CPT805 - Site Planning, Design & Development

SchoolCardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department CodeGEOPL0
Module CodeCPT805
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Professor Alison Brown
SemesterDouble Semester
Academic Year2016/7

Outline Description of Module

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of site planning and urban design for the development process. The module explores key concepts, ideas and standards that shape approaches to site planning and design. It considers the status of design in the UK planning system and looks at mechanisms available to planners to influence design through development plans, supplementary guidance, development briefs or design codes.

The module has a strong practical element, developing students’ graphic, site appraisal, and design skills through practical exercises, in order to build an awareness of the 3-D environment, and develop presentation skills.  Students will be asked to undertake a City Centre site analysis, and a housing site layout or appraisal for residential / mixed use development.

This is a core module for MSc SPD, and an option for MSc IPD. For MScIPD, if the module is taken with CPT867 Designing Cities it constitutes the ‘Urban Design – International’ route; it can also be taken as an option for MScIPD in combination with other modules.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the spatial morphology of urban development, and key elements of townscape and urban design;

  2. Identify the physical elements that influence design choices;

  3. Display familiarity with concepts, policies and standards that shape approaches to site planning and design;

  4. Understand the layout design process and demonstrate familiarity with its driving principles;

  5. Relate knowledge of development approaches to design outcomes.

Demonstrate awareness of differences in professional and public values in relation to design of the built environment.

How the module will be delivered


Site Planning, Design and Development is taught over two Semesters, using a mixture of lectures, specialist teaching, and studio sessions. This caters for the range of skills between MSc SPD full and part-time students, and option students.


Skills that will be practised and developed


Students will practice and develop a 2D and 3D understanding of the built environment, and reflective design approaches, developing skills in:

  1. Responding positively and creatively to development constraints

  2. Design, plan drawing and presentation techniques for site appraisal and development evaluation;

  3. Sketching, 2D and 3D drawing preparation and presentation;

Understanding of values /attitudes that underpin current theory and practice in design and development;


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 35
Site Analysis
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50
Site Layout
N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 15
Group Presentation
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content


Content will cover: Urban space & block structure; typologies; townscape; legibility; use patterns; density, scale & massing; hierarchy; the UK design agenda.

Autumn Semester

Weeks 1-11: Lectures.  Specialist training sessions on computer-aid approaches to urban design. Site analysis, SWOT appraisal and preferred strategy (LO1, 2)

Spring Semester

Weeks 1-11: Lectures. Studio sessions. Housing/mixed use site layout, OR design appraisal (LOs 3, 4, and 5);


Essential Reading and Resource List

Bentley, I. et al (1985) Responsive Environments: A manual for designers, Oxford, Butterworth Architecture (711.4R main and short loan)

Biddulph, M. J. (2006) Introduction to Residential Layout, Oxford: Architectural Press (711.58 B)

CABE / DTLR 2000, By Design: Urban design in the planning system, London, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment  (CABE), Tonbridge, Thomas Telford (711.4B, main and short loan)

Cullen, G. (1961) Concise Townscape, New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company (Architecture 711.4C)

DfT, DCLG, CABE (2007) Manual for Streets, www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/manforstreets/

DfT, DCLG, CIHT (2007) Manual for Streets 2: Wider Application of the Principles, (711.74 MAN)

Essex Planning Officers’ Association (2005) Essex Design Guide Chelmsford, Essex County Council and Essex Planning Officers Association (711.58094E)

Knox, P. (2010) Cities and DeSign, London, Routledge (307.1216)

Larice M. & McDonald E. (2013) The Urban Design Reader, Second Edition, New York, Routledge (Architecture 307.1216 URB)

Llewelyn-Davies (2000), The Urban Design Compendium, London, English Partnerships/Housing Corporation (711.4L)

Mehta, V. (2013) The Street: A Quintessential Social Public Space, Abingdon: Routledge (307.76 MEH)

Tibbalds, F. (2001) Making People-Friendly Towns: Improving the public environment in towns and cities, London: Spon Press (711.4 T main and short loan)

Urban Task Force (1999) Towards an Urban Renaissance: Final report of the Urban Task Force, London, Spon Press (307.1216U)

Background Reading and Resource List

Carmona, M. (2003) Public Places ― Urban Spaces: the dimensions of urban design, London: Architectural Press (online access https://www.dawsonera.com/abstract/9781856179041)

Cowan, R. (ed) (2002) Urban Design Guidance: Urban design frameworks, development briefs and master plans, London, Thomas Telford, (711.4U)

Punter, J.V. and Carmona, M.C. (1997) The Design Dimension of Planning: Theory, content and best practice for design policies, London, E and FN Spon (711.10942P short loan)

Southworth M. and Ben-Joseph E. (2003) Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities (711. 74S)

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