LUP-24306 Planning Theory and Ethics


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)dr. IM Buizer
Lecturer(s)dr. IM Buizer
Examiner(s)dr. IM Buizer

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or English

Assumed knowledge on:

Basic theoretical knowledge of what the planning profession entails, and familiarity with the potential roles and practices of planners, as acquired in the course LUP-13306 Theory and Methodology of Planning and Design


In this course students will engage with a question that is topic of widespread debate: what is the meaning of planning in current times? Students will compare traditional notions of planning that emphasized control and restraint, with more recent notions that critically yet pro-actively explore the role of planners in a highly dynamic and uncertain world. Is there a role for theory in addressing contemporary challenges? Positivist and interpretive traditions in planning theory are juxtaposed and placed in a historical perspective, and analysed for their meanings for the address of contemporary planning challenges. What kind of ethical dilemmas do planning researchers and practitioners face in executing their professions? Fuelled by the lectures, the students will approach these questions in small groups and debate their findings with each other. Real-world examples from different contexts and an excursion that is fully bringing to life what the theoretical debates and ethical considerations might mean in practice, will enable the students to connect lessons learned in class to daily reality. In a paper the students will consolidate their critical reflections.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- compare different planning theories, methodologies and practices in historical and international perspective;
- distinguish the different ethical dimensions of the spatial planning profession and academic discipline;
- evaluate existing planning projects in the light of theories and ethics of spatial planning;
- write a reflection paper in correct English


Lectures, practical assignment excursion, prepared debate in and between working groups, reading and discussing articles, writing an individual reflection paper.


Oral presentation in debate and contributions in group work will account for 20% of the final mark; interim examination will account for 40% of the mark; and individual paper will account for 40% of the mark.


Peer-reviewed papers from academic journals and book chapters and case-study materials.

Compulsory for: BLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningBScB: Spatial Planning2MO, 6WD