MA Urban and Regional Planning

Welcome to MORE 2022

Johannes Novy (Course Leader), Andrew Boughton, Sebastien Loew, Michael Neuman, Suzy Nelson, David Seex, Ian Simpson, Nancy Stevenson, Mireille Tchapi (dissertation tutors)

Johannes Novy is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University, New York. In addition to his work in teaching and research, he is a founding member of the Berlin collective u-Lab, Studio für Stadt und Raumprozesse, and a member of the Curatorial Board of the International Building Exhibition Stuttgart Region IBA2027.

AS IN PREVIOUS years, the topics of our students’ dissertations, as well as the learning activities that have taken place in the MA Urban and Regional Planning in the past academic year, allow for some interesting insights into the times we find ourselves in. And what extraordinary times they were and still are…

In the wake of the pandemic, the increasingly evident effects of climate change and the general fragility that characterises today’s world, the theme of crisis and how to deal with and respond to crises was central to many of our discussions. The prevailing view was that the challenges we and the world at large face, while daunting, also present opportunities for planning and, crucially, that planning as a profession has a big role to play in addressing them. While for many years urban planning was perceived as a discipline in crisis, whose meaning, purpose and practice were questioned by many, this is no longer the case in today’s crisis-ridden times.

With regard to tackling the climate crisis, it is now widely recognised that urban planning, as other built environment disciplines, has an essential role to play, and the experience of the pandemic has also contributed in several ways to raising society’s awareness of the importance of planning. Place matters: the quality of our built environment has a direct impact on our wellbeing, both as individuals and as a community, and planning can help ensure that the places we inhabit benefit rather than harm us. What we as planners knew all along is more widely recognised in society now because of the pandemic, and the experience of the lockdowns confining us to our homes and neighbourhood.

Given the importance of planning for individuals, communities and societies at large, planning also has a great (ethical) responsibility, which is something we regularly draw students’ attention to. Along with it, we also communicate to students that they should use their time with us and the work they put into their studies, and especially their dissertation, wisely. ‘Make it matter’ is what we tell them before they choose a dissertation topic, and this year, too, many students have fortunately heeded this advice.

Whether it is the role of the built environment for mental health, the challenge of finding better ways to deal with embodied carbon in planning policy, or the possibilities of reshoring/nearshoring industry in urban environments: many students have chosen fascinating and highly relevant topics for their dissertations and we are confident that many of them will go on to careers that will allow them to make a difference to planning and society at large.

MA Urban and Regional Planning Theses 2022

Students:

  • Farhan Ahmed
  • Saira Alam
  • Nasra Ali
  • Ismail Ameen
  • Ryan Beckwith
  • Kashi Bhanji
  • Paul Budgen
  • Dominic Bush
  • Daryl Cook
  • Katherine Fairfax
  • Kathryn Greenwood
  • Emily Harris
  • Jordan Henderson
  • Noah Jordan
  • Wai Kan
  • Joseph Kent
  • Nouvella Kusi
  • Sharon McCarthy
  • Lisa McElhinney
  • Sana Mir
  • Masroor Mushtaq
  • Russell Newcombe
  • Jade Ocampo
  • Clarissa Patrick
  • Brooke Pride
  • Naimah Quamie
  • Benjamin Rafferty
  • Adam Sciberras
  • Guaranshi Sharma
  • Carlos Sousa
  • Fausta Stella
  • Paulo Tavares
  • Yushekia Tracey
  • Aidan Van De Weyer
  • Lilly Varnham
  • Alice Walker
  • Annabel Williams
  • Joe Wright
  • Yusif Yusifzada

MORE is a part of Open Studio project run by the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster to make its design, research and practice-based work available online while it is happening.

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