Course code APL230

APL230 Planning Theory

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Daniel Galland Garcia de Quevedo
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
3rd and year students are prioritized. 
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The course covers the evolution of planning ideas and theories of planning since the post-WWII era. It explores and reflects on key debates and conflicts in the field by examining planning accounts of leading thinkers and different schools of thought. It places emphasis on how planning ideas have been shaped in Western Europe and North America and examines how and why alternative planning theories are currently emerging in both the Global North and South. 

The course further reflects on the relevance of theorising about planning, in its quest to continuously (re)define the profession, its core objectives and trajectories, its significance to planning practice as well as to how the roles of planning practitioners are being and could be shaped. As the course attempts to integrate the spectrum of past and contemporary planning theories, it similarly aims to underscore key questions that planners have formulated about ‘good planning’ as well as their responses to such questions over time.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge / comprehension

  • Identify the rationales behind different theories of planning in the light of underlying schools of thought and their historical origins.
  • Recognise key names, concepts and language within the planning discourse underlying different theories of planning.
  • Identify different theories of planning in light of contemporary urban and regional problems.
  • Interpret the role of the planner in light of different theories of planning.

 Application / analysis

  • Assign a role to planning theory when examining historical and contemporary challenges in different planning contexts. 
  • Evaluate contemporary planning projects under complex and uncertain situations in light of different theories of planning.
  • Analyse and evaluate the core values, benefits and drawbacks of different planning theories.
  • Become theoretically aware and reflective on the professional values and goals that give purpose to planning work.

Synthesis / evaluation​

  • Articulate cogent and persuasive arguments concerning how and why different theories of planning are relevant to planning practice.
  • Elucidate your own ethical position on contemporary issues affecting the planning profession and confronting planners.
  • Explain research-based planning theory while discussing scientific and professional problems related to planning theory with professionals and lay people.
  • Assess the character of ethical dilemmas that planning professionals and researchers may encounter when carrying out their professions.
Learning activities:
The learning activity is organised through a 8 focused thematic seminars and 1 workshop. The timetable for these activities is provided at the start of the course. In-class and online discussion groups will be formed for processing the theory and developing the assignments.
Teaching support:
Most of the literature will be available on Canvas.
APL108 (or equivalent), LAA250, APL250
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Obligatory lectures and seminars (80 % attendance), obligatory individual written assignments and active participation in class and online discussions.

A total of 3 individual essay assignments (pass/fail) and 1 group assignment. 

Final essay with course marks (A-F).
Nominal workload:

300 hours allocated for lectures, seminars, required reading, written course papers and online and as well as in-class discussions.

The planning theories are presented thorugh lectures. These will be discussed in groups (both online and in class) and it is expected that the students actively participate in the discussions.

Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:

Lectures and seminars: 40 hours.

Self-study includes required readings, written assignments and on-line discussions: 260 hours.

The course may be experienced as highly demanding due to the reading load.
Censor approves the literature.
Examination details: :