Course Title: Ecological Foundations of Planning

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Ecological Foundations of Planning

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Ben Cooke

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 9943

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.7.34

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Consistent with a worldwide trend, the size of Australian cities has increased dramatically over the last 100 years, placing significant pressures on the natural resource base and regional infrastructures. Evidence of rapidly changing climates, diminishing surface and groundwater resources, and a catastrophic loss of global biodiversity illustrates the critical need for planners to articulate an ecologically- sound blueprint for urban development. Given this substantial challenge, this course seeks to develop a theoretical and methodological framework for incorporating ecological criteria into the urban and rural planning process.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • discuss the ecological foundation of planning decisions that shape the natural environment in Australia;
  • strengthen your knowledge of the principles of ecology, environmental problems arising from the working of modern urban-industrial societies, environmental research methods, environmental risk assessment and the broad social, economic and regulatory frameworks in which environmental problems are resolved;
  • develop a range of skills related to the application of environmental planning tools;
  • apply knowledge in problem-based learning exercises;
  • develop your research and critical-analysis skills, including the ability to perform database searches, critically read and revise writing, develop lines of argument supported by appropriate references, and
  • develop skills in leading and facilitating discussion groups, and an ability to contribute to academic discussions.

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • Communication
  • Critical analysis
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Technical and professional skills

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be able to engage in a variety of lectures and smaller classes.

Overview of Learning Resources

A text has been prescribed for this course.

Overview of Assessment

You will demonstrate your learning in this course by completing assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 4,000 words.