CPT870 - Space and Place: International Planning Practice

SchoolCardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department CodeGEOPL0
Module CodeCPT870
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Johannes Novy
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2016/7

Outline Description of Module

This module explores contemporary challenges and opportunities in creating space and place in modern cities, in different contexts (e.g. rapid city growth, urban obsolescence or environmental decline), and in different global geographical contexts. Understanding key issues and approaches to spatial and local planning in different countries, regions, provinces and cities, is important in developing an appreciation of the different techniques, tools and policies available to help shape different localities.  The module takes a comparative international approach to planning practice, with a focus on district and neighbourhood-level planning, and case studies of planning and urban regeneration.

The module has three main elements. Part 1 considers the building blocks for creating vibrant space and attractive places, discussing the legislative, land, and institutional context of planning practice and introduces the principles and practicalities of “international planning practice”. Part 2 explores comparative international perspectives and different planning challenges (e.g. social exclusion, provision of low income/affordable housing). Part 3 explores problems of planning-led regeneration and includes a field trip to a UK city/cities.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Understand current debates on critical issues and new opportunities for planning practice in different geographical contexts;

  2. Appreciate the importance of different theoretical insights and the value of key empirical evidence in shaping the state and development of cities;

  3. Evaluate the underlying frameworks of planning in a given context, and the extent to which they address modern urban challenges;

  4. Assess of issues of rights and power, and the value of participatory planning in planning approaches;

  5. Explore physical planning and regeneration-led solutions to contemporary planning problems;

  6. Evaluate the factors and constraints that shape different localities and planning systems.


How the module will be delivered

Parts 1 and 2 will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops.  These will be delivered by a combination of School staff with additional lectures/seminars/workshops given by guest lecturers. Part 3 will consist of a short field study visit to a UK city.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Skills developed through the module include:

  1. The development of analytical, written and presentation skills for urban planning,
  2. Upgrading approaches for an existing urban area, and
  3. The preparation and submission of professional reports.

How the module will be assessed

The individual essay will relate to Part 2 of the module (comparative international perspectives). The individual report will be related to Part 3 of the module (the Field Study Visit).

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 50
Individual Report
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50
Individual Essay
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Challenges: Planning practice in a changing world: Planning practice as mediator of urban change; managing growth – urbanisation and migration; relations between the state, society and the professions; actors in planning & regeneration – the state, private sector and civil society.

International Perspectives: Principles and practicalities of comparative international perspectives. The role and relevance of supranational actors/organisations and global circuits of knowledge, the merits and disconnects of policy transfers, the importance of context and the interplay of local factors/trends on planning.

Regulatory frameworks for planning: Planning and government structures, legislation in the urban context, legal empowerment, municipal finance; national/municipal relations; sources of municipal finance; privatisation of municipal services. USA/Canada comparative perspective.

Land and property: Land market theory and practice, land development processes, urban land markets, land speculation, land regulation-registration, tenure, taxation; land readjustment, land use regulation.

Social and Urban Exclusion: Theoretical concepts, empirical evidence and planning and policy responses. Approaches to measuring and tackling social exclusion.

Sustainable Housing for Sustainable Cities: Examination of the policy framework for housing development and upgrading in developing countries.

Culture, Creativity and Planning: The role of cultural led regeneration, concepts of the “creative class” and “creative cities”, planning for diversity, public spaces of places of encounter and integration.

Planning and Public Participation: Why participatory planning is important. Definitions and analysis of levels of participation. Practical participatory tools. Critical analysis of participation in planning 

Urban Housing and Regeneration: Challenges and procedures.  Managing growth and development in historic towns.  Introduction to field study visit.

Ideology and Spatial Economic Change: planning and development in post-socialist countries.


Essential Reading and Resource List

Fernandes, E. and Varley, A. (eds) (1998) Illegal Cities: Law and urban change in developing countries, London: Zed 347.34I

Jenkins, P., Smith, H, and Wang, Y-P. (2007) Planning and Housing in the Rapidly Urbanising World, Abingdon: Routledge 307.76 J

Kitchen, T. (2006) Skills for Planning Practice, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan  307.1216 K

Payne, G. and Majale, M. (2004), The Urban Housing Manual: Making regulatory frameworks work for the poor, London, Earthscan 363.58091 P

UN-HABITAT (2009) Planning Sustainable Cities, Global Report on Human Settlements, London, Earthscan, downloadable from http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=2831, also in library at 307.1216 PLA



International Development Planning Review (formerly Third Wold Planning Review)

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

International Planning Studies

Planning Theory and Practice

Urban Studies

Background Reading and Resource List

ISOCARP (2008) International Manual of Planning Practice, ISOCARP (4th edition) (International Society of City and Regional Planners) (711.1 INT)http://www.isocarp.org/index.php?id=141

Hamdi, N. and Goethert, R. (1997) Action Planning: A guide to community practice, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons (309.262 H)

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