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Research Design in Urban Planning
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Research Design in Urban Planning
A Student's Guide


Other Titles in:
Planning | Research Methods

December 2015 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"This excellent book fills a significant gap in the literature supporting planning education by providing clear, succinct advice on the design and implementation of small-scale student research projects."
- Chris Couch, Professor of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool

"A perfect text for supervisors to give students so that they plan their research projects carefully rather than leap headlong into data collection."
- Jean Hillier, Emeritus Professor of Sustainability and Urban Planning, RMIT University, Melbourne

"Highly recommended... Ranging across topics such as planning a research programme and data management and the handling of ethical issues, the book will be very helpful to those embarking on a thesis or dissertation in the field."
- Peter Fidler, President of the University of Sunderland

Research Design in Urban Planning: A Student’s Guide is a brilliantly accessible guide to designing research for that all-important dissertation. Aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, this text will:

· discuss research design, outlining the stages of the research process in clear detail and the key decisions which need to be taken at each stage

· explain to students how to re-interpret policy issues as researchable questions, appropriate for investigation

· look in detail at how researchers make their choice of methods, helping students to justify their own  decisions

· reveal the ethical dimension to such decisions in the context of a growing requirement for the ethical approval of student projects

· review the issues for comparative studies – important not least because of student involvement in Erasmus programs and AESOP workshops

Packed with case studies, exercises, illustrations and summaries, Research Design in Urban Planning is an invaluable resource for students undertaking their first substantial, individual investigations.


 
Chapter 1: The Design of Planning Research
 
Chapter 2: Post-Positivism and Planning Research
 
Chapter 3: Policy Issues and Research Questions
 
Chapter 4: A Justification For Your Research Question
 
Chapter 5: Descriptive Questions: scope, claims, and sampling
 
Chapter 6: Explanatory Questions: starting points, claims and sampling
 
Chapter 7: Methods of Data Generation in Research
 
Chapter 8: Data Analysis
 
Chapter 9: Ethics of Research
 
Chapter 10: Cross-National Comparative Research in Urban Planning
 
Chapter 11: Conclusion

This excellent book fills a significant gap in the literature supporting planning education by providing clear, succinct advice on the design and implementation of small-scale student research projects. 

Although aimed primarily at planning students, the text is equally relevant to those undertaking similar tasks on other social science and built environment programmes.

Chris Couch
Professor of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool

This book should rapidly find its way onto lists of essential readings for research methods and dissertation modules in undergraduate and postgraduate planning coursework programs. Pitched perfectly at its target audience, logically structured and clearly written, this is a perfect text for supervisors to give students so that they plan their research projects carefully rather than leap headlong into data collection. 

Jean Hillier
Emeritus Professor of Sustainability and Urban Planning, RMIT University, Melbourne

Stuart Farthing’s new book ‘Research Design in Urban Planning’ can be highly recommended.  It explores key questions and issues in research and design, and probes applicable approaches in the field of urban planning in particular.

A key strength is that it combines thoughtful, insightful treatment of theoretical perspectives, with a very practical approach to supporting students or early career researchers in the area of research and project design.

Ranging across topics such as planning a research programme and data management and the handling of ethical issues, the book will be very helpful to those embarking on a thesis or dissertation in the field.

Peter Fidler
President of the University of Sunderland

Because planning researchers work in the knotty spaces between practice, policy, and the academy, their research needs to meet several different standards of quality simultaneously.  Farthing has produced a comprehensive handbook that will teach students to do just that -- to identify questions of intellectual and policy significance, generate original data, and establish the evidentiary basis for the factual claims they make.  Farthing addresses head-on the issue of ethics, which arises often when scholars are as close to the topics and constituencies they study as planners are.

Rachel Weber
Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sample Materials & Chapters

Research Design in Urban Planning: The Design of Planning Research


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Stuart Farthing

Stuart Farthing was Principal Lecturer in the Department of Planning & Architecture, at UWE, Bristol and spent most of his working life in Bristol though he had an international reputation, having been a Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Melbourne, Curtin and Murdoch in Australia, the University of Tours in France and University of Hannover in Germany. He was also a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme ‘Villes et Territoires’ at the University of Tours.His research interests in recent years  have included understanding how planning affects the nature of housing development but also how... More About Author

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