Urbanist CoFounder of SPIN Unit and UrbanistAI / Research at Tampere University

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Advanced Urban Analyses

Discovering and cultivatating the commons.

Bridging the gap

between academic research and the planning practice through a challenge-based learning process.

Exploring cities

through contemporary media to unearth non-commodified values and champion the commons in transforming environments.

Mapping relations

between the visible and the intangible forms of the city through cultural analytics and collective experiences.

Prof. Panu Lehtovuori
Tampere University
Urban Planning Research Group

︎ panu.lehtovuori@tuni.fi
︎ +358 50 525 0252

Damiano Cerrone
Tampere University
Urban Planning Research Group

︎+358 44 238 1084

Course description

In an age of unprecedented globalisation, our food supply chains — the institutions and mechanisms involved in food production and distribution — have become longer. So much so that they are hardly perceived as chains or systems. They have been integrated into our lives, into our cities and transformed our relationships with food. And yet, those very long food supply chains are implicated in some of our most pressing global problems, from food security and waste to biodiversity and climate change.
For some cities, ideas like food circularity and short food supply chains have become longings, the fancy of policy and the stage directions for projective action. This has, in part, been a response to demand, to the needs and values democratically articulated, sometimes uncomfortably, at the level of urban and rural communities.


The aim of this course is to work with the imaginary to learn how the city would look like if had to produce all the food it needs to sustain itself.


Identify and visualise a proposed or approved policy target using backcasting methodology to test how that vision of the future fits in the present and informs on the quick actions that can be take today.

Learning outcomes

Acquiring a general knowledge on urban sustainability and spatial scenario planning.
Learning how to perform land use analysis and speculative design methods in QGIS.
Develop social design skill to program socially meaningful initiative for the local community.

Expected outputs of the 3 teams work

An urban vision

Designing a speculative masterplan for a food self-sufficient city or metropolitan region.

Design solutions

Propose one or several architectural design solution to implement urban farming.

Social programs

Develop a program for local communities to engage in community gardening.

Required readings

︎ SPIN Unit
ARTICLE ︎ 2022

︎ FAO
ARTICLE ︎ 2006

︎ FAO
ARTICLE ︎ 2022

︎ IGC
REPORT ︎ 2021

︎ Cornell
GUIDE ︎ 2012



This class will conducted in person and you are expected to attend all the classes programmed from start to finish. Failure to show later than 20min will be influence the evaluation. You can miss up to 1 class throughout the semester and you must deliver your assignments on time. If more than 1 class is missed you need to negotiate your position with the course instructors.  

*Exceptions will be made for COVID-related illness. Stay safe, and if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, please do not join to class. 

**Some of the classes may be partially streamed via Teams, however in person attendace is required if at least one instructor will be preasent.

︎ Grading

This class grades the participants on a pass/fail system.  

︎ Criteria

The pass/fail grading system is based on the following criteria:

INITIATIVE - wether you are passively present in class or you actively listen, contribute somewhat reliably, and usually connect your comments to the classe’s discourse.
PARTICIPATION - wether you are attending the required classes and catch up in the case of absence.

Suggested attendance

A lecture series focusing on how political-economic relations shape and constrain policies aimed at promoting urban sustainability. The lectures  highlight the importance of examining urban sustainability dynamics beyond Eurocentric contexts and including themes such as racial capitalism into inquiries about urban sustainability. The lecture series is organized by the Postcape research project (Academy of Finland) under the multidisciplinary research platform STUE (Sustainable Transformation of Urban Environments).
︎ Students taking the lectures as a credit-yielding option present essays on the theme at a student mini-conference at the end of November.

Özlem Celik (University of Helsinki)
”The political economy of green urban development”
︎ 12 Oct ︎ 16–18

Derek Ruez (Tampere University)
“The politics of compassionate urbanism”
︎ 26 Oct ︎ 16–18

Ville Kellokumpu (University of Oulu)
”The violent abstractions of ’the urban’: From a depoliticized urbanism towards a political economy of space”
︎ 2 Nov ︎ 16–18

Mika Hyötyläinen (Uppsala University)
”From welfare cities to property cities: The political economy of public real estate”
︎ 16 Nov ︎ 16–18

Code of conduct

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

In the course we are committed to social justice, equity, and inclusion. This course reflects these commitments by creating an environment that fosters critical thinking, represents diverse viewpoints and ideas, and invites thoughtful, respectful, analysis of the issues and ideas that are discussed in the course.

Each of us has the right be recognized for who we are, referred to in the identities that we inhabit, and included and represented in the course.

Intellectual honesty

To avoid plagiarism, your assignments must provide full citations for all references: direct quotes, summaries, or ideas. The requirement is valid for any typology of content, wheter you present an essay or a colelction of audio-visual-video materials.

Tampere suppost system

The Equal Opportunities Committee communicates equality-related topics to the university community. Staff and students can send ideas and comments relating to the activities to promote equality and non-discrimination by email to the Equal Opportunities Committee at ︎ yhdenvertaisuus.tau@tuni.fi. They are also invited to contact the Equal Opportunities Committee with any questions or issues relating to equality and non- discrimination.

The course is sponsored by STUE – Sustainable Transformation of Urban Environments action grant. STUE is a profiling area in Tampere University.