Course Title: History of Planning

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: History of Planning

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Benno Engels

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3884

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By request

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the origin and evolution of planning and environmental thought and its implementation through the growth and development of towns and cities. In so doing, it aims to give you an understanding of how planning and environmentalism originated and developed over time, and how they have influenced cities and regions. 

The history of planning is one of grand ideas, idealism, institutionalism and activism. It also reflects wider social movements, utopian ideals, pragmatic reform, beneficial legacies and great mistakes. You will explore the origins and implications of the most significant ideas in the history of planning, some key developments in environmentalism, and provide a good understanding of the development of cities and urban settlement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast ideas and movements in the history of planning and environmentalism
  • Explain the development of contemporary urban planning and demonstrate a well developed understanding of the breadth of concerns of planning
  • Analyse and critique key developments in environmentalism and how it relates to planning
  • Develop and present lines of argument in both an oral and a written format

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on complex theories in urban planning and environmental management, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and your scholarly and professional practice
  • Apply a range of communication and management skills to engage effectively in interdisciplinary teams and with diverse stakeholder groups in a range of contexts, demonstrating cultural and social sensitivity, environmental stewardship and ethical and reflective practice

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including lectures, tutorials and/or discussion forums.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of required and recommended reading will be provided by your lecturer. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include critical essays, projects, presentations, and contributions to online forums. Tasks may be individual or group based. Feedback will be given on assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: