MPlan Planning with Professional Placement

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Sustainable Development Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN20072
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No



This module provides an opportunity for you to learn multidisciplinary work on one type of sustainable development projects: urban design masterplanning. It provides an introduction on sustainable development and related challenges in the 21st century, urban design theories, principles and techniques.

This course unit is project-based, and is taught through a mixture of lectures, workshops, and technical sessions. You learn concept and key principles related to urban design analyses through lectures. In the workshop and technical sessions, you will learn how to use your knowledge (e.g., on urban design principles) in practice. This course unit also equip you with presentation skills (e.g., using graphic software – such as Adobe Illustrator; visual and verbal presentation to the class).

By taking this course unit, you will learn basic skills required for working with urban designers in future. Moreover, you will learn working in multidisciplinary groups, as well as working independently, on sustainable development projects. 


The course unit aims to:

  • Complete a step-by-step integrated masterplanning exercise for an urban site;
  • Develop a sustainable urban design proposal considering key principles of urban design, green and blue infrastructure design, built infrastructure and land and property development;
  • Develop hand drawing, IT, analytical and presentational skills;
  • Successfully combine multidisciplinary teamwork and individual work.



• Introduction to Sustainable development;

• Introduction to urban design (aim, key theories, principles, process)

• Context analyses (e.g., figure ground/historical analysis, road hierarchy, building use, green infrastructure, listed building, and legibility)

  • Contextual appraisal
  • Site specific analyses (e.g., natural environment, movement and mobility, building use and active frontages, quality of buildings, key views and serial vision)
  • Opportunities and constraints
  • Concepts and brief

Teaching and learning methods


Fieldwork (walking tour)


Technical sessions

Contact hours: 51 hours

Independent study: 149 hours

Knowledge and understanding

  • To comment on key issues facing sustainable placemaking in the 21st century and its relevance to the development of the built and the natural environments in the UK;
  • To understand and be able to develop a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to place making for a new neighbourhood project or renewal.

Intellectual skills

  • To learn how to analyse the current condition of a large area to identify opportunities and constraints for regeneration and development;
  • To understand the principles of analysing the built and the natural environments;
  • To be competent in basic presentation techniques for the different components of plans; 

Practical skills

  • Design and drawing skills;
  • Possible use of various software to process and present information in a professional manner;
  • Competency and confidence in presenting ideas and concepts verbally.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Multidisciplinary perspective of team work;
  • Possible use of MS Office software (Excel), Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and Illustrator), Sketch-up and other software to present ideas and concepts;
  • Use urban design analysis techniques and skills to explore appropriate culturally sensitive design responses in urban environments;
  • Have ability to test and analyse different design projects within different contexts and multiple scales to understand best practice approaches and quality assessment;
  • Carry out a full urban design and planning assessment across multiple scales and themes in an international and heritage focused city;
  • Continue development in working with professionals in practice and group design work/analysis/presentation.

Assessment methods

Assignments type: Project

  • Assignment I: Context Analyses [35%] / Group-work

Assignment II: Final Project [65%] / Individual work

Feedback methods

Written feedback on the BlackBoard

Recommended reading

  • Barton, H., Grant M. and Guise, R. (2003) Shaping Neighbourhoods: a guide for health, sustainability and vitality, London : Spon Press
  • Beer, A. R. and Higgins, C. (2000) Environmental Planning for Site Development, London : Spon
  • Black, P. and Sonbli, T. (2019) The Urban Design Process, London: Lund Humphries.
  • Carmona, M. and Tiesdel, S. (2007) Urban Design Reader, Amsterdam ; Boston, Mass.: Architectural Press
  • English Partnerships (2000) Urban Design Compendium, London : English Partnerships, available at
  • Larice, M. and Macdonald, E. (2013) The Urban Design Reader, London : Routledge
  • Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City, Cambridge Mass. ; London : M.I.T. Press
  • Meeda, B., Parkyn, N., Walton, D. S. (2007) Graphics for Urban Design, London: Thomas Telford

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 2
Lectures 18
Practical classes & workshops 15
Tutorials 16
Independent study hours
Independent study 149

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Razieh Zandieh Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Not suitable for students without some background knowledge in urban planning

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