LUP-32806 Political Dilemmas of Spatial Planning


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper0
Group work2
Course coordinator(s)T Hartmann
Lecturer(s)T Hartmann
Examiner(s)T Hartmann

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

LAR-37306 Reflections on Planning and Design Practices


Spatial planning deals with the allocation and distribution of land and other spatial resources. Planners pursue this task by using governmental power, economic incentives, and communicative strategies. Thereby, public authority, trust and money are used. This activity raises many questions with respect to efficiency, effectiveness, justice, legitimacy, and many more. Therefore, it is important for spatial planners to reflect on their activity in a systematic and structured way. This course consists of two main elements:
- The first element is a literature based structured reflection on different theoretical perspectives on planning to provide a basis for this reflection by focusing on different perspectives and their contradiction in planning. It entails dilemmas between and within concepts of effectiveness of planning (i.e. modes of governance, incrementalism vs. rational-comprehensive planning), efficiency (land economics and planning), democracy (participatory and collaborative planning), legitimacy (political theory of planning), balancing interests (pluralism in planning), responsibility (exclusion and inclusion and theory of goods).
- The second element focuses on applying this knowledge to specific spatial situations. The element on 'justice in the city'. How does a just city look like? This simple question is multifaceted and has implications for urban geography and spatial planning. The reason for the complexity of this question is that there are different and competing concepts of justice. In this element of the course, the combination of abstract theories on concepts of justice with spatial planning practice is central.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to :
- understand theoretical perspectives on planning;
- apply planning theories to planning practice;
- reflect academically on planning and develop their own theoretical planning approach.


During the course, we will discuss about different modes of spatial governance and different roles of planners. Therefore, it is inevitable to connect to the national but also international discourses about and around spatial planning. This requires reading English academic literature and using scientific methods. The reader is the central course material. Therefore, it is essential to use the preparatory reading time for preparing classes without this preparatory reading it is unlikely that students will pass the exam.
Activities therefore include:
- reading and discussing academic literature (element 1);
- writing an academic paper (element 1);
- interactive lectures with participation of students (element 1 & 2);
- drafting urban design schemes in class (element 2).


- written test (20%);
- academic paper (groups of 2 students) (50%);
- group assignment (urban design sketch) (30%).


A reader will be prepared and announced in Brightspace.
Presentation slides from class will not be handed out.

Verplicht voor: MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMScB: Spec. B - Spatial Planning4WD
Keuze voor: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc4WD