LUP-32806 Planning Theory


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Literature study
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. AJJ van der Valk
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. AJJ van der Valk
Examiner(s)prof. dr. AJJ van der Valk

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

LUP-22806 Spatial Planning Theory and Methodology


In this course the focus is on theories of planning. These theories represent ways of thinking about basic questions about the nature and goal of spatial planning. Planning theory involves questions about:
- justifications and criticisms of planning as a social practice;
- different planning approaches; their theoretical and methodological foundations as well as their historical and societal backgrounds;
- the role of plans and regulations;
- the planning profession;
- planning ethics. In the introductory phase pre-conceived notions and expectations among students are revealed. Building upon these notions a complex planning case will be the object of analysis and theorizing. A handbook will be studied and discussed chapter by chapter. The group will be split up in working groups. Each group will be attributed an assignment. The participants will carefully scrutinize one dominant school in contemporary planning theory. The case will provide background information for application. The professor will coach the groups. Participants will interview eachother during plenary sessions, thus sharing information. Every attendant chooses her favourite planning style, school or approach and elaborates upon this choice in a scientific paper. The paper is an individual piece of work.

Learning outcomes:

After this course the student:
- will be able to reason using knowledge of dominant discourses in contemporary planning theory and have a basic understanding of the major trends; - will be able to present arguments in favour and against planning and take a personal stand founded upon critical reflection;
- knows alternative methods of organizing and managing planning in public settings. Understands current trends in planning methodology and is able to select appropriate methods for specific situations;
- is able to understand and critically reflect upon ethical standards of the profession.


Reading, summarising, commenting and discussing chapter in the textbook and the case material; conduct research in scientific and professional papers and text books; interviewing and writing an individual paper of 10-15 pages. Teaching methods: classes, plenary sessions, working groups study of literature, individual paper.


The work of the individual student is assessed on the basis of:
- his/her contribution to the plenary sessions;
- participation in working groups;
- (predominantly) the quality of the individual paper.
Oral feedback is given on presentations during working group sessions and on the draft paper. The final assessment comes with a brief written statement by the tutor. The participants will be consulted on a regular basis during classes.


Allmendinger, Philip (2009 2nd ed.), Planning Theory. Houndmills Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Compulsory for: MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMScC: Spatial Planning3WD
Restricted Optional for: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
Restricted Optional for: WULAPBSc Minor Landscape Architecture and Planning3WD