Course code APL230

APL230 Planning Theory

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Karin Birgitta Winter, Sebastian Peters
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 gives a broad introduction to planning theory and different ways of thinking about planning. It opens up questions of the societal roles of planning, the relations between planning and politics, whom planning is thought to be for and what can be considered as ‘good’ planning. These are all questions of relevance for how one can understand the planning profession, the role of planning professionals, the craftsmanship of planning and planning ethics in the light of various theories.

The course covers leading planning thinkers and different schools of thought with a focus on planning ideas shaped in Western democracies. The course follows the trajectory of planning ideas through history with an emphasis on planning ideas and key debates of relevance today as the course attempts to integrate the spectrum of past and contemporary planning theories.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge / comprehension

  • Identify and outline what the field of planning theory entails
  • Recognize the different schools of thought of planning and their historical origins
  • Identify of the rationales behind different theories of planning  
  • Explain how the planning profession and its challenges can be viewed differently

 Application / analysis

  • Assign a role to planning theory in relation to planning practices
  • Become theoretically aware and reflective on the professional values and goals that give purpose to planning work.
  • Analyze and evaluate core values, benefits and drawbacks of different planning theories

Synthesis / evaluation​

  • Articulate cogent and persuasive arguments concerning how and why different theories of planning are relevant to planning practices
  • Elucidate your own ethical position on contemporary issues affecting the planning profession and confronting planners
  • Assess the character of ethical dilemmas that planning professionals and researchers may encounter when carrying out their professions.
Learning activities:

The learning activities are organised through focused thematic seminars and smaller assignments in preparation for these. The assignments will be both individual and group based. Discussion groups will be formed for processing the theory and developing the assignments. The timetable for these activities is provided at the start of the course.

The workload of the course will be fairly evenly distributed over the run of the course to allow for the successive digestion and processing of the content.

Teaching support:
The literature overview will be available on Canvas at course start.
APL108 (or equivalent), LAA200, APL200
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Obligatory lectures and seminars (min 80 % attendance). 
Portfolio. Pass/fail. 
Nominal workload:

250 hours allocated for lectures, seminars, required reading, written course papers and discussions.

The planning theories are presented through lectures. These will be discussed in groups  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/seminars and supervision of group work 60 hours.
The course may be experienced as highly demanding due to the reading load.
Censor approves the literature.
Examination details: Portfolio: Passed / Not Passed