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AG1138 Actors and processes in planning 7.5 credits

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For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG1138 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course disposition

The course consists of a series of lectures, exercises and seminars about the theory and practice of planning. The lectures address different perspectives on planning as a process, the actors and their roles in the process and the results of planning in the built environment. The lectures can include exercises and discussions that examine the themes that are addressed jointly. Exercises and seminars aim to active application and discussion of different theoretical perspectives on planning. The course includes a project work that includes a case study of a current urban development.

Course contents

The course addresses urban and regional planning as a process and how actors in the public, private and civic sector as well as residents and users of a field participate and interact in the planning process. The course focuses on the relation between how planning can be understood theoretically and in practice, as well as how theory can be used to describe, understand and develop planning practice. In the course, we mainly focus on planning at the municipal level in accordance with the Planning and Building Act. The connection to other forms of planning and planning at the regional and national level is treated as part of the context. Also an understanding of how actors can act at different levels is addressed. The course takes starting point in how societal forces and ideas have shaped cities during different epochs. Here, different ideas about planning, ideals for the implementation of planning and its results are included, as well as the actors that are concerned and involved, their roles and relations. It also concerns the role of the planner in urban development and societal development The interplay between different actors as well as different forms and methods for participation in democratic planning processes are particularly highlighted.

Basic planning theory, its concepts and how these have interacted with societal development and planning practice over time is studied from the 1940s until today. This includes, how different societal issues as for instance housing shortage during the post-war period, energy crisis on the 1970s and the emphasis on sustainable development in recent decades have influenced the view on planning and its function. The course covers the organisation and implementation of urban and regional planning based on current examples of urban development and design.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, you should be able to

-use basic theoretical concepts and discuss how they can be used to describe and understand planning practice;

-account for dominating planning theoretical ideals during modern times and explain similarities and differences between them;

-account for how planning practice has developed over time and relate to societal change and to theoretical ideals during equivalent time;

-based on practical examples of municipal planning identify, describe and compare central actors in planning, their driving forces and relations to one another;

-account and discuss different forms of participation for housing and users of a place and methods for participation based on theory and practice;

-account for the role of the planner and how it evolved, and give examples of how different roles are described in the literature as well as reflect on your own future professional role in relation to the knowledge you so far has received in the education;

-discuss and analyse how different factual matters are treated in a planning process and how they are represented by different actors;

-based on practical examples of municipal planning as well as through application of previously acquired knowledge of planning legislation, control and the different arenas of planning as well as the development of cities over time, critically describe, analyse and discuss the context of planning, the processes of planning and the outcome of planning on a theoretical basis at a basic level.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

At least two out of the three following courses must be completed:

- AI1525 Legal Framework of the Built Environment 7,5 hp
- AH1030 Transport and Society 7,5 hp
- AG1137 Planning and Governance of Urban and Regional Development 7,5 hp

Recommended prerequisites

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Kursbok: Taylor, N. (2005 [1998]) Urban Planning Theory since 1945. London: SAGE Publications.

Kompendium med utvalda texter

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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