Short courses


Civic Design

  • 10 hours online + 24 hours face-to-face
  • 2 weeks online + 3 days face-to-face


On this three-week blended course you'll learn to deliver urban initiatives in collaboration with local communities.

You'll explore ways of working in partnership with community groups in London. You'll learn how to better enable civic engagement and involve communities in decision-making.

You'll also undertake a group project together with a London community group. This will allow you to learn through direct experience of including communities in the decision-making process.

This course is delivered by The Bartlett School of Planning, in collaboration with CivicWise, an international community of professionals working on tools and projects for civic engagement. During and after the course you can engage and share your projects through CivicWise's digital forum for peer-to-peer collaboration. 

Who it's for

This course is aimed at urban designers, planners, architects and other students and professionals of the built environment with an interest in working on projects involving public participation.

There are no prerequisites for taking this course.

Course content 

The course will include:

  • an introduction to civic design
  • case studies of civic design
  • civic design method
  • protocols for working with community groups and ethics
  • guided visits with community representatives
  • community activism and its involvement in London planning
  • mapping tools
  • innovation in governance 
  • civic tech: communication and technology
  • the civic economy
  • network thinking and collaboration - CivicWise and the Civic Labs

Structure and teaching

The course is delivered through a mixture of online and face-to-face learning.

You'll have two weeks to watch online lectures given by academic staff from the UCL and visiting lecturers from CivicWise. You'll also complete online activities, leading to the development of a project brief in collaboration with a community group.

You'll then attend three days of face-to-face teaching and coursework at UCL's campus in central London. You'll participate in seminars and workshops and go on site visits to meet community groups. You'll learn about local civic initiatives and carry out fieldwork for your group project.


The assessment will be based on your report addressing the brief previously agreed with community groups.

It'll be assessed according to:

  • quality and rigour of the analysis
  • capacity of collaboration with community groups and your response to the brief
  • originality of the proposals/outcomes


You'll receive a certificate of attendance after completing the course and the final assessment.

Learning outcomes

This course will help you:

  • learn innovative methods for working with community groups to develop their urban initiatives
  • foster a more inclusive approach to civic engagement
  • understand key concepts of collaborative urbanism and the relevance of community engagement in planning and urban design
  • develop skills to work collaboratively with peers, including professionals from different disciplines
  • engage with a hybrid digital and physical learning environment, which brings opportunities for collaborative projects

Costs and concessions 

The fee for this courses is £595.

A 20% is available for:

  • UCL students and alumni (please email anthony.grout@ucl.ac.uk to request a discount code)
  • organisations booking 5 or more places in the course (the discount is applied automatically when selecting 5 or more places)

Free bursaries are available for members of community groups collaborating with the course. To claim this discount, you'll need to enter the voucher code you've received when booking.

Course team

Dr Pablo Sendra - Course Lead

Dr Pablo Sendra - Course Lead

Pablo is a Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. He teaches on the MSc in Urban Design and City Planning. His main areas of research interest are social housing neighbourhoods and collaborative planning processes.Pablo combines his academic career with professional practice in urban design. He's co-founder of the urban design practice Lugadero, which works in collaborative processes for designing public spaces. He's been involved in CivicWise since its foundation and recently co-edited the book Civic Practices.

Other contributors

Other contributors

The teaching team will include academics from the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, contributors from the CivicWise network and other professionals of working on collaborative processes.

Course information last modified: 23 Oct 2019, 12:02