module specification

AR7072 - Sustainable Communities and Governance of Place (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sustainable Communities and Governance of Place
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Essay (2000-3000 words)
Coursework 40%   Group Project
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides an overview of the social, environmental, physical, economic and political dimensions of planning sustainable communities, and assesses this alongside the role of communities and those in governance in planning, delivering and maintaining sustainable, successful and vibrant places. The module works in parallel to AR7003 Economics of Place.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to:
• Provide students with an understanding of planning and maintaining sustainable communities
• Critically assess the role and tools of those involved in planning, delivering and maintaining sustainable places.


The module investigates current and historic ideas of sustainable communities and the processes, policies and strategies that inform, establish and support their governance.

The module might typically investigate:
Sustainable Community models past and present
- New Towns
- Eco Towns
- Localism and The Neighbourhood Plan

Elements of sustainable places
- Environmental
- Social
- Physical

The role of the community
The role of the local authority
Sustainable communities and urban environments
- UK case studies
- International case studies.

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught through lectures and seminar discussions and presentations.
Students will be encouraged to develop an independent approach to their own learning through use of directed course reading. This will involve preparation for seminar discussions and presentations, which will be a key element to taught sessions. Students will also be supported in arranging events to engage with professional practice within and outside the university.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historic and current practice of planning sustainable communities,
2. Describe how sustainable plans and places are achieved in different contexts,
3. Critically evaluate different approaches to the governance of sustainable and vibrant places.

Assessment strategy

There are four assessment components:
1. Essay (2000-3000 words) assessing methods of planning sustainable communities and the different approaches to the governance of sustainable and vibrant places or another module-appropriate topic.
2. Group Project Report: relating to the governance of sustainable places or another module-appropriate topic, based on primary research.


Existing bibliography (to be inserted) with the addition of:

Cynthia Cockburn, The Local State, 1997
Robert Laurini , Urban Planning and the Pursuit of Happiness, 2009
Antonia Layard, Simin Davoudi and Sue Batty, Planning for a Sustainable Future, 2001
Anthony Alexander, Britain's New Towns: Garden Cities to Sustainable Communities, 2009
Jane Silberstein and Chris Maser, Land-Use Planning for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Community Development), 2010
Sustainable Communities, Homes for All: Cm. 6424, 2004