AAR4525 - Urban Informality: Project Course


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The purpose of the course is to build critical self-awareness of the role of the urban practitioner in challenging environments. To these ends the course immerses students in an urban environment of a low or middle income country to undertake a realtime assessment and from that to develop action plans. Working to a terms of reference, students undertake participatory assessments and engage in the ‘messy reality’ of urban living in order to gauge insights into the complexities of urban development and resilience. Key issues to explore include the nature of governance systems (formal and informal), role of key actors, uses of land, space and infrastructure and coping strategies of vulnerable neighbourhoods.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The candidate will achieve an advanced understanding of critical issues in complex urban environments through close interaction with local communities and institutions.

Skills: The candidate will be able to work effectively in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teams to analyze and develop proposals for action planning and strategic change in neighborhoods with various dynamics of informality.

General competency: The candidate will have experience with research skills, methods of analysis, and ways of working with strategic change in neighborhoods in complex environments.

Learning methods and activities

Close group work is a condition since the participants cooperate with formal and informal institutions as well as local partners. The foundation for the project work is laid during the introductory seminars in Norway. Lectures, seminars and team-work is undertaken with local resource-people and teachers. Through its composition of participants (Norwegian, Nordic and European students, International students enrolled in the program for Urban Ecological Planning, exchange students) the course provides both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning.

Further on evaluation

Assessment in the course will be based on area based reports delivered by students in groups of 3-5 and a joint summary of the assignment for the semester.

Specific conditions

Limited admission to classes.

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Architecture (MAAR)
Architecture (MAAR2)
Urban Ecological Planning (MSA1)

Required previous knowledge

Completed three years basic bachelor courses in a relevant field. The course must be taken together with courses AAR4820 Methods and Reflections and AAR5210 Current Challenges in Urban Practice

Course materials

Indicative readings include:
Hamdi N (2010) The Placemaker's Guide to Building Community (Tools for Community Planning), Earthscan, London
Hamdi N and Goethert R (1997) Action Planning for Cities: A Guide to Community Practice Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.