Photo: University West
University West wants to build the community planners of the future
One of the novelties at Campus Skellefteå is University West introducing its three-year program Applied Urban Planning.
Here, Ylva Johansson and Andrea Johansson, who will both be teaching, share their thoughts on the highly topical program and its strong potential for future urban planners.
- There is a strong development in Skellefteå and we hope that the students and we as a university get an opportunity to be part of the development that is taking place, says Ylva Johansson, lecturer with a solid legal background and experience in the urban planning sector.
Andrea Johansson is also a university lecturer with a professional background in urban planning, surveying, land and development and building permits. She emphasizes the geographically dispersed nature of the course.
- It will be a decentralized education with several campuses involved, including Västervik, Värnamo and Skellefteå. "University West is the university that provides the program, and we have good experience of involving several actors. Every place has its own conditions, and community planning is based on the opportunities and challenges associated with the specific location. The fact that the program involves several different universities in different parts of the country will contribute valuable perspectives to the program," says Andrea.
For future community planners, the program opens up a number of opportunities. Employers can be municipalities, government agencies and private companies. In addition, there is the possibility of continuing an academic career, for example, after graduation, students become eligible for several master's programs at University West.
The program focuses on sustainable community planning and equips students to deal with complex issues. Especially considering how the world has changed in recent years.
- One of our central challenges is to plan for sustainable societies. We face complex issues in this professional role. The focus of our education is on developing methods and competences where the ability to solve problems is central. As a community planner, you meet different target groups, so collaboration and communication are also integrated into the course, says Andrea.
Ylva emphasizes that it is a profession in constant change.
- You constantly face new challenges, just look at how the world is changing and how it affects the transformation of society - I'm thinking of the global situation and the climate issue, for example. You will always develop in your role as a social planner, she says.
For both, community planning has been an opportunity to become part of community development.
- The fun thing about the profession is that you get to make a real difference and contribute, it's so concrete, says Andrea.
Now they will prepare the students for working life and shape them into active community planners.
Over the three years, students receive a thorough introduction to the subject, including courses in planning, law, economics and more in the first year. The second year focuses on applied project work and in-depth study in different areas to broaden their skills.
The third year is specifically tailored to allow students to shape their education according to their own areas of interest. They can choose between different courses and internships, or focus on internships for an entire semester if they so wish.
The program ends with a scientific work, where students can apply and deepen their knowledge by writing a bachelor thesis.