GY448      Half Unit
Social and Political Aspects of Regional and Urban Planning

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alan Mace S509 and Prof Andrew Thornley S514

Dr Romola Sanyal


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies. This course is available on the MSc Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course will explore the impact of key social and political processes on the activity of urban and regional planning. These processes will be explored from the global, through national, to local scale focusing on the impact of globalisation on cities and urban planning. Key concepts covered in the course will include: the 'world city' debate; the governance of London and a contrasting city; community politics; and the effect of institutional structures on the nature and form of the planning system. These concepts are supported by an introduction to the development of planning practice (in the UK/US) and a review of key strands of planning theory.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will submit a 1,500 word essay. In addition students will prepare and present a topic in the seminar classes either singly or as part of a small group.

Indicative reading

Birch, E.L., (ed) (2009) The Urban; Regional Planning Reader, Routledge Brenner, N.; Keil, R., 2005. The Global Cities Reader New Ed., Routledge. Davies, D.J.S.; Imbroscio, D.D., 2008. Theories of Urban Politics Second Edition., SAGE Publications Ltd. Friedmann, J., 2011. Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory, Routledge. Hall, P., 2002. Urban and Regional Planning 4th ed., Routledge. Healey, P.; Upton, R., 2010. Crossing Borders 1st ed., Routledge. Hill, P.M., 2009. The Public Policy Process 5th ed., Longman. Innes, J.E.; Booher, D.E., 2010. Planning with Complexity 1st ed., Routledge. Newman, P.; Thornley, A., 2004. Planning World Cities: Globalization and Urban Politics, Palgrave Macmillan.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.9
Merit 59.6
Pass 21.3
Fail 2.2

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2012/13: 43

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 85.3%



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