• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Spatial Planning

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
2 year, 1 semester


Елбаев Андрей Викторович

Chichagova, Maria

Course Syllabus


The objective of the course is to learn how to develop projects for reformation of cities at the neighborhood level, using information systems and the strategic vision of the future as the basis of the project. The course is based on the development of Moscow's current strategy of promoting the urban distributed model that fosters the identity of neighborhoods and multiple centralities in the city. This is a historical transformation for Moscow because it is one of the global paradigms of a centralized city that has grown from rings and radial axis. Therefore, developing a strategy to become a decentralized or distributed city, typical of the Internet era, is an intelligent and radical decision. The course will be developed from choosing a district between the Third Transportation Ring and the Moscow Automobile Ring Road for each team, using GIS tools and information systems to analyze considering multiple points of view, and then make proposals for large-scale management. Likewise, at least one specific case of application of the general strategy in an urban project will be developed.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To perform complex urban analysis of a Moscow district, identify its problems and potentials
  • To propose a concept plan to make that district more diverse and vibrant, improve its brand and role at the city scale
  • Choose a couple of specific transformations proposed by your concept plan and develop projects for them, producing design vision, organizational scheme and possible financial sources scheme
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To know history of Moscow spatial development; different methodologies to define borders; basics of urban spatial structure; key points of urban morphology and theory behind New Urbanism; different lifestyles in the city and how they impact urban space; theory behind mental maps; link and place methodology for street classification; basics of neighborhood unit theory; methodologies for benchmarking.
  • To be able to perform an analysis of an urban districts using information systems and maps to represent information; to apply project-based approach in urban development; to develop a methodology for a task or analysis; to produce complex concept plans that sums up proposed ideas in legible way; to structure project information and proposals in clean and easy to follow presentations; make a project video.
  • To possess the following skills: work in fieldtrips with local residents, interviewing them or presenting information; use GIS to map, measure and analyze urban spatial data; lead the urban spatial analysis projects in research institutions, private companies and city municipalities; present the results of spatial analysis research in a format of science reports and presentations.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • ‘Self-sufficient habitat’ and distributed model’
    A kick off seminar by the program director.
  • History and stories
    To better understand selected districts for further research, students will study the history of the area, by studying Moscow’s spatial development stages, looking through historical maps and images, reading articles on the area or its places. Various stories related to the district will be also examined. Eventually, a timeline combining history and stories will be produced.
  • Borders
    Districts area are defined by their borders, but how those borders were drawn? Students will examine each borderline and question the political, spatial or maintenance utility reasons behind its existence. After that, students will try to split their district into smaller Neighbourhood units and special areas.
  • Site report
    While working with an area, it’s crucially important to visit the site and make observation with one’s own eyes. At that stage, students will already have general understanding of their district and be ready to visit the site. During their visit, they will make a video report on districts advantages and disadvantages, problems and opportunities.
  • Mental maps
    During this class students will learn how to draw a mental map of an area. They will produce maps by themselves, and then go back to the site to make more mental maps with local residents. After collecting a bunch students will overlay and analyse them. Students should end up with a map, that represent the most characteristic areas of the district.
  • Online platform
    Technical workshop on how to setup an interactive online map, how to stylise it, how to upload new layers of information one it, how to make them interactive. This online platform will be used as a report for the analysis stage. All maps produced during this stage, should be uploaded to that platform.
  • Urban frameworks
    After studying the district through the perceived image of its residents, students will perform more objective spatial analysis of urban structures. They will define natural framework, mobility framework, including street hierarchy, public transit, cycling and pedestrian routs, and public spaces framework.
  • Urban fabric
    On this class students will learn about different urban fabric types in Moscow and how they were formed. They will identify those urban fabrics in their districts and analyse them. Students will examine how built form facilitates street activity by assessing all street frontages on their sites.
  • Density and compactness
    Density is one of the most important urban parameter, but it could be misleading if measured incorrectly. Students will learn different methods of measuring density and use them in their districts, including the measurement of compactness, that combines both built density and accessibility of the area.
  • Lifestyles
    To complement spatial analysis of urban structure and form students will survey different lifestyle routing of local people. Five different elements of everyday life will be studied: housing types, work places, mobility, consumption and leisure. In the end, one composite map of lifestyles will be produced.
  • Summary Diagram and analysis results
    This is the final class of urban analysis stage. Students will review all the maps produced during the stage, assess their importance and produce one concept plan that highlights all the important finding in one place. They will also present analysis conclusion in class.
  • Group consultations
    During that stage, student will first develop a concept plan for the transformation of their district, then chose 1-2 projects and work on them in detail. The projects are meant to improve district’s identity, centrality and self-sufficiency, and may vary in scale and theme between different groups. Students should also make an implementation roadmap, thinking about what stakeholder might be interested in the project and what financial sources could be involved.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Classwork
  • non-blocking Concept Plan
  • non-blocking Final Project
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 semester)
    0.4 * Classwork + 0.2 * Concept Plan + 0.4 * Final Project


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Deyan Sudjic. (2017, November 30). Great design looks good and makes the world a better place. Evening Standard, p. 17. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nfh&AN=126480432

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Deyan Sudjic. (n.d.). What makes the perfect city? Times, The (United Kingdom). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nfh&AN=7EH1730777814
  • Evans, B. M., Barry, M., Buchoud, N., & Vincente, G. (2016). Urban Environment and Resilience. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.14C48F0D
  • Morton, T. (2016). Dark Ecology : For a Logic of Future Coexistence. New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1195723
  • Sion, G. (2019). Smart City Big Data Analytics: Urban Technological Innovations and the Cognitive Internet of Things. Geopolitics, History & International Relations, 11(2), 69–75. https://doi.org/10.22381/GHIR112201910