Smart Sustainable Cities

Dates: SAT 18–TUE 28.8.2018
Organizer: Centennial College (Canada) & Turku University of Applied Science
Price: 720 € (inc. Social Programme)
Credits: 6 ECTS
Class size: minimum 10–maximum 20
Contact persons: Connie Zehr, Professor of Environmental Technology in SETAS, Piia Nurmi, Leader of research and education, TUAS

 The application period has closed.

The main topic in the course is Smart Sustainable Cities and its three main dimensions (environment, business and social).

The course consists of seminars and lectures, working in multidisciplinary groups, field visits and project work. Also a pre-assignment.


After the course the student can:

  • Define the concept of Smart Sustainable Cities and the key elements and fields interlinked in Smart Sustainable Cities
  • Understand the general current economic, social and environmental trends that are  connected with sustainable growth of cities
  • Identify stakeholders in sustainable urban development processes
  • Identify techniques to involve people in sustainable urban development initiatives
  • Know relevant energy and material flows in city environments
  • Explain the urban water cycle, sustainable use and reuse.
  • Have an understanding of the future of the cities


The teachers of the course are members of the Resource-Efficient Business Research Group of Turku University of Applied Sciences. This research group includes professionals from resource efficiency, corporate responsibility and environmental business. The group is a strong regional developer and trainer working for the promotion of new business opportunities, where resource efficiency refers to utilizing the side streams of enterprises, decreasing the amount of waste, recycling materials and decreasing harmful environmental impacts, among other things.

Topics & field visits

Day 1: Arrival, Welcome.

Getting to know the group, campus, brief info to the topics.

Creation of working groups to mix up students from different schools or technical disciplines. For example, a group would have at least one architecture student, one from energy systems, one from environmental, some from TUAS  some from Centennial. These working groups could change in Week 2 perhaps.

Day 2:  What are smart sustainable cities?

A walking and public transit tour.

We will ask students to look for certain sustainability and infrastructure features as they walk around.

Also to discuss: what could we learn from European cities like Turku.

Day 3– 6: Urban innovations for sustainability

Topics to be covered with field visits and group work: Learning about sustainable construction (e.g. The use of sustainable wood composite structural elements), Urban design. Innovative and energy efficient buildings in the region. Local foods and urban agriculture innovation, including hydroponics/ green roofs,  food waste minimization. Learning about the solar energy projects

Energy efficiency in design and sustainable chemistry.

Day 7: Water in cities.

Seminars and or tours about water and wastewater projects, either large municipal systems or smaller settings

Urban stormwater management and runoff systems.

Water use optimization and recycling

Innovations in wastewater treatment, including energy efficiency and nutrient recovery

Day 8: Social Implications of Humans in Cities

Turku is an important cruise ship building centre, with important economic benefits. we will visit a shipyard and talk about sustainable industry and employment.

Social Innovations, well being and equity. Poverty and social challenges. Common action, projects in the field. Interconnectedness of social, environmental and economic challenges.

Day 9: Ecology of the Baltic Sea

Possible visit to the island of Seili.

The Baltic Sea, Marine food chain and its stressors.

A brief introduction to Zooplankton monitoring and sampling

Day 10: The future of the cities.

Urban planning, innovations, people and cooperation.

What have we learned, Closing ceremony.

Subject to change