ENVPL101-22B (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)


: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
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Paper Description

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Urban areas are under pressure from population growth, development, natural hazards and climate change. These pressures are set to amplify in the future, and pose considerable challenges for both planning new urban areas and retrofitting existing ones.

This paper focuses on these challenges and potential opportunities in Aotearoa's urban environments, and provides a broad introduction to the scope, complexity and integrated nature of environmental planning in the New Zealand context and elsewhere.

The paper analysis a different environmental planning challenge each week. We discuss the reasons for its existence, the pressures it creates, approaches to addressing it, and future trends. For example, one week may focus on climate change impacts on cities; the next may discuss cities' colonisation legacies; a following may analyse urban sprawl and food security.

These issues are 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, and is designed to complement deeper study of planning issues in later years.

The paper's goal is to promote the need for integrated thinking in future urban planning interventions to address the critical urban issues of our time.

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Paper Structure

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The paper will be delivered through 2 teaching sessions (3 hours total) each week. The sessions include a combination of lectures, workshops, guest talks and group forums, to make them interesting, collaborative, and open to dialogue and questions.

Students should attend all scheduled sessions where possible. The final test for this paper will examine your understanding of all of the lectures.

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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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City Profile

The City Profile is a group assessment (minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 students per group) that documents how a chosen international city is tackling an identified environmental planning problem discussed in the course.

Each group will present a City Profile as an online poster / brochure containing info-graphics that summarise the group's research. The purpose of the City Profile is to enable students to work together to investigate how different cities are currently dealing with each of the problems discussed each week, and to create a visually-rich presentation of their findings.

The City Profile is worth 15% of your total grade.

Group Workshops (held in Friday classes)

Five workshops will occur throughout the semester. They are designed to extend and apply learnings from lectures and readings. Workshops will involve the application of a course topic to a hypothetical greenfield or brownfield development in Kirikiriroa-Hamilton. Their purpose is to provide an introduction to urban design / spatial planning, as well as the opportunity to work together in groups.

Learning to share ideas and collaborate is a critical aspect of environmental planning, and it is really important to get to know others and to be able to work with them kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face). These workshops, as well as the In-Class Discussion Forums (below) give you this opportunity, and will develop your collaboration skills for the City Profile project as well.

The workshop sessions will be held fortnightly during the Friday class, and each group will hand in their completed work at the end of each workshop.

Note: All sessions are live-recorded via Zoom. If you attend online you will also be expected to undertake the workshop in class using Zoom breakout rooms. However, it is highly recommended that you attend these sessions in person if possible.

Workshops are worth 30% of your total grade (6 points per workshop).

In-Class Discussion Forums (held in Friday classes)

Guest speakers will attend our Friday sessions on non-workshop weeks. Our speakers are a range of real-world practitioners and experts from related disciplines such as papakāinga housing, urban design and architecture, and their kōrero will be followed up with an in-class discussion forum, where we will break into groups to discuss key ideas from the guest speaker's presentation, ask questions etc. as a collective learning exercise.

Note: All sessions are live-recorded via Zoom. If you attend online you will also be expected to participate in the discussion forum in class. However, it is highly recommended that you attend these sessions in person if possible.

Your participation in In-Class Discussion Forums are worth 5% of your total grade.

Weekly Task

In addition to the above, you will have a small task to do every week, directly related to the content covered in that week and drawing on the material in the course Reading List. The tasks will be made available each Monday and will be due for completion by the following Monday. They include a mix of collaborative readings, quizzes and reflective journals, and they aim to heighten your interest and engagement with the course material.

The Mini Assessments are worth 20% of your total grade (2 points each).

Final Test

The Final Test will be held at the conclusion of the course. 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. A lecture in the last week of the course will be a revision session to prepare for the test.

The Final Test is worth 30% of your total grade.

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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. City Profile - group project
15 Sep 2022
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Group workshops (x 5)
  • Hand-in: In Workshop
3. In-Class Discussion Forums (x 5)
  • In Class: In Workshop
4. Weekly Tasks (x 10)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Final Test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
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 Moodle-based readings and lessons, participating in workshops and discussion forums, and completing other assessment tasks as outlined above. Expected workload for the paper is an average of about 9-10 hours per week.
Carolyn Hill 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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