REMP16-Urban Design and Sustainability

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Richard Nunes


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides an introductory level overview of basic urban design concepts and sustainability principles.


This module aims to provide students with an introduction to key concepts of, and academic debates and policy challenges surrounding sustainability and sustainable development. In particular, it examines the nature, role and contemporary relevance of sustainable urban design and development. It covers the dimensions and constituents of urban design and planning approaches to the creation and maintenance of good places, with regard to the interests involved and the nature of the urban design and development planning processes. It aims to promote awareness of, and sensitivity to, urban design, and strategic and local planning issues with implications for more socially and environmentally just development outcomes. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to: 

  • identify and debate the evolving concepts and principles of sustainability and urban design, and be able to contrast its different viewpoints or ideological motivations; 

  • debate the substance, motives, roles and relevance of sustainable urban design, as an area of research and practice; 

  • appraise the physical quality and functionality, or value of places , including introductions to the use of 3D modeling and visualisation software, and other technologies and methods; 

  • list and explain the differences between impact assessment tools available in practice for delivering on sustainable urban design outcomes. 

Additional outcomes:

  • Engage in productive debate over competing standpoints; and 

  • Propose and defend evidence-based points of view. 

Outline content:

  • Origins of sustainability and urban design theory and practice 

  • Fundamentals of sustainability and urban design: key debates 

  • Monitoring and evaluation of sustainable urban design 

  • Land, Food, Energy, Water and Health as factors in the substance, motives, roles and relevance of sustainable urban design in development planning practices

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is delivered using lectures, tutorials, group presentations, fieldwork and structured in-class group debates 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 11
Seminars 4
Fieldwork 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30 45
    Wider reading (directed) 10 30
    Preparation for presentations 15
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 10
    Essay preparation 30
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 80 120 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • Individual urban design analysis (including 2 presentation slides, analytical framework and a 500-word critical reflection on key findings) – 30% of module mark. Equivalent to a?1,500 word?essay. Submission in Week 20 (Spring term).

    Group coordination of individual urban design analysis frameworks/findings into one 20 min presentation (including a 1,500-word group report summarising individual reflections of key findings) – 10% of module mark. Submission in week 20 (Spring term); presentations to be held in weeks 21/22 (Spring term).

    Individual 3000-word position paper – 60% of mark. Submission in week 23 (Spring Term).

Formative assessment methods:

  • Feedback on draft group analytical framework with module convenor (Week 11)

  • Structured in-class group debates (Weeks 7, 10, 11)


Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
The pass-mark for this module is 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Group coursework will be reassessed by a method different from the original assignment. However individual contributions will be reassessed by the same method, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

£5 – Travel to and from module study site.

Last updated: 9 September 2020


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