MPlan Planning with Professional Placement

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN10632
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Placemaking is an interdisciplinary approach to creating healthy, thriving, and sustainable urban environments that promote social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability. This course provides students with an understanding of placemaking concepts, theories, practices, and case studies. It brings together urban planning, urban design, and real estate disciplines to explore sustainable development and placemaking in urban areas. Through lectures, workshops, group work, and practical assignments, students will develop a range of intellectual, practical, and transferable skills needed to plan and design sustainable urban environments that meet the needs of people, communities, and the environment.


The unit aims to:

Introduce students to the concept of placemaking, its history, principles, and theoretical underpinnings, as well as its interdisciplinary nature.

Enable students to develop their critical thinking, analytical, communication, and design skills by analysing case studies of placemaking initiatives.

Enable students to develop the intellectual, practical, and transferable skills necessary to plan and design sustainable urban environments.

Raise students’ awareness of the way in which planning and real estate professional bodies’ (RTPI and RICS) drive aspirations for placemaking and sustainable cities. 

Learning outcomes

The intended learning outcomes of this module provide a solid foundation for students to develop essential employability skills necessary for a career in urban planning and real estate. By introducing students to the concept of placemaking and sustainable urban environments, as well as its interdisciplinary nature, students will develop critical thinking, analytical, communication, and design skills that are highly valued in the wider built environment profession. Moreover, the bi-weekly Blackboard online quizzes and group poster assignment with visual/infographic elements provide opportunities for students to develop their digital skills, a highly recognised skillset by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Syllabus (indicative curriculum content):

- Placemaking definition, theories/key thoughts, and principles

- Sustainable place qualities

- Placemaking for social justice

- Nature based placemaking

- Economics and value of place

- Collaboration and partnerships in placemaking and professional bodies

- Placemaking tools

Teaching and learning methods

The course will use a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, group discussions, workshops, case studies, walking tours, guest speakers, and practical exercises. Students will be allocated to groups from the start to encourage peer to peer learning. Students will work in small groups to apply placemaking principles to real-world contexts and receive feedback and guidance from instructors and peers. The course will also involve representatives from RTPI and RICS to provide students with insights into professional skills and practice.

Knowledge and understanding


  • List and explain in-depth the key principles of placemaking, drawing on relevant theories and concepts from urban planning, design, and related fields
  • Identify different disciplinary perspectives and challenges in designing urban environments that balance social, economic, and environmental factors
  • Interpret and critically analyse case studies and best practices of creating liveable and sustainable urban environments


Intellectual skills

  • Analyse and solve complex problems related to creating urban spaces that are both functional and sustainable
  • Evaluate and critically assess good and bad practices in urban development that promote liveability and sustainability

Practical skills

  • Apply principles and techniques of creating sustainable urban environments to real-world contexts
  • Identify appropriate tools and methods for urban development that promote liveability and sustainability
  • Employ teamwork and collaboration to solve challenges of placemaking

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Illustrate appropriate concepts and ideas through visual and written presentations
  • Identify the priorities and aspirations of the professional bodies (RTPI and RICS) with regard to place-making

Assessment methods

Assessment task


How and when feedback is provided

Weighting within unit


Individual SWOT/C analysis (one side of A4)

About 400-500 words

Feedback given as per Faculty's timeframe.




Group poster (A1 size)

1000 words with visual/infographic elements

Feedback given as per Faculty's timeframe.


Recommended reading



- Carmona, M (2021) Public spaces – urban spaces: the dimensions of urban design - New York : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

- Courage, C. (2020) The Routledge handbook of placemaking, London : Routledge

- Hes, D., & Hernandez-Santin, C. (2019) Placemaking fundamentals for the built environment, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
External visits 4
Lectures 13
Practical classes & workshops 9
Independent study hours
Independent study 74

Return to course details