Course code APL360

APL360 Planning for sustainable urban regions

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

Course responsible: Jin Xue
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallels. This course has teaching / evaluation in Spring parallels.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2010H
Preferential right:
Course contents:
The overall aim of the course is to introduce students how urban regional planning can enhance sustainable development through land use planning, transport infrastructure provision, conservation strategies, and location of settlements and industry. The course will introduce urban sustainability debates and provide a critical perspective on the dominant urban sustainable development paradigm; discuss the mechanisms through which planning strategies can have positive and negative impacts on both environmental and social sustainability; and stimulate creative planning thinking and approaches to mitigate climate change and improve social justice. As a base for this, key normative elements in the concept of sustainability will be discussed. These topics will be illustrated by focusing on key spatial elements at the urban regional level including urban structure and travel behavior, transport infrastructure provision and evaluation, and residential development.
Learning outcome:
The aim is that students, upon completing the course, have acquired knowledge about, understanding of and skills in the use of relevant concepts, theories and planning strategies relevant to spatial development in urban regions, and that they are able to produce analyses, critique and proposals for solutions concerning land use and transport infrastructure in urban regions, especially in a perspective of sustainability, climate and social justice.
Learning activities:
Lectures, seminar, project work, field work.
Teaching support:
Each project group will be assigned a supervisor to facilitate their group work. Students have the opportunity of a two-hour weekly scheduled consultation time with the course responsible. The course responsible will normally be available via email regardless of the consultation hours.

Mandatory literature


Brenner, N., Marcuse, P. & Mayer, M. (2009): Cities for people, not for profit. City, 13(2):176 -184. (8 p.)

Harvey, D. (2008): The right to the city. New Left Review, 53:23-40. (23 p.)

Christaller, W. (1933/1966): Central Places in Southern Germany, s. 14-83. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966. (70 p.)

Davoudi, C. (2008). Conceptions of the city-region: a critical review. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Urban Design and Planning, 161(2), pp. 51-60. (10 p.)

Dicken, Peter, 1990: Spatial organisation of economic activities: a Simplified model, Chap 1. In: Dicken, Peter, 1990: Location in space, s. 15-48. (34 p.)

Theme 1: Land use and transport

Hägerstrand, T. (1970). What about people in regional science? Papers of the Regional Science Association, 24, 7, 21. (15 p.)

Næss, P. (2015). Built Environment, Causality and Travel. Transport Reviews, 35 (3), pp. 275-291. (17 p.)

Næss, P. (2012): Urban form and travel behavior: experience from a Nordic context. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 5:21-45. (25 p.)

Næss, P., Næss, T. & Strand, A. (2011): Oslo¿s farewell to urban sprawl. European Planning Studies, 19(1): 113-139. (27 p.)

Ristimäki, M. & Söderström, P. (2015). Development of the Urban Form in Helsinki and Stockholm metropolitan regions. Paper presented at the 7th Nordic Planning Research Symposium, Stockholm, August 20th ¿ 22nd 2015.

Banister, D. (2008): The sustainable mobility paradigm. Transport Policy, 15: 73¿80. (8 p.


Theme 2: Transport planning and elucidation

Wegener, M. (2014): Land-Use transport interaction models. In: FISCHER, M. M. & NIJKAMP, P. (eds.) Handbook of Regional Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. s. 741-743. (3 p.)

Brems et al. (2007): Trafikmodeller. Arbejdsnotat til  infrastrukturkommisionen, s. 1-14. Lyngby: Danmarks tekniske universitet. (14 p.)

Nicolaisen, Morten Skou; Driscoll, Patrick Arthur (2014): Ex-post evaluations of demand forecast accuracy: A literature review. Transport Reviews, 34(4): 540-557. (18 p.

Næss, P. & Strand, A. (2015). Traffic forecasting at ¿strategic¿, ¿tactical¿ and ¿operational¿ level: A differentiated methodology is necessary. disP, 51(2): 41-48. (8 p.)

Banister D. & Hickman R. (2012). Thinking the unthinkable. Transport Policy, 29:283-293. (11 p.)

Theme 3: Sustainability-oriented planning in urban regions

Holgersen, S. & Malm, a. (2015). Green fix¿ as crisis management. Or, in which world is Malmö the world's greenest city? Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 97, pp. 275¿. (20 p.)

Xue, J. (2014): Sustainable housing development: decoupling or degrowth? A comparative study of Copenhagen and Hangzhou.  Environment and Planning C, 33: 620-639. (20 p.)

Xue, J. (2014): Is eco-village/urban village the future of a degrowth society? An urban planner¿s perspective. Ecological Economics, 105: 130-138. (9 p.)

Xue, J.; Walnum, J.; Aall, C. & Næss, P. (2016). Two Contrasting Scenarios for a Zero-Emission Future in a High-Consumption Society. Sustainability, 9, 20; doi:10.3390/su9010020.

Fainstein, S. (2009): Chapter 1. Planning and the just city. In: P. Marcuse, J. Connolly, J. Novy, I. Olivo, C. Potter & J. Steil (eds.), Searching for the Just City: Debates in Urban Theory and Practice, 19-39. London, Routledge. (21 p.)


Supplementary literature (partly in Norwegian-language)

Batten, D. (1995): Network Cities: Creative Urban Agglomerations for the 21st Century. Urban Studies, 32(2)313-27. (15 p.)

Bertaud, A. (2004): The Spatial Organizations of Cities: Deliberate Outcome or Unforeseen Consequence? World Development Report 2003, commissioned by Christine Kessides. (26 p.)

Börjeson, L., Höjer M., Dreborg, K., Ekvall, T. & Finnveden, G. (2006): Scenario types and techniques: Towards a user¿s guide. Futures 38: 723-739. (17 p.)

Cervero, R. (2001): Efficient urbanisation: economic performance and the shape of the metropolis. Urban Studies, 38: 1651-1671. (21 p.)

Davidson, D. & P. (2017) Transport Modelling. Your primary source transport modelling. Available from (18 p.)

Dodson, J. & Sipe, N. (2008): Shocking the suburbs: urban Location, homeownership and oil vulnerability in the Australian city. Housing Studies, 23: 377-401. (24 p.)

Engebretsen. Ø. & Gjerdåker, A. (2012): Potensial for regionforstørring, kapittel 1 og 7 (s. 1-5 og 72-74). TØI-rapport 1208/2012. Oslo: Transportøkonomisk institutt. (8 p.)

Gjerdåker, A. & Lian, J. (2008): Regionale virkninger av infrastrukturinvesteringer ¿ en litteraturstudie. Oslo: TØI, 989/2008. (Sammendraget og kap. 1-3, dvs. s. I-II og 1-21) (23 p.)

Higdem, U. (2012): Regional planlegging. Kap. 6 i Årsæther, N.; Falleth, E.; Kristiansen, R. & Nyseth, T. (red.): Utfordringer for norsk planlegging - kunnskap, bærekraft, demokrati (pp. 102-120). Kristiansand: Høyskoleforlaget. (19 p.)

Höjer M., Gullberg, A. & Pettersson, R. (2011): Backcasting images of the future city¿Time and space for sustainable development in Stockholm. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 78: 819¿834. (16 p.)

Høyer, K. G. & Næss, P. (2001): The ecological traces of growth: economic growth, liberalization, increased consumption¿and sustainable urban development? Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 3(3): 177-192. (16 p.)

Karlstad, S. (2009): Sentraliseringstendenser i norske regioner ¿ befolkning og næringsliv. Plan, 2: 8-13. (6 p.)

Lang, R.,& LeFurgy, J. (2003): Edgeless cities: examining the Noncentered Metropolis. Housing Policy Debate, 14(3): 427-460. (34 p.)

Langdalen, E. (1994): Arealplanlegging: Form, funksjon, fellesskap, kap. 7 og 8 (s. 91-108). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. (18 p.)

Medby, P. & Barlindhaug, R. (2009): Sentraliseringens virkninger i regionale boligmarkeder. Plan, nr. 2/2009, s. 24-27. (4 p.)

Minken, H. (2005): Transportmodeller, forutsetninger, norsk praksis. Oslo: Transportøkonomisk institutt. (22 p.)

Næss, P. & Xue, J. (2016): Housing standards, environmental sustainability and social welfare. In: Næss, P. & Price, L. (eds.) Crisis System: A Critical realist and critical environmental critique of contemporary economics, pp. 130-148 London: Routledge. (19 p.)

Næss, P. (2016). Built Environment, Causality and Urban Planning. Planning Theory & Practice, 17(1), pp. 52-71.

Næss, P. (2011): New urbanism, or metropolitan-level centralization? A comparison of the influences of metropolitan-level and neighborhood-level urban form characteristics on travel behavior. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 4: 25-44. (20 p.)

Næss, P., Nicolaisen, M. S. & Strand, A. (2012): Traffic forecasts ignoring induced demand: a shaky fundament for cost-benefit analyses. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 12(3): 291-309. (19 p.)

Onsager, K. & Selstad, T. (red.) (2004): Regioner i utakt, Del 1: Teori og begreper (dvs. kapittel 2: Regionbegrepet og kapittel 3: Teorier om regional utvikling). Trondheim: Tapir akademisk forlag. (37 p.)

Plansamarbeidet Regional plan for Oslo og Akershus (2015): 6-65. (59 p.)

Solheim, H. et al. (2005): Konseptutvikling og evaluering i store statlige investeringsprosjekter, kap. 1-4 og 7-8. Trondheim, NTNU, IBAT, Concept rapport 4. (30 p.)

Styret for Osloregionen (2008): Samordnet areal- og transportstrategi for Osloregionen, s. 3-13. Oslo: Prosjektgruppen fra fylkeskommuner og delregioner. (11 p.)

Vegdirektoratet (2014): Konsekvensanalyser. Veiledning. Håndbok. (Kap. 1-4, dvs. s. 9-65.) Oslo: Vegdirektoratet. (57 p.)

Xue, J. (2016): Arguments for and against economic growth. In: Næss, P. & Price, L. (eds.) Crisis System: A Critical realist and critical environmental critique of contemporary economics, pp. 69-88. London: Routledge. (20 p.)

MA level
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Lectures, seminar, project work
The assessment will be based primarily on the project group assignment, but it will also take into regard active participation in the lecture sessions. The evaluation of the project group assignment will be made by an external censor. The project group assignment will be evaluated in the A-F grading scale.
Nominal workload:
450 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum Requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (general admission)
Reduction of credits:
There is no overlap with other courses.
Type of course:
Ca. 100 hours
The external censor evaluates and grades the project group assignments. A meeting will be organized where the censor gives oral feedback to the project groups attending the meeting.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått