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

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alan Mace STC315a and Dr Romola Sanyal 509

Dr Romola Sanyal


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. 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, 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. 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

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.8
Merit 59.5
Pass 19.8
Fail 0.8

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 34

Average class size 2014/15: 11

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 85%



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