Theoretical Perspectives on Planning, 7.5 credits

About the education

Purpose and learning objectives

Upon completion of this course you are expected to be able to describe, reflect on and interpret prevailing planning theories and paradigms and in writing and orally conduct an academic discussion on different questions and perspectives in planning theory.

Content and teaching methods

The course deals with fundamental planning theories with an emphasis on social science approaches such as shifting planning paradigms in a historical and international perspective, the planners' role and collaboration with other institutions and actors, as well as the interaction between planning, politics and power in a spatial perspective. The course also deals with how planning takes into account different groups and individuals, such as gender, age, ethnicity and class and how the planning responds to society's ideals and values.

The course involves lecturers, seminars and exercises.

Subject: Urban and Regional Planning

Urban and Regional Planning is about shaping and structuring the future of society. Planners affect the structure of cities and urban life, the countryside and regional development, the economic situation and the environment, culture and population from social, economic and ecological perspectives. Planning takes place in the public and private sectors as well as within international organizations, such as EU and the UN.

The problems on which planners work require composite analyses. The need for such an approach increases with the increasing complexity of society. The problems are increasingly concerned with balancing different, sometimes contradictory, interests into functional and sustainable suggestions and proposals. Planning often takes place in the form of project work, where suggestions for plans are prepared in teams where different competences are represented.

Planning thus means determining the future while being aware of the fact that at the same time other possible futures are being prevented. It is therefore important to know how society has developed historically and how it works today within different areas, with regard to natural as well as economic and social conditions. A planner must have a broad general knowledge and the ability to merge information and knowledge from different specialist areas. A planner who is responsible for the planning process needs to have an overall view and an ability to see issues from multiple perspectives. For this purpose, there is ongoing basic and applied research where a number of different planning problems are analysed, ranging from individual suburban environments to international environmental issues.

Urban and regional planning may be studied as a three-year programme in the first cycle and in a two-year Master’s programme, or as single-subject courses. Do you want to have an impact on present and future societies? Then Urban and Regional Planning is the right choice!

Area of interest: Human, Social and Political Sciences, and Law

Are you interested in human beings and society? How we function individually and together, what drives us, our learning processes, how rules and laws have been established, and how we interact with each other? If that is the case we have a lot to offer.

This area of interest covers anything from Pedagogy, Psychology and Gender Studies, to Statistics, Political Science, Law and many other subjects. Their common denominator is the relation between human beings and society, independent analytical thinking and often an international perspective.

Department responsible for education

Department of Human Geography