LUP-23806 Planning for Urban Quality of Life


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)12
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens
Examiner(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens

Language of instruction:



In this course the students will become familiar with theory and methodology of planning for urban quality of life. The course activities include theory lectures and a practical group assignment. The theory lectures focus on selected aspects of quality of life relevant for urban and regional planning. The group assignment focuses on analysing and designing the regional spatial organization and building spatial scenarios for the future spatial development of a region. The assignment and related instruction lectures will familiarize the students with methods for prospective and projective scenario study
The methods and techniques will be applied in the context of an urban region in the Netherlands. The overall planning task for the assignment is to develop an integrated spatial vision, scenarios and strategies for the region for the long term (30 years) that can support the discussion about the future development of the region. The study area allows exploring the relationships between the urban fabric and the diversity of human activities. However, the study area is complex and we do not expect students to develop a comprehensive view of all the problems and developments in the area within the time constraints of this course. The assignment addresses some selected, while each group can choose their own focal issues. The main emphasis is on practicing with methods and techniques for analysing and designing the spatial organization and building scenarios. The concepts for analyzing and designing the spatial organization of the area will be provided in theory and instruction lectures. The students will learn to deal with the uncertainties that are evident when building scenarios and visions for the future spatial development of a region. The assignments will familiarize students with spatial planning issues at different scale levels and time horizons. A study trip to the area will help the student to understand the context of the issues at hand.
The group assignments will be introduced in instruction lectures and a course manual. The related theory is being introduced in theory lectures and selected papers. The practical assignments are presented in four subsequent steps: 1) Analysing the present situation of the area, 2) Trend analysis and building external scenarios, 3) Designing a vision of the future situation of the area and 4) A SWOT analysis to arrive at policy strategies.

Learning outcomes:

After succesful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize some basic concepts of urban planning and design;
- understand the interaction between these concepts and urban sustainability;
- understand the relationship between the urban fabric and human activities, and how to analyse the spatial organisation for these activities and its interaction with the urban environment and sustainability;
- identify and include relevant qualitative as well as quantitative data in urban planning processes in a way that demonstrates an appreciation of the need to communicate issues such as uncertainty and quality;
- apply methods and tools for environmental assessment in the context of urban and environmental planning;
- demonstrate the ability to make sound judgments about the quality of scientific arguments and supporting evidence.


- lectures and guest lectures;
- reading and discussing articles;
- group work, planning and design activities;
- field visits.


The individual grade for the course will be assembled from the scores of:
- written examination (40%). The written examination has multiple choice and open-ended questions covering the content of the theory lectures and the selected scientific papers.
- group work (60%). During the different phases of the group work, each group will receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work. This will allow the group to improve their work toward the final result.
The final result are two A0 size posters and a background report of a maximum of 20 pages that present the overall results of the group. The grade for the group work and the written examination should both be a minimum of 5.5. A pass for the written exam remains valid for the statutory minimum time indicated in the EER; a pass for the posters and report for two years.


Course manual and selected articles/papers (to be announced).

Restricted Optional for: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc2AF
Compulsory for: WUUEMBSc Minor Urban Environmental Management2AF