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

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alan Mace STC315a


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies. This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), 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 at the international, national, and local scale by looking at the impacts of both globalisation and neo-liberalism on the planning of cities and regions. The main focus is on the relationship between planning as a function of governance, urban politics and the market. Key concepts covered in the course include: claims for and against urban planning; and the politics of planning - including 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 (primarily in the UK) and a review of key strands of planning theory.


15 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will submit a 1,500 word essay.

Indicative reading

Friedmann, J., 2011. Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory, Routledge. Hall, P., 2014. Cities of Tomorrow, Wiley. 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 MT.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 20.8
Merit 60.8
Pass 17.5
Fail 0.8

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2015/16: 40

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 90%



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