URBPLAN 703 : Urban Planning and the Environment

Creative Arts and Industries

2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A fundamental understanding of ecological issues and their implications for urban planning.

Course Overview

This course develops an understanding of the ecological processes that underpin urban sustainability and resilience, using local and international case studies and examples. Topics include ecosystem services, ecological rights and duties, resilience, Integrated Catchment Management (ICM), Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD), Water Sensitive Design (WSD) and implications for urban planning and practice.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of biological, chemical and physical cycles and how these underpin ecosystem functioning (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.1 and 6.2)
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the fundamentals of ecology as they relate to development and design, including ecological principles, resilience, functional and dysfunctional systems, and ecological services (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.2 and 6.3)
  3. Show practical skills in, and the ability to formulate designs for, Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD)/ Water Sensitive Design (WSD), and Integrated Catchment Management (ICM). (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of how to critique planning instruments using analysis relevant to ecology and water sensitive design. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1 and 5.1)
  5. Justify and communicate the basics of your land use planning and design visually, in writing and orally (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 1 25% Individual Coursework
Assignment 2 45% Group & Individual Coursework
Oral presentation 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Class Activities 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Oral presentation
Class Activities
The minimum pass requirement for this course is 50%.
Please note that School policy requires that ALL elements of assessment must be submitted to pass this course.

Teaching & Learning Methods

A large proportion of enrolled students have little background in science or engineering skills relevant to this course. Following the introductory few lectures, critical foundational practical knowledge is delivered via lectures in the early weeks of the course. This is to ensure that all students understand the essentials of ecological, catchment and hydrological processes and their relevance to the built environment professions before they embark on the assignments. Also, a field trip is scheduled close to mid-semester to demonstrate Auckland examples of successfully implemented urban catchment management and Water Sensitive Development. The most participatory sections of the course overlap with or follow the initial lectures and include assignments to demonstrate the development of research, design and presentation skills around topics related to integrated catchment management and water sensitive design. Some lectures that have less relevance to the assignments, but are professionally important, are delivered late in the course. Student learning occurs successively through lectures, reading, understanding and interpreting plans, practice in designing, oral and written presentations, and scheduled class activities

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [15] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.
For this course, you can expect 33 hours of lectures, a 5-hour field trip, 33 hours of reading and thinking about the content and approximately 50 hours of work on assignments and/or classwork preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including the field trip to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. In addition, there will be opportunities to interact online via Canvas. 
The course will not include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is no set text book for this course. Several required readings plus recommended readings will be notified in the first week of the semester.

Health & Safety

Health and safety matters will be considered separately as part of field trip preparation.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

Enrolled students are expected to attend class in person for three hours per week to ensure the building of knowledge and the acquisition of practical skills as demonstrated by both staff and fellow students. Each hour of lectures should be paired by not less than 1 hour of personal reading to ensure the building and consolidation of knowledge needed to complete the assignments and class activities. You are also expected to attend the field trip. There may be some collaboration with peers for research or practical work. Cooperation does not extend to writing reports together – this must be entirely your own work apart from cooperatively developed original images. The copying of each other’s text will be considered to be plagiarism.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 04/11/2021 10:41 a.m.