Course code LAA200

LAA200 Place Development and Spatial Analysis

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Ragnhild Sletten Augustsen
Teachers: Karoline Birkeli-Gauss
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
The course is run in the autumn.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2020-2021
Preferential right:
BYREG studenter har fortrinnsrett
Course contents:

Place development is one of the most typical tasks for local politicians, planners, property developers, architects, and landscape architects. It includes building visions, strategies, and projects for local society's development. Society's spatial dimension figures strongly in place development's goal to uncover the needs and possibilities for bettering local enviornments. As such, place development is a crucial competancy in planning for sustainable development.

The course contains lectures which give an introduction to theories, methods, and tools relevant for place development in cities and rural settlements along with sustainable development at a local spatial dimension. The course's main focus is method education in mapping, analysis, scenarios, and conceptual possibility studies. Through practical groupwork, conceptual possibility studies are developed based on relationships between local and regional development tendencies in order to define goals and recommendations for future place development. The education is case-based, using a concrete area within reasonable distance from NMBU Campus Ås. The students learn to gather data from different sources: fieldwork and visit, local history, statistics, geographical information systems (GIS), policy documents, and local practitioner informants. This foundation is used to analyse how a specific place is composed (spatial structure), and how it has developed (spatial dynamics). This analysis then forms a basis for thinking in spatial scenarios, uncover possibilities, and develop local strategic visions.

The learning activites are organized through a series of project assignements for problem-based learning. These are performed individually and in groups with guidance of teachers. The students develop their communicative skills through applying different presentation- and argumentation techniques (hand drawing, maps, data visualization, diagrams, report writing, verbal and digital presentation). Colloquia and workshop activities strengthen the students skills in collaboration, interaction, understanding of roles, and constructive criticism.

The course is under development.

Learning outcome:

After completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • analyze and describe spatial composition at a place level
  • analyse and describe spatial dynamics in place development processes
  • create maps and diagrams that communicate clearly
  • recognize and visualize spatial phenomena
  • collect geodata using digital tools
  • differentiate between thematic and complex, integrated analyses
  • identify relationships between complex data, theoretical abstractions, and spatial structures
  • derive spatial scenarios and uncover development potentials
  • present future visions and alternatives for place development
  • reflect over limitations in methods, data, and proceedures
  • appreciate and give constructive criticism in problem-based learning processes
Learning activities:
Project work (PBL) supplemented with lectures on theory and methods, literature, and site visit.
Teaching support:
30 hours of supervision are scheduled in the course.

The pensum supplements coursework. Obliagory reading is a collection of scientific publications and public documents published on Canvas. Key literature includes chapters from:

Aarsæther, N. (Ed.). (2018). Plan og samfunn: system, praksis, teori. Cappelen Damm akademisk.

Burns, C., & Kahn, A. (Eds.). (2005). Site matters: Design concepts, histories, and strategies. Psychology Press.øverndepartment. (1993). Stedsanalyse veileder.

LAD102, LAD103, plus basic introduction courses in urban and regional planning, landscape architecture, or property development. Basic IT knowledge in GIS and Adobe softwares is important for the course.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Project exercises given during the course meetings, along with corresponding supervision sessions 1x each week.

Attendance at a 1-day site visit.

Deltagelse sluttgjennomgang.

Minimum 80% attendance is required. 


Students are evaluated as pass/fail based on their participation in the obligatory activities together with an evaluated portfolio.

The portfolio evaluation consists of:

- 2 individual written project assignements with illustrations of 6 pages

- 2 drawing-based pamplets from the group projects

All assignments must be delivered and show an understanding of the course's learning objectives in order to pass the portfolio evaluation.

Nominal workload:
375 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Reduction of credits:
The course content overlaps with LAA250. The course is an extention of previous course LAA251 (5 ECTS) and offers a preparation for APL200 (spring semester).
Type of course:
90 hours including 1-day site visit and otherwise approximately 40% lectures, 50% excerices and supervision, and 10% workshops.
Participants in the course must expect that the teaching will occur in both English and Norwegian.
The assignments are evaluated by an internal evaluator with a selection evaluated externally.
Examination details: Portfolio: Passed / Not Passed