Urbanism Studio

Course content

This course is an advanced design studio. The studio simulates an architectural office with time for learning and reflection and students are expected to work in teams.

Designing sustainable cities by introducing a strategic approach to urban planning is at the core of the course. A sustainable development is defined as a “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Report 1987). Seventeen more specific sustainable development goals have been formulated by the UN in 2015 (www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org). Building sustainable cities and communities is one of the UN goals. Some of the most critical resources for the survival of future generations are climate stability and biodiversity. These are key areas within the field of landscape architecture and landscape architects thus have an important role to play in the development of future cities. 

In urban contexts architects are in general mostly concerned with buildings whereas landscape architects primarily design urban spaces and create the framework for urban life between buildings. In the studio students will develop skills in relation to spatial design. Students will strengthen the ability to analyse, question and frame a large scale urban project with special emphasis on urban space and landscape design. We investigate how to (re)design an urban situation over time and thereby prepare the city for the unpredictable future. Students are encouraged to develop strategic design proposals on the basis of a multi-facetted discussion about landscape and urbanism. We will discuss potential ways of transforming a site and create new spaces, new aesthetics and new ideas for the urban in a collaborative studio-environment. A site-specific approach is prioritized. 

A high degree of student involvement and presence will be expected during the course. All students are expected to attend and participate in all the presentations and critiques. The design solutions will be presented, discussed and evaluated in plenum. 


MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture

Learning outcome

The main aim of the course is to train students’ ability to work as landscape architects within an urbanized context.



  • Learn about sustainable and strategic urban planning and landscape architecture in general and apply knowledge to a specific urban context.   



  • analyse existing urban situations
  • develop and structure complex urban challenges into new spatial programs and designs which can hold the complexity and contradictions of the urban
  • describe and reflect on the actual and strategic aspects of design interventions on various scales  



  • academic, professional, artistic, and scientific  understanding of the various aspects and challenges of urban design.
  • relational scale awareness and the ability to solve  design challenges at different scales.  communicate, present and argue for a strategic design proposal within a specific urban context. 

The studio focuses on project work, urban analysis and urban strategic design conducted in teams.

The studio is a design laboratory. The supervisors facilitate debates about urban strategic design – rather than dictate answers.

An important part of the course is to work with the interplay between various medias such as physical models, 3D models, photos, diagrams, plans, sections, hand drawings and texts. Students will be asked to work at different scales though out the course. Central to the learning process is the dialogue with and constructive feedback from supervisors and fellow students around the drawing board and at presentations. Students will be asked to present and discuss their work frequently during the course. Learning increases through active student participation and engagement. In addition lectures and introductions will be held by guests and supervisors.

Literature on the chosen theme of the year and embedded theoretical concepts will be studied and discussed throughout the course.

A study trip and/or local excursions are included in the course program. The point is to study and compare best practice examples to the project site. Through the comparison students will gain a contextual understanding of the specific problems and potentials of the site.

Please see Absalon

Urbanism Studio is graduate design course. To be accepted students are expected to have passed at least “Byplan–studio” I and II or similar courses. Visiting students can participate in the course, if they can document that they have passed courses with a similar curriculum.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

“Theories of Urban Design” is recommended.

Familiarity with model making, PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, AutoCad, SketchUp, Rhino or similar programs is an advantage. Hand drawing skills are also very much appreciated.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 35 min
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Oral team examination, 15 min (No preparation time)
Questions from examiners, 10 min
followed by an individual oral examination, 10 min
Written assignment: Hand-in of team project (posters and models) and course catalog prior to the exam week.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
External censorship

Re-submission of team project (posters and models) and course catalog followed by oral examination, 35 minutes (No preparation time). The team project has to be handed in prior to the reexamination week.

Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 222
  • Exercises
  • 160
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
A And C
Versailles Studio - full time.
The number of places might be reduced if you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Ellen Braae   (5-6870657564436c6a71316e7831676e)
  • Anna Aslaug Mortensdottir Lund   (3-69697448716f7636737d366c73)
Saved on the 16-02-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students