Course Syllabus


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Semester & Location:

Spring 2019 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Urban Studies, Sustainability, Environmental Studies

Faculty Members:

Silvia Andreea Dragomir 

Program Director:

Neringa Bigailaite -

Program Assistant:

Shannon Schooley -

Time & Place:

Thursday, 10.05 - 13.00 F24-302

Please note that as of Fall 2019 this course will take place Tuesdays only from 10.05-13.00.

Please note that cycling skills are mandatory for this course

Description of Course

Moving people around within cities - getting them to and from work, school, and play - is complex problem that defies simple solutions. In this course we will experience urban mobility from a multitude of angles. We will consider how the urban form of a city structures, facilitates, and restricts movement and social interaction and how individuals may experience the same space differently. We will talk about what makes a city or neighborhood livable, and we will consider the effectiveness of various transportation policies. Additionally, you will be able to develop your own serious game in order to understand the complex interactions between city structure, form, and the people that make a city move.

Copenhagen provides an exceptionally rich laboratory for students of urban transportation. The city is famed for its conscious planning and policy that has made it one of the better cities in the world for public transport, bicycling, and walking. With this in mind, we will discuss how Copenhagen broke with the dominant modern pattern of auto-centricity and evaluate if this is a model that other cities could/should emulate in the future.

Learning Objectives

    • experience urban transportation and mobility from a multitude of angles
    • experience and reflect on how individuals can experience the same spaces differently
    • understand how the urban form impacts movement and social interaction
    • understand the importance and necessity of transportation for city life
    • be able to reflect on the effectiveness of various transportation policies


Silvia Andreea Dragomir

Architect and advocate of Cities for People, with an MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning from Aalborg University and MSc in Architecture from Bucharest and Bordeaux Silvia's professional profile includes a collaboration with KANT architects, AS Architecture studio Paris, owner of an architecture studio with focus on sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, co-founder of, a climate innovation platform. Her passion is sharing the knowledge and create better living environments. With DIS since 2015.

Approach to Teaching

The class will meet once a week during the semester. Lectures and assigned readings will act as background for mobile lectures (learning while doing). Copenhagen will also serve as a living laboratory and mobile lecture site for understanding key elements of European transport development. Students are highly encouraged to bring their own experiences of urban transport planning and particularly their experiences during the semester into the discussions. Moreover group work is essential for producing better transport planning strategies following real life working scenarios.


The reading for each class is attached/indicated under Modules. They are provided by either by scientific articles or by sections from the Readings in Planning Theory book (which is to be picked up during Arrivals Week), as follows:

Poplin, A. (2011). Games and serious games in urban planning: study cases.

Naess, P. (2003). Urban Structures and Travel Behaviour. Experiences from Empirical Research in Norway and Denmark.

City of Stockholm (2010). The Walkable City-Stockholm City Plan.

Jacobs, J. (1961). The uses of sidewalks: Safety, The Death and Life of Great American Cities 

Pucher, J., & Buehler, R. (2008). Making cycling irresistible: lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany

City of Copenhagen (2011). Good, Better, Best- The City of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Strategy 2011-2025

Medda, F. (2012). Land value capture finance for transport accessibility: a review

Knowles, R. D. (2012). Transit oriented development in Copenhagen, Denmark: from the finger plan to Ørestad.

Cervero, R., & Dai, D. (2014). BRT TOD: Leveraging transit oriented development with bus rapid transit investments.

Sheller, M. & Urry, J. (2000). The City and the Car

Banister, D. (2008). The sustainable mobility paradigm

Siemiatycki, M. (2012). Implications of Private-Public Partnerships on the Development of Urban Public Transit Infrastructure: The Case of Vancouver, Canada

EEA Report (2016). Transition towards a more sustainable mobility system. Chapter 6&7

Banister, D. (2011). Cities, mobility and climate change.

Picon, A. (2015). Urban Intelligence, Space and Maps. Smart Cities, Chapter 3.

Field Studies

Field studies form an integral part of the course to support our understanding of how transportation infrastructure development is conducted in a practical urban setting. While in Copenhagen, we will be going on a half-day field study around the city:

               Wednesday, February 27, 13:30-16:30   Metro Copenhagen

               Wednesday, April 24, 9:00-12:00  Design workshop

Expectations of the Students

This course is not a traditional lecture class, but relies heavily on class discussion, informed by an in-depth, critical reading of the assigned texts. The readings for each class have purposely been kept to reasonable amounts and it is expected that all students have read, seen, or played the material prior to the lectures.

I expect you to fully engage in the lectures, participate actively in discussions, and be open minded about your fellow students' points of view. Your overall grade is dependent on engaged, informed, and highly active participation in class discussion.


Class participation:

Participation will be evaluated by the extent to which students attend classes, actively engage in class discussions, contribute to workshops, and critically reflect on the assigned readings. You are expected to bring your reading notes as well as questions to class. The reading required is the one going beyond finding information, or identifying main ideas. It will ask you to dig deep to identify meaning, relationships between ideas, and to challenge yourself finding your own response to these ideas, and its impact to the world around. Such response involves analysis, synthesis and creativity. You are encouraged to bring your own experiences into the discussions.

Creative journal:

This is your collection of class reflections, representing the connection between readings, discussions and our visits in the city. A minimum of a creative, crafted page per class (collage, drawing, mind map, manifesto, recipe book, letter ...), each of structured observations and critical reflections on what you experienced, learned, and thought about during and after the mobile lectures. This journal is meant to hone both your observational and critical reflection skills, as well as to practice concise writing techniques and develop your creative skills.

This creative journal forms the foundation for the final project.

Deadline for the weekly journal page is after class, by the end of the day.

Serious game:

               Research report:

Another element of the evaluation is a research report that is intended to build upon your field studies reports and experiences derived from your serious transport game. Your team will have to include game choice motivation, game mechanics and reflections upon the learnings, benefits and limitations of using serious gaming as a planning tool. 3000 words, APA style, 1.5 spaced on standard size paper (A4 format - 8.27 x 11.69 inches). Hand-in deadline for the research report is April 11, 2019.

               Serious transport planning game:

You will be asked to develop a transport planning game. You will work in groups and you will have the chance to choose from a number of different kinds of games (board games, card games, role-playing games, video games). There is also an entire workshop devoted to the use of games in planning that will help you to get started. Work for both game and research report will have to start early in the semester. Hand-in deadline for the game is May 2, 2019.

All assignments must be handed in on the due date electronically (i.e. on Canvas). Late hand-in and lack of references are not accepted. To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work.




Class participation                          20%
Creative journal    30%
Research report & Serious game (20% + 30%)         50%

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:



DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due