Sustainable Urban Design 1: New Approaches to Urbanism

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Understand the factors driving the need for sustainable urban design, the principles and values which support sustainable urbanism, and ways to achieve balance between social, economic and environmental goals.

Part 1 of UCEM’s ‘Sustainable Urban Design’ series of CPD designed in partnership with the Prince’s Foundation with particular reference to the Poundbury development in Dorset, UK.


Course details

About the Sustainable Urban Design series

This course is part of a series designed in partnership with the Prince’s Foundation. The series aims to provide insights into how the adoption of a holistic view of sustainable design and development leads to more resilient urban communities. Land use, ecological factors, mass migration and many other sources of stress are affecting community life. These factors, combined with the need for job creation, mean that we have to find new approaches to urbanism.

The ongoing Poundbury development in Dorset, UK, is used as a recurring case study during the series. It is an urban extension of an existing town, Dorchester, which is developed using the principles of architecture and urban planning advocated by Prince Charles in his book A Vision of Britain. In 2018, Poundbury is home to 3,000 people in a mix of private and affordable housing, and it provides employment for around 2,000 people in 180 shops, cafes, offices and factories.

Aims of this course

‘New Approaches to Urbanism’ opens the debate surrounding our approach towards urbanism. Discussing the international need for greater sustainability in an age of increasing carbon emissions and fractured communities. This unit explores these issues, using the Poundbury project as an exemplar. It includes video presentations by philosopher Roger Scruton and senior staff from the Prince’s Foundation and the Duchy of Cornwall. These will provide you with:

  • a summary of the vision of the Prince’s Foundation and the Duchy of Cornwall, with respect to urbanism;
  • an overview of the Poundbury project;
  • a discussion of the moral and philosophical issues behind urban design and development.

Who should study this course?

This course is most relevant for those involved or interested in urban design and planning. This course would also be of interest to delegates who are:

  • studying for or going to sit the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) held by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
  • experienced professionals who wish to explore the topics surrounding sustainable urban design and satisfy their annual CPD requirements.

This interactive online course has been carefully designed to take a complex subject and present it in an easy-to-understand format. It uses a combination of audio and visual learning methods. As a result, the course is suitable for all involved in the property industry irrespective of their knowledge.

Time commitment

The total estimated study time for completing this course is 2 hours.

This estimate includes time for you to read or view a resource more than once, as well as time for you to take notes and undertake the online assessment.

As a fully online, self-managed course you are able to stop and restart the course as you progress. Working at a time and place that suits your needs.

Course objectives

After studying this course, you will have developed your understanding of:

  • factors driving the need for sustainable urban design;
  • fundamental principles and values which undergird sustainable urbanism;
  • ways to achieve balance between the social, economic and environmental goals;
  • practical ways to create ownership, identity and a sense of place.

Course structure

You can study this self-managed online course at your own pace, wherever you may be.

This course is made up of five elements:

  • Introduction
  • Video summaries of the key topics
  • Reading activities
  • Recent developments
  • Quiz

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

Technical Requirements

In order to maximise your learning experience, you will need access to:

  • a personal computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device with audio & video playback capability
  • access to the Internet (via a broadband connection recommended)

Be able to

  • use an up-to-date web browser (for example):

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge

  • open PDF documents using software such as Adobe

Please be aware if using a system within a firewall you may need your IT Team to allow pop-ups and access to YouTube.

Technical Assistance:

Should you require any technical assistance please contact


On successful completion of the course you will receive a UCEM certificate of completion for 2 hours of formal CPD.

You will be tested with an online quiz at the end of this course. You must achieve 75% or more to successfully complete the course. Additional attempts will be permitted should you not be successful on your first attempt.


Enrolment details

This course is FREE. To begin, simply “Add to basket” and register.