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° MC-15mincity EN
Tags: Micro-credentials


In a world where urban development and sustainable mobility take center stage, the micro-credential "Planning the 15-minute city for all" equips participants with essential knowledge and skills to plan and design cities accessible to everyone within a 15-minute travel time.

Known as the "15-minute city" concept, this innovative approach to urban planning addresses the growing demands of urban populations and the urgent need to create environmentally friendly, livable, and inclusive urban spaces. In this micro-credential you will be equipped with expertise in urban planning, sustainable mobility, and inclusivity, to contribute to solving complex urban challenges and enhancing the quality of life in cities.

Collaboratively offered by the University of Tartu and Ghent University, this micro-credential programme aims to achieve specific Educational Goals:

  1. Societal Impact: Our programme prepares you to understand and plan for sociotechnical change, promoting sustainable urban mobility without losing sight of equity.

  2. Theory and Urban Planning: You learn essential theoretical concepts, including the principles of the 15-minute city concept, to reconcile sustainable mobility and equity.

  3. Practical Skills: In addition to theory, you acquire practical skills to address complex urban issues and design holistic solutions.

  4. Real-World Experience: Excursions provide hands-on experience and deepen the understanding of urban planning in practice.

  5. Pathway to Higher Education: Our programme opens the door to further academic development, allowing participants to use their results for access to higher education.

Programme Timeline

  • January 10, 2025: Registration closes; review process begins.

  • January 20, 2025: Applicants notified of acceptance.

  • February 5, 2025: Start of course 1 in Ghent, Belgium by Prof. Frank Witlox & Dr. Hannah Hook.

  • March 4, 2025: Start of course 2 in Tartu, Estonia by Prof. Triin Vihalemm.

  • April 15, 2025: Start of course 3 in Tartu, Estonia by Prof. Tiit Tammaru.

  • May 26, 2025: Field course in Tallin, Estonia.

  • June 10, 2025: Certification and programme completion.


The participation fee is 1500 EUR.


Registrations will be opened in 2024 on the website of the University of Tartu.

Programme structure

Synchronous learning, guided by expert instructors, incorporates a blend of real-time interaction in a (virtual) classroom setting as well as independent individual and group tasks. Our courses employ diverse teaching and learning methods, including icebreakers, energizers, workshops, field trips, teamwork, case studies, brainstorming, visualization, role playing, gamification, and flipped classroom techniques. Four courses are planned throughout the programme:

  • Course 1: "Economic Geography of Urban Systems and the 15-minute city"
    by Prof. Frank Witlox & Dr. Hannah Hook.

  • Course 2: "Transition thinking, Urban Mobility and the 15-minute city"
    by Prof. Triin Vihalemm.

  • Course 3: "Planning of the 15-minute city: Towards an equity-centred model of sustainable mobility"
    by Prof. Tiit Tammaru.

  • Course 4: Field course.

Course content and format

Course 1: Economic Geography of Urban Systems and the 15-minute city

  • Content: This course offers participants a comprehensive understanding of economic geography and urban networks, enabling them to identify and discuss fundamental principles. Participants will develop the capacity to comprehend the decision-making processes guiding businesses in selecting locations and address inquiries related to urban geography, showcasing their ability to apply analytical tools to scrutinize interplay between cities and economies. By delving into the intricate relationship between urban dynamics and economic activities, participants will gain expertise in analyzing urban economic development from various angles. Participants' comprehension of the operations of creative industries and their contributions to the urban economy will be enhanced, not only benefitting their individual endeavors but also positively impacting their respective organizations and society as a whole. Participants will be prepared to offer insights and strategies fostering sustainable urban economic growth, efficient city planning, and innovative business decisions. The knowledge gained from this course will play a pivotal role in shaping urban landscapes, fostering economic resilience, and driving societal progress.

  • Delivery: This intensive course is designed to condense on-site lectures into one week, emphasizing an interactive discussion-driven approach. Sessions establish a welcoming environment and nurture a sense of community among participants with icebreakers and energizers. Case studies and brainstorming sessions are deployed to encourage active involvement and critical thinking. Breakout sessions divide participants into smaller groups, allowing them to delve into specific topics for deeper exploration and collaborative learning. Traditional tools like whiteboards and flip charts support real-time visualizations and note-taking, and digital tools such as video conferencing platforms, online collaboration boards, and chat features facilitate seamless communication and knowledge exchange. Video and reading materials are available ahead of live sessions to familiarize participants with content. During live sessions, the focus shifts from content delivery to interactive discussions, workshops, and case study analyses, promoting higher-order thinking skills like analysis, evaluation, and application. To measure the intended learning impact, collaborative projects and case study presentations assess participants' ability to apply knowledge in practical contexts. Participant engagement is assessed through contributions in discussions, breakout sessions and collaborative activities. Regular feedback surveys assess the effectiveness of the learning strategies and gather suggestions for improvement.

Course 2: Transition thinking, urban mobility and the 15-minute city

  • Content: This course cultivates the skills required to analyze and plan for socio-technical change using a transition theoretical framework. It introduces fundamental concepts related to the multilevel perspective (MLP) and social practice theory (STP), both of which view societies as intricate systems of co-evolving activities, encompassing socio-technical systems and social practices. These concepts provide an integrated framework for pinpointing intervention points, facilitating the diagnosis of socio-technical systems and their developmental trajectories, identifying challenges, and devising potential strategies for transformation. Macroscopic views of socio-technical systems that shape urban life, such as transportation and energy, and microscopic examinations of daily habits, including cycling and shopping, are offered. Primary objectives are to equip participants with the skill to map potential agents of change within systems and practices, devise engagement strategies to build coalitions, and effectively address appropriate audiences. The course adopts a social-practice-based perspective, embedding various stakeholders and target groups within their everyday contexts. The curriculum also explores foundational frameworks for systemic change, imparting the skills needed to analyze the interplay between broader contextual forces, such as megatrends and geopolitical factors, and innovation niches.

  • Delivery: This intensive course is structured to compress online lectures into one week, comprising of diverse teaching and learning methods to sustain learner engagement. Fostering a sense of community and encouraging peer-to-peer learning are key priorities. Each session combines a more traditional lecture format with enriched content and free-form discussions, complemented by pre-designed individual and group exercises. Particular emphasis is placed on visual communication for online sessions, with all participants required to activate their video screens. Exercises include both individual reflection periods and small group break-out sessions. A balance is struck between analytical and creative exercises, prompting students to generate original ideas and solutions to problems while background reading assignments are provided for each session. Finally, students undertake an individual coursework project in the form of a case study, analysing an urban issue of their choice in their home country using the conceptual framework provided during the course. Course trainers provide written feedback and guidance for improvement.

Course 3: Planning of the 15-minute city: Towards an equity-centred approach to sustainable mobility

  • Content: Urban planners and policy makers worldwide advocate for more sustainable mobility solutions, emphasizing higher urban development densities, active transportation modes, and reduced reliance on automobiles for access to destinations. However, these initiatives often overlook pressing equity concerns associated with the transition to more sustainable travel modes and the neighbourhood-focused planning inherent in the 15-minute city concept. Cities, despite being hubs of innovation, also harbour significant inequalities, characterized by ethnic, social, and economic disparities, leading to segregation among various population groups. Within this course, participants will gain fresh insights into the population dynamics within urban areas and how these dynamics intersect with mobility opportunities for residents residing in different parts of the city. The course will delve into the 'eco-social' paradox, addressing the equity challenges associated with implementing the 15-minute city while striving for a transformative shift toward sustainable urban mobility. In addition to theoretical knowledge on urban concepts and processes, this course offers a hands-on experience, allowing participants to explore urban phenomena firsthand. It equips participants with the skills needed to carry out small-area population projections, analyze urban segregation patterns, and assess mobility flows. The course fosters interactive learning methodologies, guiding participants through urban neighbourhoods to better understand the spatial structures and social interactions within cities.

  • Delivery: This course employs online lectures over a span of four weeks. Weekly, a new topic unfolds, allowing participants the flexibility to engage with pre-recorded lectures and course materials at their convenience. Prior to each lecture, participants are expected to have digested specified background reading material, viewed designated video lectures, and prepared a written question to facilitate discussion. The lectures will include discussions on the reading and video materials with practical activities aimed at enhancing understanding of key course themes. Some activities involve participants forming smaller groups to brainstorm solutions for specific challenges, with a focus on promoting sustainable mobility and urban equity among neighbourhoods and social groups.

Course 4: Field course – Planning 15-minute city for all

Prior to the field course, students will independently prepare for their participation. During the on-site portion of the course, several sessions are scheduled:

  1. An introductory session providing an overview of the field course and key challenges and opportunities in Tallinn.

  2. A city tour visiting various districts, including Lasnamäe, Telliskivi, Kalamaja Harbour, and Ülemiste.

  3. Discussion sessions featuring guest lectures, including government representatives and experts like Benjamin Büttner from Munich.

  4. Group presentations and a concluding session.

Throughout the field course, students will contemplate how they envision their city, whether it's Tallinn or their hometown, as a 15-Minute City. They will explore questions surrounding what needs to be done to achieve this vision and whether it truly represents a 15-Minute City accessible to everyone. The field course further incorporates guided walks, including brief standing mini lectures with the participation of city officials. These walks will highlight both successful and challenging aspects of city planning, fostering discussions on potential solutions. Additionally, the course will include a feedback session conducted in an open conversational format and will conclude with group presentations summarizing the students' findings and insights.


Academy for Lifelong Learning (IPVW)

Faculty of Science



Course number:
Short- en long-term programmes, Micro-credentials
Area of interest:
(Bio)Engineering, Architecture and Design, Bioengineering, Civil Engineer, Health Sciences, Engineering Technology, Psychology, Social Sciences, Sciences
Academic year:
2024 - 2025
Starting date:
Contact person:
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