GY448      Half Unit
Urban Planning: Society, Market and Sustainability

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alan Mace STC315a


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

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

Course content

The course draws on both the theory and practice of urban planning. While our primary focus is on experience and ideas generated in the global north we draw also on practice in and perspectives from the global south. You will look at key planning ideas such as; the neighbourhood, community, the region and regional planning, networked planning and partnership, and sustainability as a rationale for contemporary urban planning. A number of themes run through the course including; social justice, the relationship between planning, state and market (including the concepts of values and value). Our analysis of planning practice provides both criticism of and possibilities for urban planning.


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will submit a 1,500 word assignment.

Indicative reading

  • Friedmann, J., 2011. Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory, Routledge.
  • Joss, S. 2015. Sustainable Cities; Governing for Urban Innovation. Palgrave.
  • Rydin, Y. 2011. The Purpose of Planning; Creating Sustainable Towns and Cities. Policy Press.
  • Sanyal, B., Lawrence, J.V and Rosan C.D.R. 2012. Planning Ideas That Matter. MIT Press.


Essay (100%, 4500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 26.5
Merit 53.1
Pass 15.9
Fail 4.4

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 38

Average class size 2018/19: 13

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication