“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 is a short, accessible, and clearly written text on how to design research for a dissertation planning project. Aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, this text will:  • discuss research design, looking in detail at how researchers make their choices of methods  • examine these in reference to case studies/examples from the planning research literature  • explain to students how to interpret policy to define researchable questions  • review the issues comparatively  • situate the methodological questions in terms of research ethics. 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.

Ethics of Research

Ethics of Research

Key questions

What ethical considerations exist in research design?

What are the ethical arguments which arise in seeking to frame research closely to the needs of practice? How close should the relationship between academic researchers and practice be?

What issues will you need to consider in seeking ethical approval for your project?

Key concepts

Value relevance, value neutrality, instrumental rationality, value clarification, critical research, action research, phronetic research


The final condition for a well-designed piece of planning research is the need for an appropriate approach to ethical issues in your project. It was not very long ago that very little or no real attention was paid to the issue of research ethics in planning, but today the position has changed substantially. Students are routinely asked ...

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