New UCL course, 2012

UCL Geography and Planning departments: new course

Community Participation in City Strategies

Term 2 (Wednesday mornings 11 January- 21 March 2012)

This module is innovative in various ways and it is planned to make some or all of the sessions open to community activists (without payment), subject to space constraints. Those interested are invited to get in touch.

Staff: Prof Jennifer Robinson (Geography) and Prof Michael Edwards (Planning) + inputs from Richard Lee and others (Just Space Network)


  • To review the politics of long term strategic city planning through theoretical and practical analysis
  • To develop an international and comparative understanding of community participation in strategic urban planning
  • To build skills of participatory and community-based research through analyzing the London Plan process.

Content:  The course will present an international overview of the politics of long term strategic city planning, focusing on the role of community participation. It will use an innovative teaching model based on community participation in developing an analysis of the London Plan. Students will read widely on the politics of spatial and strategic planning, and engage in developing a detailed analysis of the London Plan. The seminars will involve representatives from community organizations who have been active in making submissions to the London Plan Examination in Public (EiP) process. Group work will be based on analysis and interpretation of data from the London Plan EiP process. The assessment will be based on production of written and web-based materials on an evaluation of the London Plan process, to be published in association with the Just Space network (http//

 Assessment for MSc students:  1 x 3000 word essay.

Format:  Lectures and seminars will form just over half of the course, with smaller group discussions of reading materials and case study materials and attendance at a community-led meeting forming the other half. There will be opportunities for students to prepare and present overviews of aspects of the London Plan, and to prepare and present case studies of experiences of strategic planning in other cities. There will be at least four sessions devoted to problem-based learning, where independent and group-based work will be facilitated towards preparing an analysis of aspects of the London Plan process. Students will receive hands-on training in research skills such as transcription, interviewing, and analysis of planning and policy documents. The coursework assessment will be an integral part of the classroom teaching.

Learning Outcomes:  Students will:

  • Attain advanced critical knowledge of the politics of city planning
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the urban politics of London
  • Develop understanding of the value of community based research
  • Build and apply research and writing skills to work with local community groups in the analysis of community participation in strategic planning n London

Key contacts: and

Further details will be posted on search for  URBNG007 and log in as a guest for the time being.


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