New SGT website published!

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Emma’s Internship at UN-HABITAT Part III

Emma-Liisa Hannula is completing her four months internship at the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya. She will tell about her experiences in SGT blog during the spring term! This is her second letter from Kenya!


My internship ended 31st of May and I came back to Finland 10th of June after travelling a bit inside the country. The spring went very fast and I really enjoyed my internship, the assignments and the life in Kenya.

I completed my internship assignments including the main assignment ´Post-crisis urban planning quick guide- Guidance for practitioners´. I had a presentation about the quick guide before ending my internship and the feedback was very positive.  I will make the final changes to the publication according to the comments made by the peer review group. I really enjoyed the assignment and I am very satisfied with the internship. I think I made a good contribution to the team and that the quick guide will be beneficial for people working with post-crisis urban planning. I am also very happy that my internship took place during the pre-governing council retreat and the Governing council. I learned a lot from both of them.

The internship met my expectations. I am pleased to have learned so much during the spring from people whose work I greatly admire. My goal to finish the publication and to finish the back ground of my Master´s thesis was achieved. I am very happy that I got the chance to learn about the agency as whole, about UN-HABITAT and especially about the Disaster and Post-conflict section. The assignments I was working with required skills in urban planning on beforehand but I was happy to learn a lot about the specific context of planning in post-crisis and about cross cutting issues in post-crisis environment as well as about shelter and infrastructure in crisis and urban crisis and preparedness.

Generally, I am very satisfied and happy with my internship. I think my supervisor and other colleagues included me well in the team and supported my work. In my opinion, when the intern gets a meaningful assignment, the internship can be beneficial to both sides- to the intern and to the section.

Additionally, I enjoyed the life in Kenya very much. After a while, when getting used to Nairobi, it started to be a pleasant place to live in. I got to know a lot of people that I hope to keep in touch with in the future. Kenya as a country is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been and great possibilities for travelling. It has a very beautiful nature: savannahs, mountains, desert, jungle and amazing beaches on the coast. The people are very friendly and positive and the chances to see a lot of wildlife are better than anywhere in the world.

The internship has supported my career plans. I am even more interested to work in the field of planning/shelter in crisis than before the internship. I hope the experience and the contacts made during the internship will help me in starting a career within crisis related work.

Emma-Liisa Hannula Blog 15.6.2011

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SGT Studio Course BLOGS – Read what’s been up during spring 2011






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Emma’s internship at UN-HABITAT / Part II

Emma-Liisa Hannula is completing her four months internship at the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya. She will tell about her experiences in SGT blog during the spring term! This is her second letter from Kenya!

Two months of my internship has already passed. It has been an intensive and interesting time. I have learned a lot of crisis related planning and crisis response in general. I am working on two publications that are to be finished before I end my internship: Quick guide on post-crisis urban planning for leaders and Quick guide on post-crisis urban planning for practitioners. During February month I mostly read about the subject and gathered as much information as I could, according to planning in crisis contexts. I organized also an e-discussion amongst HABITAT professionals for gaining knowledge on the subject. During March I put together the information I had gathered and prepared drafts of outlines for the both quick guides.

Picture: Emma-Liisa Hannula / Hell’s Gate National Park

During April I have prepared a four page brochure on UN-HABITAT´s settlement planning in crisis context. The brochure includes introduction to the subject, issues and UN-HABITAT approaches, value added, cross cutting issues and an operational timeline. I have also prepared global indicators with which the different planning related outcomes, outputs and impacts of UN-HABITAT responses can be measured around the world.  I have circulated the material I have produced amongst UN-HABITAT professionals and gotten feedback on the direction I should go to from now on.

Last week during the Pre-governing council my office organized a four-day workshop for people working on crisis response within the different regional and country offices of UN-HABITAT around the world. The week was very intensive but extremely informative and nice. I learned a lot and had a possibility to show my work, get feedback and get to know UN-HABITAT professionals from all over the world as well as meet the executive director of UN-HABITAT.  Discussions with the field people were extremely interesting. This week UN-HABITAT is organizing the Governing council 2011 where invited ministers and decision makers from all over the world gather here in Nairobi to discuss and make decisions according to urban issues in the world. It has been very interesting to join the meetings and see how the global decisions are made.

A general concern of many people working with crisis related matters is that most of the professional planners do not have any education in crisis planning and this is why it often falls on others with ´do no harm´ approach. Crisis planning is much organizing and making strategic decisions that are implementable as soon as possible. The starting point, context and time pressure are very different to the normal planning context. At the same time crises present large opportunities in changing past experiences, enhancing hazards resilience and building back better and thus professional planners should be more involved. As the number of conflicts and natural disaster is increasing in the world, crisis planning should be addressed more in the planning education.

Emma-Liisa Hannula Blog 10.04.2011

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Emma’s internship at UN-HABITAT / Part 1

Emma-Liisa Hannula is completing her four months internship at the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya. She will tell about her experiences in SGT blog during the spring term! This is her first letter from Kenya!

I am studying architecture, urban design and urban planning at Aalto University. I started an internship within UN-HABITAT Disaster and Post-conflict section DPCS in the beginning of February at the UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. I have been interested in the work of UN-HABITAT for a long time and I am highly motivated in working on an international level preferably with crises-related issues in the future.

I am doing my Master´s thesis about post-disaster urban planning and my main assignment during the internship is to prepare a draft for post-crisis principles and operational timeline for planning after crises for leaders and for practitioners. I am very pleased about the assignment while it supports well my Master´s thesis. During the internship I have access to important literature sources for my thesis and a possibility to interview lots of people working with crises management on different levels and in different parts of the world.

There are currently seven people working at my office. All the team members have very different academic backgrounds and work mostly independently. The issues that we are working with are highly inter-disciplinary and require knowledge from different fields relating to crises. The work assignments are very different from architectural /planning office assignments and include a lot of research and writing. I find it positively challenging to use the knowledge I have gained during my education in an environment where most of the people do not have the same academic background.

I will be working at UN-HABITAT for four months until the end of May and will be blogging once in a while. Generally my life in Nairobi has started well. I found a pleasant place to live and nice hobbies such as yoga and Pilates. Life seems good here however a little restricted while you due to security issues have to take taxi everywhere after dark and can´t move freely around the city by foot. Sadly locals are hard to get to know while most of the people working at UN are foreigners. On the other hand the atmosphere at UN is very international and you meet a lot of people from all over the world.

Emma-Liisa Hannula

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SGT Studio Project Blogs

Welcome to read SGT Studio course groups’ blogs now! Read, get inspired and comment!

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SGT Living Lab in Helsinki Summer School in August 2011

Aalto SGT is organizing a summer course as part of Helsinki Summer School in August 2011!

Helsinki Summer School is a three-week academic event organised every August by the universities in the Helsinki area. Each year we give advanced degree students from over 60 countries an unforgettable experience that combines high quality academics with a wide range of cultural and social activities. Our multidisciplinary courses, all of which are taught in English, aim at stimulating thought and intellectual development in an open and diverse environment. At Helsinki Summer School, the rich academic, cultural and social resources of this vibrant city all become part of the classroom experience.

Helsinki Summer School Web:

SGT Living Lab Web:

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SGT Studio – Projects for 2011 – Sign up for great studio work experience at Aalto!

Sustainable Global Technologies Programme at the Aalto University
SGT Studio course in Spring 2011

Interested in multidisciplinary project work in an international team?

See the projects below and r
egister in Oodi!

Come to join SGT Studio course!

Open for all students at the Aalto and beyond through JOO-agreement!

Yhd-12.3091 SGT Studio; Facing Local and Global Challenges (11 cr)

Periods III-IV

First session on the 17th Jan at 12:15 – 15:00, seminar room Y307, Otaniemi campus, main building, Otakaari 1

SGT Studio is a problem based studio course for Master’s and PhD students. The studio includes interactive workshops, lectures and an extensive project work.  The lectures and workshops introduce students to international project work including project design, management, scheduling, finance and reporting, dynamics of group work, research ethics and methods. In the actual group work the students will participate in real projects within research groups, organizations or companies. Work will be mentored by PhD students and practicing professionals.

Course language is English.

Especially students from following disciplines are encouraged to join:

Arhictecture, Urban Planning, Surveying, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Energy Technology, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computer Sciences, Marketing, International Business, Economics, Art and Design

Studio projects 2011 are:
1. SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS; Waste Management
Client: Aalto Design Factory, Aalto Campus / Partners: Rubbermaid, ISS, L&T, Stena, Lindström, Varma, Keep Australia Beautiful
Mentors: Andrew Clutterbuck, Mari Jaakonaho
Client: SHALIN Finland / Partner(s): Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technolgogy
Mentors: Peter Kuria, Eva Kagiri, Lionel Reya
Client: Kemira
Mentor: Mirja Kattelus
Client: Taipei City Government Department of Urban Development / Partner(s): Ruin Academy, JUT Foundation for Arts & Architecture
Mentors: Marco Casagrande, Nikita Wu, Frank Chen
Client: Belaku Trust, NGO, Bangalore, India
Mentor: Mari Jaakonaho, Kavita Gonsalves
Detailed project briefs and more information available in Noppa course website:
Looking forward seeing you at the course!
For more information about SGT programme and the studio course, email

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Hello world!

Welcome to brand new SGT blog! In this blog we will share ideas and thoughts from our students and collaborative partners on sustainability, technology, urbanization and development.

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