CPT867 - Designing Cities

SchoolCardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department CodeGEOPL0
Module CodeCPT867
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Francesca Sartorio
SemesterDouble Semester
Academic Year2016/7

Outline Description of Module

This module aims at introducing students to issues surrounding sustainable neighbourhood planning and design. Students will learn about the history of residential communities and planning and design ideas for neighbourhoods. They will learn about how different cultures have developed their own particular forms of residential neighbourhood and how this has changed over time. They will learn about the principles of urban design and how we judge approaches to the design of the urban environment, as they apply to residential areas.  Students will research lessons from the form of residential neighbourhoods from across the world, as well as look at examples of European practice from the last 20 years. For a particular site you will apply what you have learnt to a produce a design for a neighbourhood. The production of the design will entail competent and professional site analysis, the use of appropriate precedents, the exploration of alternative strategies and the crafting of an appropriate and ‘culturally fitting’ development or regeneration scheme.

On completion of the module a student should be able to


  1. Understand the relevance of the neighbourhood concepts and approaches to its planning and design, and its relevance to different contexts
  2. Understand the form of residential neighbourhoods across the world and in different cultural or development contexts
  3. Complete and present a systematic analysis of a neighbourhood using urban design principles and criteria
  4. Understand how to plan a community involvement exercise relevant to neighbourhood planning
  5. Recognise and apply lessons from good practice in neighbourhood planning and design with reference to a range of real world schemes
  6. Analyse and appraise a site and its context, including reference to physical, cultural, historical, social and economic and natural characteristics
  7. Develop alternative strategies for a new neighbourhood and assess them in order to define a ‘preferred strategy’ for development
  8. Design, justify and present a final urban design for a residential neighbourhood, to a professional standard and in an appropriate format



How the module will be delivered

Designing cities combines more traditional learning and teaching delivery modes with a typical studio format. It uses a mix of lectures, student-led seminars and studio sessions. Students will be given the possibility to attend training sessions on computer programme packages and basic skills in free hand sketching and in building physical models. They will work in parallel on surveying and designing their chosen site and on developing a deeper understanding of the effect of cultures on the physical and natural landscape.

Skills that will be practised and developed

  1. An ability to analyse and discuss the design of a neighbourhood with reference to matters of urban design theory, informed by aspects of culture, and other matters such as climate, affluence and stage of development;

  2. Explore the values and attitudes that underpin current theory and practice of design and development as localised and socially constructed values;

  3. Ability to understand, explain and engage with various cultures and their physical environments;

  4. Advanced site appraisal, design, plan drawing and presentation techniques;

  5. Designing quality spaces, fitting for people’s life;

  6. Sketching, 2D and 3D drawing preparation and presentation, report writing;

  7. Awareness of various cultural, professional and public values in relation to the design of the built environment, and the need for respect in discussions involving differences of values.

How the module will be assessed

There are three elements of assessment. Detailed guidance on each assignment is provided vua Learning Central and explained in class.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Presentation 30
Group Presentation
N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 20
Individual Presentation
N/A 1 N/A
Report 50
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Essential Reading and Resource List


© Cardiff University