Town Planning Review

Gordon Stephenson's reform of the planning curriculum: how Liverpool came to have the MCD

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (2), 135–164.

Abstract

After World War II, Gordon Stephenson was attracted back to Liverpool, his alma mater, to serve as the fourth Lever Professor of Civic Design. His impact in just six years (1948-53) was profound. One of his greatest accomplishments was in curriculum reform and in the introduction of a radically new planning programme based around a two-year, taught postgraduate degree, the Master of Civic Design (MCD), open to well-qualified graduates in almost any subject. In this article, the focus is on a detailed examination of the curriculum reform: in particular, the vision of a postgraduate model of planning education and the manner in which this was created at Liverpool. It examines the particular roles played by Stephenson, and his friend and colleague William Holford, in initiating and implementing the changes, as well as the wider impact of the Liverpool reforms on planning education elsewhere in Britain and beyond.

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Author details

Batey, Peter