Planning of the Built Environment


Urban and regional planning plays a critical role in shaping the nature of the built environment in which we all live.

Our towns and cities are constantly evolving and the need to manage this change in order to create much better quality urban environments is critical.

The recent transformation of Birmingham City Centre is testament to the important role that planning can play. If you are interested in towns and cities, how they have evolved and why, these modules are for you.

A key objective of these modules is the understanding of how cities and planning should be understood today.

First semester

In the first semester we will examine the roots and the development of planning from its origins up to the present day.

Here we will pick up on a number of the themes in the recent BBC2 series The History of our Streets that will be of relevance to the story of the development of planning.

Second semester

In semester 2 we look at the contemporary operation of the planning system and examine the tools that urban planners have at their disposal to help shape the nature of the built environment.

Here we will cover key issues such as the spirit and purpose of planning, the organisation and management of the planning system, and how we engage the community in the process.

We will also examine key contemporary planning issues such as the impact of localism on planning, climate change, urban design and transport.

A key element of the second semester teaching will be the inclusion of planning practitioners who are actively engaged in the delivery of the system.


  • Poster
  • Essay
  • Examination

Key skills

  • Poster preparation
  • Essay writing