planning at University College London/ member of the Urban Academy International Advisory Board
URBAN ACADEMY STRENGTHENED BY INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS
- Interview with urban innovator Charles Landry, member of the Urban Academy International Advisory Board LINK
For more information and collaboration, please contact:
Project Manager, Urban Academy
annina.alaoutinen (a) hel.fi
Tel. +358 40 1953061
City of Helsinki
ida.bjorkbacka (a) hel.fi
Institute of Urban and Regional Studies/University of Helsinki
iiris.koivulehto (a) helsinki.fi
pia-sofia.pokkinen (a) aalto.fi
Photo: Helsingin kaupungin aineistopankki/Lauri Rotko