The Bartlett School of Planning is concerned with how societies plan for the multiple spaces they occupy. But societies and their manifestation in space are becoming infinitely more complex, making the challenge for those responsible for their planning, design and development an evermore demanding one.
In the UK, the introduction of spatial planning recognises that planning can no longer limit itself to matters concerning land use and supply, but instead needs to pursue a more integrated agenda, cutting across previously fragmented and often aspatial policy remits. On a global scale, urbanisation continues at a relentless pace, bringing to many people a new mobility but also associated problems of social fragmentation and environmental decline. In advanced economies, as traditional incremental modes of development are replaced by comprehensive ones, questions of cultural associations with particular types and uses of space, issues of design quality, and questions of the liveability of space all come to the fore.
These are just some of the challenges for planning. They are the challenges we address head on at the Bartlett School of Planning through our research and our range of innovative teaching programmes. Our teaching programmes reflect a range of strong beliefs about how planning should be taught:
- The different dimensions of the subject are best taught in an integrated fashion, with the complexity exposed and addressed from the start of planning education
- The different objectives, agendas, approaches and limitations of planning can be explored in, and made real through, a variety of problem-solving activities and real life scenarios
- Adequate opportunities for debate and reflection on the theory and practice of planning are required
- Students should be exposed, as far as possible, to situations where planning problems are addressed as part of a team, and in a collaborative fashion with other built environment professionals
- Planning is a discipline concerned with delivering positive physical, social and environmental change, requiring individuals capable of thinking in creative, critical and analytic modes, and coursework designed to encourage the development of these aptitudes
- Enthusiasm for the subject and its potential, and the drive to carry on learning about it after formal education are more important than the particular sets of skills and knowledge that students leave university with
- Students choosing to learn within the setting of a research-led institution such as UCL should also be given the opportunity to engage with, and benefit from, the research specialisations of academic staff, as well as to conduct personal research of their own
- Planning education needs to engage with the increasingly international nature of the discipline and of planning theory and practice, and therefore that an international perspective in teaching and research and cultural diversity in our student body is to be welcomed.
All our programmes are underpinned by our
world-leading research and engagement with practice.