Urban Theory Analysis and Strategy module (AR41001)

Learn about contemporary city enclaves. You will look at their economic, social and political contexts. You will develop design proposals for future development

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Module code


You will learn what makes an existing city. You will look at how it has evolved and what may shape its future.

You will collaborate in small studio groups to analyse, in-depth, a specific place. You will then develop creative strategic design proposals. These will address the challenges and opportunities you have identified.

You'll consider the relationships that exist in the city. These can be between people and places, between buildings, spaces, and the wider environment.

Alongside your studio investigations, you will study lecture courses in:

  • Urban Theory
  • Planning
  • Urban Design

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • study an introduction to key urban theories
  • learn how city planning and development management structures work
  • understand how the economic, social, and political context impacts the development of urban places

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • analyse urban contexts
  • problem 'form' to identify key issues and drivers for future development
  • develop strategic proposals to meet current and future needs
  • communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly. You will be able to evidence your proposals. This will be done by referencing key theories and contemporary practice precedents

Assignments / assessment

You will be assessed through a portfolio, including the following:

  • A comprehensive analysis of a given urban context. This is completed as a collaborative group exercise. This may be presented as exhibited drawings, reports, a film, a website, or a combination of these. (30%)
  • Strategic design proposals for urban development, assessed through a drawings/report. (30%)
  • An individual critically reflective portfolio. (40%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

This is a studio module. This will be taught primarily through weekly studio tutorials and weekly group workshops and seminars.

You will also engage in study visits to your chosen site. You may also have the opportunity to study exemplar cities as part of the module (through study visits).

The studio will be supported through lectures and talks by invited speakers.

This module identifies specific sites and appropriate programmes for the integrated design module AR40007.


This module is available on following courses: