Course Title: Spatial Thinking and Urban Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Spatial Thinking and Urban Design

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2022


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Mittul Vahanvati

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9150

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In Spatial Thinking and Urban Design, you will acquire and develop an understanding of a range of key urban design skills of value to planners, while critically reflecting on urban design as it is professionally practised. A framework for understanding, critiquing and undertaking urban design analysis is presented as a basis for the course. You will respond to a contemporary urban design analysis brief focusing on a case study site. You will develop urban design analysis skills and provide recommendations and plans that will be presented and critiqued. You will engage in independent and collaborative activities to inform your ideas and proposals. You will be encouraged to reflect critically upon the skills you are developing and the manner in which planning interconnects with urban design, using theoretical and practical understandings. 

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/ or community is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving urban and regional problems in diverse contexts and assessing the implications of decisions and actions.
  • Discern the value of information and knowledge from a wide variety of sources and experiences and reflect on and evaluate their application in planning practice and research. 
  • Communicate ideas using diverse formats and strategies to academic and professional audiences within and external to the discipline of urban and regional planning. 

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

  1. Develop a basic foundational understanding of the history and theory of spatial thinking and urban design.  
  2. Apply a range of urban design theories to a case study site to critically appraisal the site – spatially and through statutory frameworks – to problem-solve and shape the future of an urban site.  
  3. Create a design based on evidence of needs and strengths, and communicate urban design ideas to a wide audience using a range of presentation skills and media, including drawings. 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as lectures, workshops, site visits, data collection, guest lectures, group and class discussion, group activities and individual research. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

Assessment tasks include: 

  1. Developing Theoretical Understanding (20%) (Links to CLO 1,2) 
  2. Linking Theory to Site (40%) (Links to CLO 2,3) 
  3. Urban Design Case Study (40%) (Links to CLO 1,2,3) 

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 course coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.