Urban Development and Master Planning

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Burdett FAW 8.01J and Dr Savvas Verdis FAW 8.01E


This course is available on the Executive MSc in Cities. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is only available to students registered in the Executive MSc in Cities and is offered as an option.

Course content

Urban Development and Master Planning is an applied group project based on a major regeneration site. Groups of no more than six students will be introduced to one of the regeneration sites project teams which will include: local planning officers, developers, planners, designers and financing teams. The groups will first immerse themselves in the offices of the host organisation as well as the site and understand some of the project challenges. The groups will then work in a collaborative environment in order to develop solutions to the challenges set by the project teams.

Using some of the key assessment and planning tools developed in courses SO4A1, SO4A2, SO4A3 & SO4A4 of the Executive MSc in Cities, this project will encourage students to apply the most appropriate analysis, planning and finance methods to an actual development site.

Topics covered: land ownership, development goals, developing the brief, urban design and master planning strategies, wider urban context, phasing, capturing value, mix of uses, public vs private space, financing projects, residual values, negotiations between developers and public agencies, planning constraints and policies, affordable housing, lifecycle assessment, built form, density and integration.


3 hours of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 6 hours of lectures, 3 hours of seminars and 9 hours of workshops in the ST.

The course will be taught during the lent and summer terms using a mixture of hands-on workshops and lectures.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the ST.

Prepare a 500 word brief for your project indicating key deliverables.

Indicative reading

Adams D., C Watkins and M White (eds.), 2005, Planning, Public Policy and Property Markets, Oxford: Blackwell

Campkin, Ben. Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture. 2013.

Carmona M, Tiesdell S, Heath T and Oc T (2010) Public Places - Urban Spaces, The Dimensions of Urban Design (Second Edition), Oxford, Architectural Press

Edwards, M., Brown, R., & Lee, R. (2014). Just Space: towards a just, sustainable London. In L. Lees, R. Imrie (Eds.), Sustainable London? : the future of a global city (pp. 75-104). Bristol: Policy Press.

Jones, Phil, and James Evans. Urban Regeneration in the UK. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2008.

Scanlon, K. The Affordable Housing Reader, Edited by Rosie Tighe and Elizabeth Mueller. May 2014.

Syms P, 2002, Land, Development and Design, Oxford: Blackwell

Urban Task Force, 1999. Towards an urban renaissance: Mission statement. London

Additional readings:

Baum, A. & Hartzell, D. (2012) ‘Global Property Investment:  Strategies, Structures, Decisions’.  Wiley Blackwell.

Gordon, I; Buck, N; Hall, P; Harloe, M and Kleinman, M: Working Capital, Life and Labour in Contemporary London, Routledge, 2002.

Swyngedow E, F Moulaert and A Rodriguez, 2002, 'Neoliberal urbanisation in Europe: Large-scale urban development projects and the New Urban Policy', Antipode, Vol. 34 (3), pp 542-577

Travers, T; Scanlon, K; Whitehead, C. and Fernández-Arrigoitia, Melissa: Public Spending Priorities in London GLA. May 2010

Fainstein S, 1994, The City Builders: Property, Politics and Planning in London and New York, Oxford: Blackwell.


Essay (80%, 5000 words) and presentation (20%) in the ST.

This project is conducted in groups, and the assessment is based on a collective group mark for the following three components.

  1. A presentation to the project team and LSE Cities staff, which counts for 20% of the total mark.
  2. A group project report not exceeding 5,000 words, which will count for 80% of the final grade.  
  3. Additionally, each group member must write a personal reflection on their contribution in no more than 600 words, and should include specific details of the student's contributions to the project.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills