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 Andrea Frank
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2014/5

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, 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 includes a mandatory ‘Charette weekend.’

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 field visit and a compulsory weekend charette. Overall the module accrues a minimum of three contact hours per week, often more. 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 weekend charette may be residential or may consist of two consecutive daytrips 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

The module assessment is based on three contributions:

  1. site analysis (individual) consisting of analysis results including illustrative diagrams, maps and explanatory text to be submitted in poster format,
  2. attendance and contributions to the weekend Charette (individual mark),
  3. a group project consisting of a set of deliveries including a group presentation, a model of the design 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.

The Charette weekend 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 Neighbourhood Masterplan assignment represents a major group project. 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 weekend retreat. 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 weekend charette there will be opportunities for students to receive formative feedback for oral presentation, team working, problem-solving and creativity skills are developed in a non-threatening supportive environment.

The coursework is 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



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

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 % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 40 40
Coursework 1 - Site Context Analysis
N/A 1 N/A
Oral/Aural Assessment 50 N/A
Oral Group Presentation Of Project - Neighbourhood Master Plan
N/A 1 N/A
Practical-Based Assessment 10 N/A
Participation/attendance Of Charette Weekend
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Essential Reading and Resource List

Background Reading and Resource List

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

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