Short courses


Civic Design

  • 46 hours
  • 3 weeks online


On this three-week 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.

Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, this course will be delivered entirely online.

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

Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, this course will be delivered entirely online.

During the first two weeks, you'll need to watch approximately one hour of lectures and take part in one hour of live chat with the tutor each day (Monday to Friday). Lectures will be 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 (online) four days of live teaching and coursework. You'll participate in seminars and workshops, learn about local civic initiatives and carry out work 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

Dates and times

This course will next run: 

  • Online course: Monday, 4 May to Friday, 15 May 2020
  • Workshop: Wednesday, 20 May to Saturday, 23 May 2020

Costs and concessions 

The standard fee for this courses is £595.

For UCL students and alumni, there is a 20% discount. Email pablo.sendra@ucl.ac.uk to request a discount code.

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 at the MSc in Urban Design and City Planning. He’s also co-founder of the urban design practice Lugadero, which works in collaborative processes for designing public spaces. With Lugadero, he’s run a co-design process for designing public spaces in Wimbledon, London. He’s been involved in CivicWise since its foundation. He’s co-editor of the book Civic Practices and co-author of Designing Disorder and Community-Led Regeneration.

Domenico Di Siena

Domenico Di Siena

Domenico is an architect, civic designer, researcher and instigator of CivicWise. He designs and develops processes and tools to help local authorities, organisations and universities to collaborate with citizens for the common good. He promotes a culture of collaboration with the use of new technologies for situated collective intelligence processes, where citizens (re) become protagonists of the actions that determine the identity and character of the territory they inhabit. 

Nicolas Fonty

Nicolas Fonty

Nicolas is a freelance architect, urban designer, independent researcher and experimented mapper. Through research, activism, practice and volunteer support, he’s been involved in many civic mapping initiatives for community-led planning in London and Paris at metropolitan and local scales, for example just map. He’s a member of CivicWise.

Course information last modified: 7 May 2020, 15:37