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‘Planning history has been around as long as planning’, wrote the late British urban historian Anthony Sutcliffe. While urban planning by definition ‘looks to the future’, planners ‘need the past more than anyone, for without it they cannot draw on experience’. This course provides a wide-ranging advanced overview of the development of planning ideas, theory and practice. It is intended to help underpin - and help critically situate – contemporary professional knowledge, approaches and values. The course is organised thematically around a number of broad themes addressing the origins of modern planning thought, key figures and ideas, the evolution of different planning paradigms and cultures through the 20th century, the diffusion and adaptation of planning concepts and policies, and the achievements and shortcomings of planning in practice. The coverage will be global, but orientated to the Anglophone world, and assessment geared to the Australian and Pacific-Rim realms. The course will be structured around synoptic lectures, workshop discussions evaluating primary documentation, and student presentations. Assessment will be based on participation, written assignments, and presentations.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 2



Indicative contact hours



Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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