Compare and contrast an element of another country’s planning policy and practice with the equivalent aspect in Scotland, and make recommendations for the improvement of both systems.

Compare and contrast an element of another country’s planning policy and practice with the equivalent aspect in Scotland, and make recommendations for the improvement of both systems.
Each student should choose a particular area of policy and practice (element) for comparison. The areas selected should be narrow enough for a detailed comparison and in-depth analysis. You can focus, for example, on affordable housing policies and provision, regeneration of run down residential areas, waterfront development, promotion of economic development etc. You should avoid selecting a very wide area (e.g. the national land use planning system) and therefore making very general journalist style observations.
Your essay should include the following discussion and analysis:
A short justification of the area for comparison: You need to be relatively familiar with the specific area you selected for your essay in both countries, and give the reasons why such a comparative study is beneficial.
Brief discussion of planning systems in both countries: This should be a comprehensive but short and concise description of the policy and practice in each country. This should be based on a wide range of sources rather than drawn from only one or two books. Recent journal articles, reports on the topic must be used to get an up-to-date picture.
Systematic comparison of your selected element between the two countries: After the description of each system, you must make comparative analysis by drawing together the major differences and similarities. A table form of presentation could be useful in presenting the comparative findings. In comparative analysis, you must avoid superficial discussion at the very general level, and should consider the impact and influence of different political, economic, cultural and historical backgrounds.
Recommendations for the improvement of one or both systems: It is important to remember that a particular policy of planning may work well in one country, but not in another, because of the differences in political, social and economic context. Recommendations based on comparative studies usually point to improvement or adjustment rather than direct copy of one system to another.