CP0121: Places and Plans

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CP0121
External Subject Code K400
Number of Credits 20
Level L4
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Andrea Frank
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed

Details on the module assessment will be delivered at the beginning of the module, but in broad outline:


The module assessment consists of three contributions:
1) site analysis (individual) submitted in poster format,
2) attendance and contributions to group work (individual mark),

3) a group project consisting of a set of deliveries including a group presentation and adequate illustrative plans and media.


The site analysis coursework will assess students’ ability to apply observational and analytical techniques systematically to describe and evaluate the conditions on and around a future development site in respect to land use, transport networks, history, natural features and service provision. The coursework also assesses students ability to apply the skills / software taught on layout, poster design, drawing, sketching, analysing and synthesizing census, and other planning related data in graphical and written form.


The group work assesses students’ professional attitudes and time management skills, their team building efforts, engagement with tools and techniques introduced, and their response to formative feedback.


The group project requires the development of a concept and master plan for a substantial site. It assesses students’ ability to apply land use planning concepts and design principles taught in lectures and using skills introduced during workshops, and creativity sessions. It also assesses students’ ability in time management and effective group working. The group presentation assesses students’ oral presentation skills. Projects will be judged by the quality of graphic/written presentation, the quality and originality of the plans, as well as the reasoning and judgement employed for making land use and spatial arrangement decisions.


Throughout the module there will be opportunities for students to receive formative feedback. Thus oral presentation, team working, problem-solving and creativity skills are nurtured and developed in a non-threatening supportive environment before being assess in the end.


The individual coursework represents a qualifying mark and a minimum of 40% need to be achieved.

The module is a required module and marks are non-condonable.

Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Individual Coursework


Site Context Analysis (individual)

2 posters

Spring Semester



Group project sessions


3x4 hrs

Spring Semester

Oral group presentation of project and assessment of deliverables


Neighbourhood Master Plan (group project) (posters / media)

15-20 min plus Q&A

Spring Semester

Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

How the module will be delivered

The module is taught over one semester and is delivered via a mixture of lecture, workshop and laboratory sessions which require students to actively participate and engage with the subject. Some workshop activities will make use of specialist software and the computer facility of the School, others require site visits for visual analysis of the built environment and the development site. Students will be required to explore the environment and document, analyse and assess observations. Students also have to conduct relevant supplementary reading. All work will feed into formatively and summatively assessed work. 

Outline Description of Module

The module introduces students to basic planning and plan making concepts through a mix of theory and practice orientated teaching. There is a specific focus on concepts, best practice, and current approaches related to land use planning, settlement structure and organisation, and the built environment.

Students have to explore elements of the urban fabric, urban form, accessibility, land use, physical development and design in existing places as a precursor to producing a conceptual design of a new development, e.g. urban extension, major infill or a new neighbourhood. Students will be introduced to observation techniques and methods for analysing and assessing urban settings including a building site in terms of aesthetic and functional qualities (permeability, legibility, flood risk, protected habitats, conservation etc.). They also will be introduced to digital mapping resources and graphic software applications. Problem solving approaches, team working, elementary drawing and various presentation skills are learnt in a series of workshops and activities.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  • describe basic land use planning concepts and models, as well as urban design principles and approaches in order to differentiate and evaluate settlement typologies (e.g. polycentricism/neighbourhoods), typical patterns of land-use and types of development (e.g. out of town retailing /mixed use areas/business parks/high-low density), patterns and modes of accessibility (e.g. walking/cycling friendly, transport oriented development), and townscape character.

  • analyse and synthesise primary observations on land use, traffic patterns, design quality, and secondary data (census, population demographics, crime rates) relevant to planning and present results in appropriate and attractive graphical, written and oral formats using various software packages as well as manual drawing and sketching and layout techniques.

  • appreciate the contribution of planning and design processes in shaping cities/towns/neighbourhoods and enhancing the built environment and quality of life;

  • apply identified concepts and principles selectively to a plan making exercise resulting in the creation of a neighbourhood master(plan) project.

  • plan their group work in a constructive manner working in a team following basic project and time management guidance.

  • Critically discuss key planning values to be considered including concerns for social equity, quality of life, spatial equity (accessibility and choice), minimising environmental impacts (environmental sustainability) and good (physical) design for enhancing quality of life and justify the application of particular land use planning concepts during the plan making exercise based on these values.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Whilst studying this module students will develop and practise the following

  • Academic skills
    • Citation and referencing
    • Data collection and analysis
    • Writing and documenting


  • Subject specific skills
    • professional attitude and conduct
    • site analysis
    • measuring and evaluating urban density and quality of transport networks
    • evaluating landscape and townscape character
    • visual observation, analysis and documentation
    • graphic presentation of data, ideas and visions
    • page layout, mapping and poster design
    • sketching and drawing
    • ability to access subject specific database (DIGIMAP©, UK Census) and manipulate and analyse relevant data


  • Employability and transferable skills
    • Team working
    • Managing and recording meetings
    • Self-assessment and evaluation of own abilities and identifying personal development needs
    • Basic project and time management skills
    • problem-solving
    • using different creativity techniques

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Oral/Aural Assessment 50 Oral Group Presentation Of Project N/A 1 N/A
Practical-Based Assessment 10 Participation/Attendance Of Charette Weekend N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 40 Individual Coursework N/A 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

Please contact the module leader as early as possible if you require readings in an alternative format.


  • Carmona, M. et al (2003, or 2010 2nd ed) Public Places, Urban spaces. London: Architectural Press.
  • Farrelly, Lorraine (2011) Drawing for Urban design. London: Laurence King PublisherLTD.
  • Jacobs, A B (1993) Great Streets, Cambridge Mass: MIT Press
  • Moughtin, C. (1992) Urban Design: Street and Square. Oxford: Butterworth Architecture.

Background Reading and Resource List

  • Bentley et al (1985) Responsive environments: a manual for designers, London: Architectural Press.
  • Burtenshaw D, et al (1991) The European City: A Western Perspective. London: Fulton. (selected chapters)
  • DETR (1998) Planning for sustainable development: Towards better practice
  • Moos, M., Whitfield, J., Johnson, L.C. & Andrey, J. (2006) Does Design Matter? The Ecological Footprint as a Planning Tool at the Local Level, Journal of Urban Design, 11(2), pp. 195–224.
  • Rudlin D and Falk N (1999) Building the 21st Century Home: the sustainable urban neighbourhood
  • Urban Task Force (1999) Towards an Urban Renaissance



Additional up-to-date topical readings and resources will be provided through learning central. 

Syllabus content

  • Introduction to settlement patterns and morphology
  • Building and open/public space typologies
  • Urban accessibility, mobility and circulation network
  • land use concepts and model towns
  • Residential and Neighbourhood design
  • Urban sustainability
  • Townscape and character
  • Introduction to different drawing techniques and software
  • Introduction to layout and graphic representation
  • Oral presentation techniques
  • Site analysis
  • Team working
  • Creativity and problem solving

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