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Communicative Planning for Urban Mobility Online Course

Participatory and collaborative planning processes often evoke strong feelings among urban and urban mobility planners. Participation processes are perceived as resource intense and slow, and the outcome of the public engagement is regarded not necessarily to be in line with the rather extensive participation process. Nevertheless, it comes down to choosing the right tools, defining the objectives for gathering data, and ultimately crystallizing the added value – or the insights – that can only be established by involving a broad audience in the planning process.

The Communicative Planning for Urban Mobility online course presents different approaches to, cases, and applications of communicative urban mobility planning. Collaborative and participatory planning practices are offered as one solution to solve planning challenges in a complex stakeholder network and to ensure the best quality outcome. Communicative planning practices are not new to urban, urban mobility, and transportation planning, but implementing these practices still raises many questions.

  • Overview of planning concepts and policies
  • Background and context for current planning processes and paradigms
  • Tools and methodologies for collaboration and participation 
  • Case examples of community engagement and participatory planning processes

This online course is designed to support independent study optimally. The study weeks, and the assignments connected to each week, are to be completed within a specified time. The Echo Team assignment (not compulsory – but highly beneficial to maximize learning impact) can be conducted at your own pace. Still, we suggest scheduling an Echo Team session after each week. One of the key aims of this course is to empower and motivate you to explore different collaborative and participatory planning practices and use them in your work.

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This online course is designed to support independent study optimally. Course contents and methods, and tools are hand-picked to be applied in your working environment.

The course is built with faculty members from the Aalto University Department of Built Environment, industry professionals, and public sector representatives.

Research in collaborative and participatory planning urban planning processes has a long tradition at the Aalto University Department of Built Environment, and several academic articles have been published on this matter. They are combining the faculty know-how guarantees relevant, high-quality content and impactful learning experiences.


This course is based on the understanding that successful and sustainable urban mobility planning should be done in collaboration with citizens and communities, city officials, private businesses, and other stakeholders. With the help of our course faculty, we will give you an understanding of the context and the world in which we operate, as well as some of the challenges that planners face. We will investigate the role of policy and decision-makers and look at different tools and methodologies for collaboration and participation. Case examples will be shared to help you to understand how the tools apply to real planning cases.

Understand the complexity and context of the operational environment that planners work in and learn about policy making and its impact on urban mobility planning
Gain confidence while working in a VUCA world
Identify planning challenges and learn to select the right tools to tackle them
Define the right ways to engage with social media from a planning point of view
Reflect on your own work and identify pain points in communicative planning practices
Apply communicative and participatory planning tools to your own projects and make your engagement processes smoother and more successful


This course is built for urban mobility and transportation professionals, urban planners, and other professionals in public and private sectors working in the field of urban mobility and transportation planning at any stage of their career.

Contents and Schedule

This online course is structured into four core weeks and will take approximately ten hours to complete, depending on your speed and preferred study style. The study weeks consist of interactive video lectures, reflective knowledge checks, and the Echo Teams, which offer a unique insight into communicative planning processes. After activating your account, you have six weeks to finalize your course free of charge.

The Echo Teams are not a compulsory part of the course, but we highly recommend you use this tool and arrange Echo Team meetings with your peers, teams, or colleagues from your work community to reflect on your learning and receive feedback.

The underlying frameworks, tools, and methodologies used in this course are based on common planning practices and academic research conducted in the field. As a result, we strongly encourage you to take action when invited to do so. Further, we ask you to reflect at any time and think about the relationship between the lecture content and your own work. The study journal provided in the course materials is a good tool for keeping notes on your reflections and recording any questions that may arise during the course.

Participation in the course is free of charge and grants you basic access to the online course for six (6) weeks upon registration. Unlimited access to this online course is available for a separate fee.

This online course is designed as a self-study course. No individual feedback or support by the course educators will be provided. 

Study Weeks


Henna Hovi

Henna Hovi is an urban planner and is currently working in the City of Helsinki Traffic Systems unit. 

In the past, she has worked as a research assistant in Aalto University Real Estate Economics Department and as a planner in Strategic Land Use Planning at the City of Helsinki. She has a background in geography and planning.

As a planner she focuses on all things strategic – whether the scale is an individual street or the whole city. Walkability, bikeability and sustainable human-centered mobility in cities are Henna’s areas of expertise. As well as being in charge of making the first pedestrian strategy for the City of Helsinki, her projects have included street pilots, like the summer streets we saw alongside Kasarmitori in 2020, and cycling planning, including an EU project called Handshake through which Helsinki seeks to learn best practices from Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

In the future, Henna wants to learn more about how to use temporary measures in strategic planning to improve the walking and cycling conditions in cities and what solutions work when we are striving for long-term change.

Maarit Kahila-Tani

Maarit Kahila-Tani is the CEO and co-founder of Mapita, the company behind Maptionnaire, and works in the domain of community engagement tools for urban planners and city developers.

Maarit has a background in planning geography from the University of Helsinki and in urban planning from Aalto University. Her research focused on new methods for enabling and encouraging wider public participation. In her dissertation, she studied the opportunities for urban planners to take advantage of map-based public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) tools like Maptionnaire to gain ideas and insights from residents.

Miloš Mladenović

Miloš N. Mladenović is an Associate Professor at the Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering Group, Department of Built Environment, School of Engineering. 

His current research interests include the governance of emerging mobility technologies and the development of decision-support methods. His previous and current teaching responsibilities include transport systems policy, planning, modeling, management, and design courses. 

Pilvi Nummi

Pilvi Nummi (PhD, architect) is a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Department of Built Environment at Aalto University.

Pilvi Nummi's research interests are related to participatory land use planning and digital participation. She is currently working on the FinEst Twins research project, which develops smart tools for communicative city planning in Helsinki and Tallinn.  

Dominic Stead

Dominic Stead is Professor of Land Use and Transport Planning at Aalto University.

His research and teaching are mainly concerned with urban and regional governance and sustainability. Before moving to Aalto, Dominic worked in the Netherlands and the UK. He has also spent time as a visiting academic in universities in Australia, Germany, and Malta. 

Fee and Registration

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