Urban Development and Master Planning

This information is for the 2021/22 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.

Course content

Urban Development and Master Planning is an applied group project based on a major regeneration site. Groups 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 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 PP4A1E, PP4A2E, PP4A3E & PP4A4E 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.


The course will be taught via a combination of asynchronous sessions and live sessions, the latter of which can be attended in-person or remotely. A minimum of 10 hours of asynchronous learning materials sessions will be provided ahead of live teaching, which will consist of videos, readings and interactive activities. Approximately 20 hours of live teaching will be provided, consisting of lecture-based discussions, seminars and workshops. The majority of these will be delivered during Module 5. In addition to these activities, students will undertake supervised collaboration sessions on a remote basis during a two-week period in the lead up to Module 5.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: 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