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Multi­discipli­nary & Innovative Courses


The Welfare City


Department of Social Research , University of Helsinki


Related Degree Programmes:

Master’s Degree Programme in Urban Studies and Planning







690-990 EUR Learn more




Giacomo Bottà

Target students

The course is designed for Master’s degree students of social sciences, sociology, geography, cultural studies, architecture, urban planning, environmental studies, politics, and economics.


This Helsinki Summer School course takes a look at the welfare city as a sustainable model of urban development. A welfare city, such as Helsinki, promotes the wellbeing of its citizens, sustains a balance between the needs of both nature and the people, and responds to social and ecological awareness alike. Or does it? The course uses lectures, workshops and excursions in Helsinki to examine what makes the Finnish capital a welfare city.

Learning objectives

During the course, the students and teachers will analyse how a welfare city works. For example, how should we organise housing, social services and urban planning in a liveable welfare city? What has design to do with it? And what helps to make this welfare city sustainable?

Means and criteria of assessment

The course consists of 1) an assignment to be completed before the beginning of the course; 2) in-course assignments including workshops, group work, writing one lecture diary and one abstract; active participation in class; and 3) final assignments: writing the final essay, and a final group presentation.

Course Schedule

Location: City Centre Campus

Preliminary Course Schedule

Monday August 7, 2017  Arrival in Helsinki

Tuesday August 8, 2017  HSS Opening ceremony & Welcome Party (afternoon)

Wednesday August 9, 2017
10:15-12 Introduction to the course Giacomo Bottà (University of Helsinki), Introduction to the Kaupunki Akatemia Programme Jussi Kulonpalo (University of Helsinki)
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 Introduction to the Dept. of Social Research / Urban StudiesNetwork by Prof. Anne Haila (University of Helsinki)
14:30-14:45 Break
Feedback from pre-course assignments, instructions for the course and getting to know each other

Thursday August 10, 2017
10:15-12 Lecture TBA
12-13 Lunch
Mika Hyötyläinen (University of Helsinki): Social mixing policies in Finland
14:30-14:45 Break
Group formation and first round of group work. First assignment

Friday August 11, 2017
10:15-12 Giacomo Bottà: Let’s talk about methods…
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 First workshop
14:30-14:45 Break
Continuation of the workshop

Monday August 14, 2017
9-10:15 Instructions: preparing for the week
10:15-12 Lecture TBA
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 Lecture TBA
14:30-14:45 Break
14:45-16 Visit of Laituri

Tuesday August 15, 2017
10:15-12 Lecture TBA
12-13 Lunch
13-16 Excursion

Wednesday August 16, 2017
10:15-12 Group work
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 Lecture TBA
14:30-14:45 Break
14:45-16 Individual working + tutoring

Thursday August 17, 2017
10:15-12 Giacomo Bottà: Urban welfare as cultural representation and discourse in Helsinki films and novels
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 Lecture TBA
14:30-14:45 Break
Individual working + tutoring

Friday August 18, 2017
10:15-12 Final group presentations
12-13 Lunch
13-14:30 Group presentations continues, farewell and party!

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