Sustainable Urban Design 2: Sustainable Planning Principles


Explore the principles which underpin sustainable development. Understand how the radical design plan at Poundbury differs from more typical urban development practice. Examine the factors which can make urban settlements unsustainable.

This is the second course in UCEM’s ‘Sustainable Urban Design’ CPD series, designed in partnership with the Prince’s Foundation with particular reference to the Poundbury development in Dorset, UK. It is relevant for those involved or interested in urban design and planning.


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

This course explores issues relating to sustainable development and urban design by exploring the planning principles advocated by the Prince’s Foundation. We will consider how developers might follow these principles in practice. The course begins by exploring what makes settlements unsustainable, before identifying ways to plan sustainable alternatives. We will illustrate these principles with reference to Poundbury and other developments.

Who should study this course?

This course is most relevant for those involved or interested in urban design and planning. It 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:

  • the principles which underpin sustainable development, particularly at Poundbury;
  • how the Poundbury masterplan was a radical departure from more traditional urban development practice;
  • factors which can make urban settlements unsustainable.

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 80% 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.