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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN2020 Transport Land Use and Development

10 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Dave Milne

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the relationships between transport systems and spatial patterns of human activity and development. This area is increasingly being acknowledged as critical to the successful planning of urbanised and rural environments, especially if we wish to move towards more efficient, sustainable and equitable societies in the longer term. However, they are generally not well understood despite a significant volume of research in recent decades. Over the course of the semester we will become familiar with key theoretical concepts in this area, in particular ‘accessibility’; we will try to demystify the much argued about topic of ‘sustainable development’; we will think about how the relationship between transport and land use may be represented in models using the ‘systems dynamics’ technique; we will consider how planning theory has dealt with this area over time, and how we may use those ideas to create desirable ‘visions’ for the future; we will look at evidence from a range of case studies of transport infrastructure investment; and we will consider practical transport and land use planning perspectives from the viewpoint of professionals working in the field. Teaching is expected to be in the form of a mixture of lectures and discursive workshops.


Students will understand the interaction between transport and land-use including the effect of land-use on travel patterns and the contribution of transport to development. They will be familiar with the theoretical underpinnings of the relationship between transport and land-use, with models which seek to represent it and with evidence that illustrates the current state of knowledge.

Learning outcomes
• Knowledge and understanding of the main theories underpinning the relationships between transport, land use and development;
• Understanding of how those relationships may be represented in models;
• Knowledge of relevant planning theories and understanding of how they may be used to develop visions of the future;
• Knowledge and understanding of evidence from relevant real world studies.

Skills outcomes
- An ability to identify and describe the theoretical relationships between transport, land use and development at the urban, regional and international scale.

- To identify, from history and contemporary planning, examples of the manifestationis relationship

- To understand the main approaches that have been adopted by modellers seeking to represent the relationships and to indicate how government policy seeks to take account of the relationship.

- An ability to write short, highly focussed, essays on specific issues within the topic area.


1. Key concepts for understanding the relationships between transport, land use & development
2. Historic perspectives on the role of transport in the growth of cities and regions
3. The role of accessibility in prompting and shaping development
4. Transport and the search for sustainable development
5. Models of transport, land use and development
6. A systems dynamics approach for modelling transport, land use and development
7. Theories of urban planning in the Twentieth Century
8. Visioning and utopias
9. Evidence from past studies of transport investment
10. Practitioner perspectives on transport and land use planning

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Revision Class12.002.00
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Coursework preparation
Background reading

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to discussion, coursework

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentCoursework33.00
ReportResearch project report67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:56:45


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