GY446      Half Unit
Planning for Sustainable Cities

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nancy Holman STC315b


This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

A critical examination of the issues involved in planning for sustainable development at the urban level together with a review of policies and practice; the course focus largely on the problems facing developed countries. The course comprises ten lectures on the following themes; sustainability, sustainable development at the urban level, sustainability indicators, environmental assessment, environmental limits, carrying capacity and ecological footprints, the debate on sustainable urban form, Local Agenda 21, public participation, environmental governance.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare a seminar paper and presentation.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading on specific policy areas will be provided.: J Agyeman & B Evans (Eds), Local Environmental Policies and Strategies, 1994; S. Wheeler. Planning for Sustainability: Creating livable, equitable, and ecological communities, 2004; Y, Rydin, Governing for Sustainable Urban Development, 2010; S. Davoudi, J. Crawford and A. Mehmood (Eds), Planning for Climate Change: Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation for Spatial Planners, 2009.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 22.7
Merit 45.5
Pass 27.3
Fail 4.5

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 37

Average class size 2014/15: 12

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills