TCP8034 : Planning and Sustainability

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To consider practically and theoretically how spatial planning and design can contribute to the sustainable development agenda.
To develop skills in critical analysis of development proposals and planning policies in relation to their environmental implications.
To introduce students to a range of tools that might improve the sustainability of planning and foster sustainable development.
To develop an understanding of the problems, causes and planning responses to sustainable development.

This module will introduce students to the multi-faceted concept of sustainable development, from its origins to the more current debates about climate change and how to plan and manage our changing environment and consumption-driven lifestyles. What sustainable development means in different countries around the world and in the UK, and the challenges that arise are another facet that the module will reflect upon. From a planning perspective, the module will examine how different forms/areas of spatial planning can be used in reduction, mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Different forms of environmental appraisal are also introduced, and the role that they can play in addressing environmental challenges and in supporting planning in the formulation and delivery of more sustainable policy outcomes, is discussed. Overall the module will apply a global approach when exploring conceptual issues, and a more detailed approach when reflecting, and looking into practice issues from a UK planning perspective.
To make an effective thoughtful and creative input into planning processes and systematically evaluate the environmental implications of development proposals and planning policies, the development of critical reflective and applied knowledge and skills is considered central to the module.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is an example of the module’s syllabus. The sessions on specific areas of planning might change in content and in sequence depending on staff availability.

Week 1
Introduction to module, teaching methods, learning outcomes, assessment and group working
Origins and evolution of sustainability debate. Concepts of sustainable development. Current environmental problems and context

Week 2
Theoretical challenges in planning for globalisation and sustainable development – pluralism and assessment

Week 3
Introducing problems of consumption. What do we mean by consumption? How can planning manage consumption? Introduction to socioeconomic equity issues

Week 4
Introduction to hyper-mobility and implications on sustainable development

Week 5
Planning for Flood risk management and sustainable development

Week 6
Food planning and sustainable development

Weeks 7
Green infrastructure and sustainable development

Week 8
Sustainable homes and sustainable design

Week 9

weeks 10
Conclusions and overview and tutorial towards assessment

Weeks 11 & 12
Tutorial support towards assessment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery32:006:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Each week there will be a lecture of 2 hours duration, covering different topics. The lectures aim to provide a conceptual background for understanding sustainable development, and how it is mainstreamed at different spatial levels and applied in different contexts. The lectures introduce students to different approaches on how to improve the sustainability of development. Small group discussions and preparation for assessed course work will complement the lectures throughout the module. In small groups, students will discuss further complex issues explored in the lectures and critically reflect on the interactions and tensions between the different dimensions of sustainability and their implications on a proposed development through extra reading.
Tutorial sessions/surgeries will be offered throughout the module to assist with coursework preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M100Critical review of a planning document (e.g. a development site brief) in terms of sustainable development 2,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Reflecting on their own understanding of what sustainable development means and on their own position of what planning for sustainable development is and should entail (weak or strong approaches), students are expected to carry out a critical review of a planning document (e.g. a development site brief). The aim is to introduce students to one of the ways in which planning can set a ground for more sustainable development, as well as introduce students to a particular type of planning practice document (form, style, lay out, level and type of information)

Reading Lists