TCP8939 : Planning, Power and People

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module introduces students to key ideas, debates and shifts in planning theory through addressing the idea of power in the planning process. It considers the ways in which different theories of planning (and policies based on them) engage (or not) with ideas of power and ascribe different roles to planning professionals and citizens alike.

The module asks students to ‘think through’ theory and will help generate (especially when taken in conjunction with other modules on SAPL’s masters programmes) a reflexive understanding of the ideas that underpin planning systems and planning practice. It will also engender a theoretical and practical understanding of the need to engage with power inequalities in and through the planning process.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introduction – planning theory and power
•       Theory and Practice (with workshop - why do we need theory?)
•       Process Theories of Planning
•       The Role of the State
•       Publics and Stakeholders
•       Participation and Engagement
•       Postmodernism and planning
•       Communication and Collaboration x2 (with workshops)
•       Rationalities and the Dark Side of Planning
•       Institutions and governance
•       Crossing Borders – planning ideas in different global contexts

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion162:0062:00Main focus for independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00Lectures incorporate small group discussions
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading92:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is an essay in which the students will be asked to design a future planning scenario in which power inequality is a significant feature and to develop a response based on the theories and concepts in the module. Asking students to design their own scenarios encourages creative thought and use of theories and theory building, and leads to better engagement with the themes of the module.

Reading Lists