This module will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand the issues of
analysing and discussing international planning systems through a comparative perspective. It will
explore the definitions, conceptual concerns, and methodological problems of studying international
planning systems as well as the historical foundations of planning practice, including legal,
administrative and institutional frameworks. Through the use of case studies, the module will
explore the diverse means by which countries design and implement planning, from regulatory to
discretionary through to hybrid and informal practices. In doing so, the module will provide a critical
discussion and comparative analysis of international planning frameworks and their strengths in
responding to spatial planning challenges under different contexts.
The Aims are to:
- To provide a grounded theoretical understanding of how the planning system and legal
arrangements are shaped by the social, political, administrative and economic contexts.
- To utilise a cross-national comparative perspective to develop critical thinking skills related
to how planning policy and practice travel across different contexts.
- To examine planning approaches and their underlying design concepts in selected countries
drawn from Asia, the Americas and Europe covering the global south and north.
- To develop the critical skills and logical reasoning to appraise different types of planning
- To develop a more informed understanding of how to assess and engage in spatial planning
practice under different socio-economic and institutional contexts.
The Learning Outcomes are to:
- Have an understanding of how planning systems are shaped by different spatial contexts,
judicial-legal frameworks and socio-cultural traditions.
- Familiarize with the principles, design and practice of planning systems in different
- Appreciate the value of cross-national learning regarding both its potential and limitations
while respecting the diversity of culture, values and ideologies of planning.
- Develop presentation and essay writing skills.
- Develop the skills of comparative analysis, logical reasoning, and applied evaluation through
the presentation, group discussions and the assignments.
As you progress through the module you will receive feedback at the weekly sessions on specific
aspects of the units you undertake. Substantive feedback on your assignments will be provided via
Blackboard within 15 working days of submission. Feedback on the oral presentation assessment will
be provided immediately following the presentation and in written form shortly thereafter. Further
individual feedback can be provided on request by appointments arranged via email. The module
convener is also available to discuss specific issues in relation to the module by e-mail appointment.
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