MA ENVIROMENTAL PLANNING (Shaping Built and Natural Environments)
QUESTION3: How important is it that we have a distinctive identity and c...
QUESTION6: Are you happy with the key features above? Are there any gaps...
Planning related issues as they happen
The course needs to ...

The table reveals adequate to good coverage of all outcomes with all be...
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Environmental Planning consultation


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Environmental Planning consultation

  1. 1. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 MA ENVIROMENTAL PLANNING (Shaping Built and Natural Environments) QUESTION1: How happy are you with the proposed course title of ‘Environmental Planning (Shaping Built and Natural Environments)’? 1. Rationale Environmental planning champions a more holistic framework within which to address key planning challenges that cut across traditional economic, social and environmental silos (Selman, 2000).So issues such as climate change, globalisation, population growth, economic growth/degrowth and community resilience all feature as pieces in what is increasingly being recognised as an interconnected and interdisciplinary jigsaw. Increasing frequencies and impacts offlood events, storms and droughts, set within the wider context of climate change, show graphically the need for planners and the built environment professionals to design and implement policy and management interventions that show improved understandings of the built and natural environment system and its dependencies and interrelationships. At present too much planning is disintegrated and focussed on specialised sectoral silos (Scott et al., 2013). This course is specifically designed to address this shortfall and uses leading experts in research and practice in delivery. In so doing we go back to the interdisciplinary roots of planning. This more holistic, systems based approach changes fundamentally the kinds of questions that planners ask; moving from “where should 50,000 houses go?” to “what kinds of places do we want to build for the future?”. Thus cross-sectoral thinking and interdisciplinary approaches become core components of effective planning in theory and practice. Here, the theoretical roots of environmental planning are grounded in both spatial planning and the ecosystem approach paradigms (Scott et al. 2013). This productive theoretical nterface offers important new lenses within which the planner can orchestrate plans, policies, projects and programmes so that they deliver multiple benefits across the built and natural environments. Putting the environment back into planning builds on the emerging research and teaching strengths of the planning-related staff in BSBE and rightly elevates the importance of working with the natural environment to tackle built environment challenges and opportunities across the triple bottom line of economy, society and environment that underpin sustainable development. It also differentiates us significantly from the University of Birmingham planning focus which is in both our respective interests. The BCU approach therefore uses existing expertise across core subjects in historic, built and natural environments combined with current research and practice at the interface of spatial planning and the ecosystem approach to revise our programme with a clear USP. Existing challenges relating to rapid climate and environmental change, resource pressures and rapidly evolving social and political contexts require new skills and more integrated training in topics across the built and natural environment to help shape resilient and prosperous places for the future. Collectively this course helps deliver the interdisciplinary planner for the future. QUESTION2: How suitable is this rationale for a Masters planning course in your view?
  2. 2. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 QUESTION3: How important is it that we have a distinctive identity and course offering separate from the University of Birmingham and other RTPI UK accredited courses ? QUESTION4:Is what we propose going to help equip the planner with the skills sought in the job market? Job market: We see limited job opportunities in the public sector at present given ongoing and planned job cuts. It is clear that private sector consultants, agencies and voluntary sector agenciesoffer the most significant opportunities. In particular the environment element within the course will have new opportunities as we move towards a more low carbon future and resilience-focused planning. Hence our goal is to ensure that students have the generic personal and technical skills set within a more critical environmental perspective. QUESTION5: Where do you see the future job market given cuts in public funding? 2. Key Attributesand Context of the Programme A mix of theory, practice and real life type assignments across built and natural environment settings. Our USP in the environment differentiates us from the University of Birmingham but also against other planning schools. Cardiff and Heriot Watt are our closest competitors with an environmental component in the planning courses they offer. There is also a strong tradition of environmental planning in overseas universities (Australia, New Zealand and Canada). It also has traction with the EU. The topic of environment is also present in many UG degrees now and there is a chance to capture these students as they struggle to find jobs and a higher-level professional qualification. This model also allows our own UG students to progressas this new masters product has a different, complementary modular structure and content The course will run a combination of 30 and 15 credit modules with a clear mix of principles, theory and practice. Teaching and learning strategies are varied to include traditional lectures, blended learning format and work based modules. We have two provisional modules that are led by outside organisations (although managed by BCU staff) thus making the practical component explicit and allowing students to choose ONE module to experience a work based module. Again this adds to the USP of this course and distinguishes us from the local competitor. A dedicated research techniques module at zero credits is included to help improve the quality of the dissertations. Currently the quality of some dissertations is poor and we feel the need to have a full module timetabled to support understanding and application (including hands-on practice) of methods and tools. Some globalisation of content required so as to attract good international students.
  3. 3. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 QUESTION6: Are you happy with the key features above? Are there any gaps in your view? 3. Provisional Structure Below is a preliminary identification of modules within the programme. A number of bullet points are provided to illustrate indicative content. This is at an early stage of development and is therefore an Aunt Sally allowing your input to shape further iterations. EP1 PLANNINGPRINCIPLES, EVOLUTION AND THEORY (30 CREDITS) Evolution of planning in built and natural environment Theoretical development of planning Economic principles and planning Community principles and planning Environmental principles and planning ASSIGNMENT: STUDENT LED SEMINARS AND EXAM EP2 PLANNING SKILLS AND PRACTICE FOR BUILT AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS (30 CREDITS) Planning system for built environment (town and country planning) Planning system for natural environment (resource planning: agriculture, forestry and rural development) Development planning and development management Techniques for decision and plan making ASSIGNMENT: PLANNING APPLICATION EXERCISE (CHOICE OF 2) REPORT and PRESENT TO COMMITTEE (individual) EP3 LAW AND ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE (15 CREDITS) Introduction to legal and governance frameworks Roles of players in built and natural environment Selected themes in law and governance (countryside, climate change, historic environment, water ) Conflict management and mediation in planning public inquiries and select committees ASSIGNMENT: SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT AND EVIDENCE (group based) EP4 ENVIRONMENT PLANNING IN PRACTICE (AGENCY LED MODULE) students choose one oftwooptions (15 CREDITS) Two large organisations in built and natural environment (students choose one) Introducing work of agencies across role and remit Assignment based group task Taught outside BCU
  4. 4. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 Planning related issues as they happen ASSIGMENT:PRACTICE BASED ACTIVITY AND INIDIVUDAL WRITTEN CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE ACTIVITY EP5 PLACEMAKING IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT (30 CREDITS) Project Management Business and financial management skills including viability assessment One-week field trip to an EU country to fulfil consultancy task. Students required to arrange visits beforehand and work as a consultancy team. ASSIGNMENT GROUP CONSULTANCY REPORT AND PRESENTATION EP6 DISSERTATION / RESEARCH PROJECT QUESTION 7:Is this an appealing set of modules? QUESTION 8:Are there any key gaps in what is currently proposed/covered? QUESTION 9:Are the assignments suitable and relevant for employment needs? 4. Core Themes All modules will have to address explicitly the following core themes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Managing trade-offs and competing interests / discourses Global and European perspectives Effective resource management Sustainability Adaptive management In addition we are also embedding the RTPI learning outcomes into the course structure as required. See Appendix 1 for a brief mapping exercise. QUESTION 10: Should there be any other additional /different core themes? 6. Professional Accreditation We are seeking both RICS and RTPI approval for the programme to maximise its appeal to students both domestically and internationally. QUESTION 11: Is this an appropriate course of action?Do you foresee any problems?
  6. 6. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 APPENDIX 1: RTPI LEARNING OUTCOMES mapping exercise The course needs to match the following RTPI learning outcomes. 1. Explain and demonstrate how spatial planning operates within the context of institutional and legalframeworks. 2. Generate integrated and well substantiated responses to spatial planning challenges. 3. Reflect on the arguments for and against spatial planning and particular theoretical approaches, and assesswhat can be learnt from experience of spatial planning in different contexts and spatial scales. 4. Demonstrate how efficient resource management helps to deliver effective spatial planning. 5. Explain the political and ethical nature of spatial planning and reflect on how planners work effectively withindemocratic decision-making structures. 6. Explain the contribution that planning can make to the built and natural environment and in particularrecognise the implications of climate change. 7. Debate the concept of rights and the legal and practical implications of representing these rights in planningdecision making process. 8. Evaluate different development strategies and the practical application of development finance; assess theimplications for generating added value for the community. 9. Explain the principles of equality and equality of opportunity in relation to spatial planning in order topositively promote the involvement of different communities, and evaluate the importance and effectivenessof community engagement in the planning process. 10. Evaluate the principles and processes of design for creating high quality places and enhancing the publicrealm for the benefit of all in society. 11. Demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluative and appraisal skills and the ability to reachappropriate, evidence based decisions. 12. Recognise the role of communication skills in the planning process and the importance of working in an interdisciplinarycontext, and be able to demonstrate negotiation, mediation, advocacy and leadership skills. 13. Distinguish the characteristics of a professional, including the importance of upholding the highest standardsof ethical behaviour and a commitment to lifelong learning and critical reflection so as to maintain anddevelop professional competence. Here is a preliminary crude assessment *Means the outcome is taught (T) **Means the outcomes is taught and assessed (A) 1 EP1 * EP2 ** EP3 ** EP4 * EP5 ** EP6 ** Total A4 T6 2 ** ** * ** * ** A4 T6 3 ** * ** ** A3 T4 4 * ** * ** * 5 * ** ** * * A2 T5 A2 T5 6 ** ** ** ** * ** A5 T6 7 * ** * A1 T3 8 * * 9 * ** ** ** ** * 10 * ** * ** ** A2 T4 A2 T4 A3 T5 11 * ** ** ** ** ** A5 T6 12 * ** ** ** ** A4 T5 13 * * ** ** ** ** A4 T6
  7. 7. STAFF/EMPLOYER CONSULTATION DOCUMENT - MARCH 2014 The table reveals adequate to good coverage of all outcomes with all being assessed on at least one occasion. Outcome 7 is perhaps the least well covered. Specialist Masters outcomes 1 Environment is the specialist lens we are using here in the present guide. This opens the door to further specialisms as the course team evolves and or changes. 1. Engage in theoretical, practical and ethical debate at the forefront of the area of the specialism in the context of spatial planning. 2. Evaluate the social, economic, environmental and political context for the area of specialism. 3. Evaluate the distinctive contribution of the specialism to the making of place and the mediation of space. 4. Demonstrate the relationship within a spatial planning context of the particular area of specialism to other specialist areas of expertise. 5. Demonstrate the type and quality of skills that would be expected of a graduate from this specialism undertaking the practice experience period of the APC. 6. Assess the contribution of the specialism to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change. 1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5 * 6 ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** EP4 ** ** ** ** ** EP5 ** ** ** * * ** ** * A6 T6 A6 T6 A2 T6 EP1 Ep2 EP3 EP6 ** A2 T3 A4 T4 A4 T5