CP0121 - Places and Plans

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0121
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Francesca Sartorio
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2015/6

Outline Description of Module

The module introduces students to basic planning and plan making concepts through a mix of theory and practice orientated teaching. There is a specific focus on concepts, best practice, and current approaches related to land use planning, settlement structure and organisation, and the built environment.

Students have to explore elements of the urban fabric, urban form, accessibility, land use, physical development and design in existing places as a precursor to producing a conceptual design of a “new neighbourhood.” Students will be introduced to observation techniques and methods for analysing and assessing urban settings including a building site in terms of aesthetic and functional qualities (permeability, legibility, flood risk, protected habitats, conservation etc.). They also will be introduced to digital mapping resources (DIGIMAP) and graphic software applications. Problem solving approaches, team working, elementary drawing and various presentation skills are learnt in a series of workshops and activities that include a mandatory multiday ‘Charette’ session.

On completion of the module a student should be able to






How the module will be delivered

The module is taught over one semester and is delivered via a mixture of lecture, workshop and laboratory sessions which require students to actively participate and engage with the subject. There is also a site visit and a compulsory Charette. Overall the module accrues three or more contact hours per week. The balance between lectures and lab/workshop activities will vary week by week. Some workshop activities will make use of specialist software and the computer facility of CPLAN, others require site visits for visual analysis of the built environment and the development site. Students will be required to explore the environment and document, analyse and assess observations. Students also have to conduct relevant supplementary reading. All work will feed into formatively and summatively assessed work. The Charette may be residential, or may consist of two consecutive daytrips (most likely involving a weekend) and is designed to get students started with their group coursework and assignment.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Whilst studying this module students will develop and practise the following



How the module will be assessed

How the module will be assessed


The module assessment consists of three contributions:
1) site analysis (individual) submitted in poster format,
2) attendance and contributions to the Charette (individual mark),

3) a group project consisting of a set of deliveries including a group presentation, a model and adequate illustrative plans.


The site analysis coursework will assess students’ ability to apply observational and analytical techniques systematically to describe and evaluate the conditions on and around a future development site in respect to land use, transport networks, history, natural features and service provision. The coursework also assesses students ability to apply the skills / software taught on layout, poster design, drawing, sketching, analysing and synthesizing census, and other planning related data in graphical and written form.


The Charette assesses students’ professional attitudes and time management skills, their team building efforts, engagement with tools and techniques introduced, and their response to formative feedback.


The group project requires the development of a development concept and master plan for a substantial site. It assesses students’ ability to apply land use planning concepts and design principles taught in lectures and using skills introduced during workshops, creativity sessions and the Charette. It also assesses students’ ability in time management and effective group working. The group presentation assesses students’ oral presentation skills. Projects will be judged by the quality of graphic/written presentation, the quality and originality of the plans, as well as the reasoning and judgement employed for making land use and spatial arrangement decisions.


Throughout the module and the Charette there will be opportunities for students to receive formative feedback. Thus oral presentation, team working, problem-solving and creativity skills are nurtured and developed in a non-threatening supportive environment before being assess in the end.


The individual  coursework represents a qualifying mark and a minimum of 40% need to be achieved.

The module is a required module and marks are non-condonable.

Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Individual Coursework


Site Context Analysis (individual)

2 posters

Spring Semester



Charette Weekend (start of group project)


2.5 days

Spring Semester

Oral group presentation of project and assessment of deliverables


Neighbourhood Master Plan (group project) (posters and model)

15-20 min plus Q&A

Spring Semester








The opportunity for reassessment in this module


Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 40
Coursework 1
N/A 1 N/A
Oral/Aural Assessment 50
Oral Group Presentation Of Project
N/A 1 N/A
Practical-Based Assessment 10
Participation/attendance Of Charette Weekend
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Essential Reading and Resource List

Please contact the module leader as early as possible if you require readings in an alternative format.


Background Reading and Resource List


Additional up-to-date topical readings and resources will be provided through learning central.

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