“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.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis

Key questions

What types of claims are made in response to research questions?

What is data analysis? How do earlier decisions affect analysis?

What types of data are there?

Key concepts

Quantitative data, qualitative data, quantitative analysis, variables, construct validity, causal analysis, dependent variables and independent variables, proxy variables, cross-tabulation, random sampling error, statistical significance; qualitative analysis, key informants, corroboration, conceptual frameworks, sensitising concepts, indexing, coding; triangulation; discourse analysis.


This chapter is about the analysis stage of research, that is, the stage of research when your primary interest is in developing an argument about the claims that can be made on the basis of the research you have conducted. As we saw in Chapter 3 there are both descriptive and explanatory claims, which can be seen as ...

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