PLEASE NOTE! This course was held in 2015, new courses will be arranged in 2017
Ecology and Management of Urban Green Space is intended for students who have completed two to four years of study in relevant disciplines as well as for MSc students and professionals whose fields are related to the subject matter of the course.
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of ecology and management of urban green areas. The course will tackle urban sustainability, the ecosystem services approach and social-ecological linkages in city and green space planning, and will provide examples of designing a green city. The excursions focus on ecology and environmental technology as linked to urban green space and water elements. Another key focus is the role of green space in improving the ecological function of urban areas.
After completing the course, the students will have learned both basic and specific features of urban green space ecology, management and planning from the Finnish and an international perspective. They will have learned about the ecosystem services approach and how these services can make urban green space useful for urban residents. The students will be ready to apply the information, knowledge and skills acquired during the course in the theoretical and practical context of their own countries and cities.
Course format and teaching methods
The course contains lectures (indoors and on the field), group exercises and discussions, excursions, independent assignments and study, and an exam. The lectures and coursework are given by researchers based at the Department of Environmental Sciences in the University of Helsinki and in other universities and institutions.
Prior to the course, the students are expected to read two relevant research articles (provided before the course begins) and write a short analytic essay based on them. The participants will also be asked to provide a short description of their own academic background, to explain their interest in this course, and to indicate their course expectations. These assignments must be completed and submitted one week before the start of classes. There will also be other reading tasks during the course.
Teachers and lecturers
The course is led by Dr Vesa Yli-Pelkonen, who is involved in teaching and research on urban ecology at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki. The lectures and coursework are given by researchers based at the Department of Environmental Sciences and in other universities and institutions. See the preliminary course programme for 2014 for examples.
Means and criteria of assessment
Assessment is based on class participation, group work and excursions, and on completed assignments and the final exam. Exam grading scale: 5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.
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Last updated January 22, 2016