CP0210 - Planning, Markets and Land

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0210
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Oleg Golubchikov
SemesterAutumn Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

This module is about cities, planning and markets. It is concerned with the way cities grow and take shape at the interface of markets and government policy. It is divided into two parts. The first part (spatial economic models) examines the dynamics of urban growth and urban changes – how spatial economic patterns emerge,evolve to shape citiesand progress through an urban life cycle. It explores the processes by which land and property are allocated to competing uses. It looks at the spatial order that emerges as individuals, households, firms and governments make location and investment choices. It does this by reviewing the principal spatial economic models of the 20th century.

Having considered the complex dynamics of urban system using elements of economic theory, the second part of the module extends that theory to help students understand the purpose and limitations of planning (the economics of planning). It considers alternative strategies and tools for managing cities in pursuit of individual and collective prosperity.

Overall, the moduleinvestigates the complex relationships between space, planning and markets using contemporary economic and geographical perspectives including transaction costs and property rights. It considers the efficiency and distributional consequences of different market structures and considers the importance of space and location in determining market and planning outcomes.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how cities are shaped by land and land-related transactions
  2. Discuss the interconnected relationship between land value and land use
  3. Explain the basic propositions of spatial economic models, and what they tell us about the way cities take shape with and without planning
  4. Reflect on the implications of space/distance for market structure and outcomes
  5. Discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of markets and planning in shaping cities
  6. Critically reflect on the use of planning models in directing planning interventions
  7. Compare and contrast different planning interventions, in particular, approaches that involve regulation, tax, subsidy and direct investment.
  8. Explain the idea that global spatial pattern emerges from local transactions and illustrate this with spatial analytical models and examples from observation

How the module will be delivered

A series of lectures, workshops and computer practicals will introduce students to the theory and techniques of land economy and the planning theory concerning land use and land values. More specifically, themodule uses lectures to introduce key analytical ideas and uses workshops, a self-directed project and short assignments to apply and explore these ideas via case studies, discussion and problem-solving.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Subject-related skills

  1. Use theoretical propositions to guide the collection of observational data relating to particular urban issues
  2. Use observational data to explore, illustrate and test theoretical propositions
  3. Read and understand intermediate level economic and geographical arguments about the city and explain them to others
  4. Lead small group discussion of practical urban problems, applying theoretical ideas and interpreting observational evidence
  5. Apply selected urban theory to analyse a live policy issue and defend this analysis in a presentation
  6. Apply a gravity model to analyse spatial markets


Transferrable skills

  1. In class discussion, share observations from individual assignments publicly and elaborate on theoretical significance
  2. Participate in a group project, liaising between and within small groups
  3. Interact with real policy makers/ practitioners in a live project
  4. Use a virtual learning environment to access resources
  5. Present group project to class using powerpoint and a poster
  6. Working in a multi-disciplinary team to solve a real planning problem
  7. Organising a contract to purchase design and visualisation input to a project

How the module will be assessed


Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Short Essay Assignments


Two-pieces of 600-800-word assignments to be submitted through Learning Central as a single essay of 1200-1600 words

1200-1600 words



Group Presentation


Airport Project

20 min/ group


To satisfy learning outcomes and pass the module, students must achieve a pass mark of 40% (as an overall average between the two assessment elements).

The potential for reassessment in this module

Students who fail the module will be entitled to resubmit for assessment. In the case of the short essays, students will be permitted to amend and resubmit their submission. In the case of the group project, students will be permitted to amend and give another presentation.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Presentation 60 N/A
Group Presentation - Airport Project
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 40 N/A
Report On Two Of The Seminar/lab Assignments (2 Pieces Of Short Essays, Up To 800 Words Each)
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

  1. Land Value & Bid-Rent (landuse, land values: Ricardo, von Thünen, Alonso)
  2. Spatial Competition (emergence and complexity; Krugman’s critique on economic geography; Christaller, Lösch, Hotelling)
  3. Land Use & Urban Hierarchy (land use models, rank-size rule, population density models, geodemography, urban hierarchy: Burgess, Hoyt, Zipf, Pareto)
  4. Urban Life Cycle (urban sprawl, local migration, land-use change; Klaassen & Paelinck, Business/Innovation Cycles: Kondratieff, Kuznets, housing market/ property cycles: Friedman, Barras)
  5. Spatial Interaction (gravity models & opportunity models, Reilly, Lowry, Huff’s model)
  6. Externalities & Public Goods (cumulative causation, local external economies, externalities and public goods)

Essential Reading and Resource List

  1. Webster CJ and Lai LCW (2002), Property rights, planning and markets: Managing spontaneous cities.Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Background Reading and Resource List

  1. Fujita M, Krugman P and Venables A.J. (1999) The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade.London: MIT Press.
  2. Harvey J (1996) Urban Land Economics.London: Macmillan.
  3. Krugman P (1995) Development, Geography and Economic Theory.London: MIT Press.
  4. McCanne P (2001) Urban and Regional Economics. Oxford: OxfordUniversityPress.

 The above is an indicative background list; specific reading will be given with each topic

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