Contemporary Issues in Urban Development and Planning

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

College of Life and Environmental Sciences


Code 10698

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester Across both

Module description

This module explores contemporary aspects of urban development and the role of planning in mediating diverse interests in complex city environments.
It begins by examining the development process, including property market dynamics and the roles of key actors. It considers the tensions and trade-offs between developers, residential and business communities, and public sector interests, and how these are played out through the planning system. Using case studies we look at how these trade-offs affect the built environment in terms of mixed uses, urban design, public space and other respects.
The module takes a practical and applied approach to the topic. Students engage in hands-on work on development sites in Birmingham and the programme includes contributions from property and planning practitioners from the private and public sectors in the city. Some of these sessions take place off campus.
In the second half of the module students undertake group project work in conjunction with planning and regeneration organisations in Birmingham. These projects are based around real-life development processes in the city and student work feeds directly into policy making activity in these areas.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and student workshops, site visits, presentations by planning practitioners and student placement and project work.