ENVPL101-20B (HAM)

Future Cities

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Environmental Planning


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: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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Urban areas are under increased pressure from population growth, development, natural hazards and climate change. These pressures are set to continue into the future, if not to accentuate, and pose considerable challenges for both planning new urban areas and retrofitting existing ones. This paper focuses on these challenges whilst providing a broad introduction and underpinning knowledge emphasising the scope, complexity and integrated nature of environmental planning in the New Zealand context and elsewhere. The paper analysis a differing environmental planning problem each week, discusses the reasons for its existence, the pressures it creates, the approaches to addressing it, and the future trends. For example, one week may discuss climate change impacts on cities, a following may discuss green-infrastructure in cities, while another focuses on liveability in cities. These issues are however, interconnected, and by the end of the paper students will better understand the complexity of environmental planning. This broad approach highlights the wide scope of planning influences, that will be designed to complement more focused and deep study of planning issues in later years and foster a more contextual understanding of the integrated nature of future interventions to address critical planning challenges.
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Paper Structure

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The paper will have a hybrid model of taught delivery involving Moodle-based readings, the completion of online lessons, along with online lectures and on-campus/online workshops where you will have the chance to ask questions and get clarification about weekly topics.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • 1. Identify and discuss differing perspectives on the pressures on global cities
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  • 2. Identify and explain the ways that urban areas fulfil various functions
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  • 2. Demonstrate understanding of contemporary urban debates
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  • 4. Discuss, in the context of contemporary urban discourse, the contested nature of future cities
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  • 5. Demonstrate awareness of how environmental planning can better manage future cities
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Moodle-based Lessons

Ten lessons will be distributed throughout the trimester and must be completed in sequence (weeks 1 to 10 inclusive). They are designed to complement your weekly learning and the content delivered through the online classes, and assist in the completion of workshops. Students will have time allocated within the lecture times timetabled to complete lessons but additional time may be required during workshop weeks. Lessons are worth 25% of total marks (2.5 points per lesson).


Five workshops will occur throughout the trimester and synchronously completed in groups of up to 4 students. They are worth 25% of total marks (5 points per workshop). The workshops are designed to cover material taught in lectures, Moodle-based lessons and contained in the readings. Workshops will involve the application of block of learnings/topics to a hypothetical greenfield or brownfield development in Hamilton. The workshops will be held during lecture times and submitted through Moodle at the end of each workshop.

Learning Journal

The Learning Journal combined entries is worth 20% of student's total marks (2 points per entry). This is a reflective individual assessment that documents student's weekly learning about each environmental planning problem discussed throughout the paper. The word limit is 300 words for each week/ topic entry (except for first and last teaching week and semester break, totaling 10 entries). Reflections should be based on at least one reading per topic each week from the reading list. The purpose of the learning journal is to enable students to concisely reflect upon the problems discussed each week and to ensure relative weighting with other assessment components. Material in excess of the 300 word limit per entry will not be marked.

Entries in the Learning Journal are due every Friday (first entry is due on paper week 2, last entry is due on paper week 11) and must be submitted electronically through Moodle.


The test is worth 30% of student's total marks and is held at the conclusion of the course during the exam period. The date of the test will be advised at a later date. The test will consist of a mix of short and long answer questions.

Long answers will be assessed according to how well they:

  • address the question which was asked;
  • involve sound reasoning, and relevant supporting evidence;
  • give examples that are relevant and show student's understand of the question;
  • have a clear and logical structure (e.g. it should progress logically from introduction, to main body, and conclusion, with the linkages between parts of the argument clearly shown);
  • use concepts correctly; and,
  • show legible writing, correct spelling, grammar, & punctuation.

A lecture in the last week of the course will be a revision session to prepare for the final test.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Moodle-based Lessons (x 10)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Workshops (x 5)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Learning Journal entries (x 10)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Test
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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1. Course Readings List on Moodle and on course readings list via Library.
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Recommended Readings

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Further recommended reading will be advised during semester.
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Online Support

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This paper is supported through Moodle http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz/.

Important information about the paper will be provided to students via Moodle. Lecture notes will be posted prior to online lectures. Student's grades will also be accessible through Moodle once work has been assessed.

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The work for this course involves completing Moddle-based readings and lessons and participating in workshops. Expected workload for the paper is an average of about 9-10 hours per week.
Silvia Serrao-Neumann is the course convenor of the paper and will be available to answer course queries. Students having difficulty with
completing their assignments on time or understanding lectures, should seek an appointment with the course convenor.
All lecture material will be available on Moodle.

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