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ENVS 1015 Planning History and Thought


Using the UK as a principal case study, this module charts the development of planning over 150 years from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. It examines how planningís evolution has been shaped by social thinking and the priorities of the day, and by an overall shift from state-led legal activity in the mid 20th century to an enabling activity concerned with economic growth, environmental concern and social justice.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Weekly lectures and two half day field trips.


This module introduces students to the theories and practice of twentieth century town and country planning, by using Britain ñ the first country in the world to industrialise ñ as a case study. It covers the historical development of planning practice in the UK and elsewhere, its theoretical basis, the political and regulatory justification for planning, and the institutional and policy frameworks.

  • To provide a broad perspective on the main principles that have shaped planning since the late nineteenth century, and the social-economic and political contexts within which these ideas have evolved.
  • To give an overall view of the main planning outcomes of the 20th century.
  • To set current urban and environmental policy issues in historical perspective.
  • To provide planning students with an appreciation of the essential basis of their degree programme.
  • To give an overall view of the great planning achievements of this century (and the failures)
  • To give students an essential basis of understanding for the rest of their courses
  • To provide an overview of the history and development of town planning theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes

All students will be able to appreciate the stages through which the British planning system, in particular, has evolved and how it has achieved its present-day spirit and purpose.


Dr Iqbal Hamiduddin (coordinator)
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Prof Michael Hebbert
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Indicative Reading

Core texts are as follows

  • Hall, P. (2002) Cities of Tomorrow. Blackwell, Oxford. (NB. A new edition will be appearing shortly)
  • Hall, P and Tewdwr-Jones, M. (2011) Urban and Regional Planning, 5th edition, Routledge, London
  • Ward, S (2002) Planning the Twentieth Century City, Wiley, Chichester

For planning students these are useful texts for your degree programme generally.