Practicing and critiquing the use of market methods in planning

Dr David Webb, Lecturer

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

Humanities and Social Sciences

What did you do?

Technical assessments of development viability and retail need are often lengthy and complicated in nature and frequently involve Excel spreadsheets with multiple sheets and inter-linking information and/ or reports totalling hundreds of pages.

In this module, these reports were reduced and simplified into a much shorter procedure which students were asked to follow as a means of generating information for hypothetical case studies. This exercise was then used to reflect on the political nature of mandating these techniques within the planning system and the implications of placing them at the heart of the decision making process.

Who is involved?

Dr David Webb, Undergraduate (Stage 3) students

How do you do it?

Two lectures, each with associated workshops and an exam. The exam is PC based and pioneers the locking down of PCs so that students can use Excel and Word but have no access to other programs or the internet.

Why do you do it?

The purpose of teaching this way is to increase practical engagement and active participation of the students while familiarising them with skills that they may need to develop in practice. A further aim is to assist critical reflection by giving students a taste of what it is like to use these techniques in practice.

Does it work?

Feedback from students on their year out placements is that they found the exercises very useful and that it opened up their eyes to the need to treat such evidence critically when making decisions on planning matters.

Contact Details

Dr David Webb, Senior Lecturer


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