Stockholm university
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Spatial Planning Across Europe

The course focuses on (1) the European dimension of spatial planning and (2) the national spatial planning systems in a comparative perspective. Regarding the former the emergence and impacts of the “EU spatial policy discourse” will be analysed in regards to a number of key concepts, normative images, main policy documents and instruments.

The course requires a Bachelor degree incl. 90 HECs in Human Geography or Urban and Regional Planning, or accepted to a master programme in Human Geography, Urban and Regional Planning or Globalization, Environment and Social Change, and English 6.

  • Course structure

    A particular focus will be laid on transnational and cross-border cooperation within spatial planning. Regarding the latter, the idea is to carve out the similarities and differences between a number of European countries (e.g. Sweden compared to Finland, Germany and the Netherlands) related to e.g. the institutional organization of planning, its thematic scope and dominating normative concepts and instruments.

    This analysis will help to critically revisit the notion of “planning families” and “planning cultures” in a transnational as well as national (and partly regional) perspective across Europe. One key question of the course is to what extent can we observe an Europeanisation of spatial planning across Europe and to what extent some of the prevailing differences between national planning families and cultures in Europe seem to be rather robust.

    Teaching format

    Obligatory teaching includes lectures, seminars and exercises.

    Detailed information, including grading criteria, is presented at the course introduction and via the collaboration and learning environment Athena.

    Learning objectives

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:

    • discuss and compare urban and regional planning in selected European countries
    • interpret and analyze planning systems and cultures in Europe and its applications
    • analyze relevant planning policies at the EU level and its applications in a multi-level governance system


    Examination takes place through assignments and participation in seminars and exercises


    Several teachers assess and grade within the course.

    Examiner: Peter Schmitt, Department of Human Geography

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordinator
    Academic Counselling
    Student Affairs Office