Johannes Novy (Course Leader), Andrew Boughton, Suzy Nelson, David Seex, Ian Simpson, John Somers, Nancy Stevenson (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.
ENGAGED IN AN INTENSE learning experience, students of the MA Urban and Regional Planning course can study full- or part-time, and includes those who are new to planning but with a background in a related area, as well as others who are already working in London or further afield. The course culminates in the final thesis which students use as a vehicle to explore a wide range of exciting topics, mirroring the concerns and interests of planning practitioners and researchers today.
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. The increasingly evident effects of climate change and the general fragility that characterises today’s world, 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.
With regard to tackling the climate crisis, it is now widely recognised that urban planning has an essential role to play. 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.
Given the importance of planning for individuals, communities and societies at large, the discipline also has a great (ethical) responsibility which is something we regularly draw students’ attention to. 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. Notable topics this year included the future of High Streets as important commercial and social hubs, the ongoing – and heated – debate about the need to reform England’s planning system, the potential and limitations of digital technology for democratising planning, and the promise of Green and Blue Infrastructure for improving health and wellbeing.
Many of the dissertations not only showcase the talent of our students, but also their commitment to the core mission of planning: enhancing the built environment to improve people’s lives. Their work serves as a reminder of the enduring importance of our field in shaping sustainable, equitable and vibrant communities. Looking ahead, I am excited about the contributions our students will make as they continue their journeys in the planning profession.
- Kaya Allnutt
- Fatimat Bakare
- Helen Bonham
- Katherine Elworthy
- Lucy Fawcett
- Avigayil Fishburn
- Isha Ashutosh Hasme
- Christopher Lamb
- Taelin-Jordan Lambert
- Grace Logan
- Harvey Moodley
- Brooke Pride
- Rebecca Tilley
MA Urban and Regional Planning Theses 2023
A Critical Evaluation of Status and Protection beyond the National Heritage List for England (NHLE): How do we secure the protection of Non- Designated Heritage Assets?
How Democratic and Representative are Local Planning Consultations?
Community Engagement: Planning as a collaborative community-led process
Righteous Control: Moral appeals in the contemporary English planning liberalisation debate
The Decline of the High Street: A study of two Islington high streets and their varying degrees of prosperity following the COVID-19 pandemic
Are Car-free Developments in London Self- selective? An investigation, and study of whether they discriminate against people with disabilities
Isha Ashutosh Hasme
Urban Form of a Neighbourhood and its Correlation with Energy Usage
Deregulation vs Design: Situating the role and impact of permitted development within the UK government’s Levelling Up planning agenda
High Speed Rail and its Potential for Urban Regeneration: Leeds case study
Investigating the impacts of Green and Blue infrastructure development on health and wellbeing in the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea
An investigation into the impact of small site housing contributions towards affordable housing delivery in Surrey
Is there a Third Way to Developing within the Metropolitan Green Belt?
Planning for Education: A critical analysis of design review panels in England to inform a framework for design reviews for schools