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TCP8953 : Urban Policy: Origins and Alternatives

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The literature on urban policy ranges across both practical and critical viewpoints. This module tends towards the latter, asking what purpose urban interventions have served over time and whose interests they have served. A historical perspective on urban policy as the government of people and places is combined with structuralist, post-structuralist and neoliberal theory. Such viewpoints are used to challenge more policy-orientated approaches that position urban development as a logical response to commonly agreed social problems. Students are encouraged to consider the relative merits of differing critical perspectives, to draw upon those ideas that seem useful to them and to use these as a way of making sense of the current state of play in urban governance.

Outline Of Syllabus

The detail of the syllabus will be developed in line with forthcoming reforms to the planning system and urban responses to covid-19, which are still materialising. Coverage may include:
-       Defining urban regeneration: what’s in a definition?
-       Roots of urban policy: urban control and civilising the slums?
-       Regeneration under New Labour: the golden age?
-       Jamie Peck: urban regeneration as the neoliberalisation of urban policy and management?
-       The rise of neocommunitarianism – Red Tory and Blue Labour
-       Austerity and urban governance: towards resilience as the new discourse
-       US libertarianism and alt-right politics
-       Anarchy in the UK: libertarianism and the Planning for the Future white paper
-       New municipalism: aid or opponent of the new reality?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture300:2010:00Equivalent of 9 x 1 hour lectures chopped into 20 min chunks and interspersed with exercises etc…PIP
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading102:0020:00Supported, guided reading for each lecture.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion101:0010:00Discussion board with prompter questions and debate; peer comment on structured exercises. contact
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study145:0045:00Assignment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time101:3015:00Follow up reading group discussions for each lecture PIP
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be supported each week with relevant reading, which the mini-lectures will build on and explain, as well as exercises to affirm understanding. The asynchronous discussion boards will provide space for peer to peer questioning and discussion. The workshops will be structured with questions aimed at further affirming understanding and drawing out what students think about the key topics in the module, with a focus on ethics and practical implications.
Basically, the reading group discussions will be held face to face if possible, otherwise they will be online.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will work to design and justify their own approach to urban action, drawing on the ideas covered in the module. As part of developing an argument for a particular way of doing things, students should consider the following:
-       The role of urban policy in achieving social control, including if this is desirable or not
-       The relative importance of markets, community and the state in working towards an urban future: students should explain the reasons for their own judgement call on this issue and identify and discuss potential critiques
-       Students should critically discuss the economic relationship between their proposed approach and competing interests at place level
-       Students should draw direct relationships with theory discussed on the module
-       Students may choose to help explain their ideas with the aid of an illustrative case example. This could either be a real life example of the kind of approach being proposed or an example of a place where that approach could be pursued in the future.

Reading Lists