Course code LAA251

LAA251 Spatial Structure and Dynamics, Introduction

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Melissa Anna Murphy
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
50 students in total.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel,
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2018-2019
Last time: 2019H
Preferential right:
Students from M-BYREG, M-LA, 2nd year
Course contents:

The course is based on lectures, as well as individual and/or group projects, depending on the number of students. The course provides methods education in analysing spatial structure along with the drivers and processes of place development. Principle terms of analysis regarding spatial structure and dynamics will be introduced as a perspective for evaluating processes of urbanization. Stududents will learn to map structures and agglomerations and build scenarios.

Course projects are primarily individual, but can be connected to group projects within LAA 250 - Placemaking. The work includes the presentation of spatial structure, patterns of change, and scenarios, working from a pre-chosen municipality. Individual written assignments will be given to document and evaluate the use and learning of the methods from the course. The course will also develop skills for making hand drawings, data visualizations, and GIS maps for disseminating and presenting analyses. 

Learning outcome:

At the end of this course students shall have:

A. Knowledge and understanding for:

  • the spatial structure and dynamics relevant to local society and place making;
  • the physical, functional, ecological, and sociocultural relationships that drive society;
  • the complexities of spatial development;
  • research questions connected to sustainability and development processes;
  • different scales and drivers, as they affect society and local development

B. Skills and abilities to:

  • analyse spatial data through the use of digital tools, layout maps and photographic material;
  • use analyses to construct scenarios;
  • critically reflect over urbanisation processes with the help of scenarios;
  • use scenarios for creative problem solving through visions and structural interventions;
  • perform spatial structural analyses and make them legible in interdisicplinary situations, particularly through cooperation with geographers, architects, lawyers, and political scientists;
  • reflect over the relevance of spatial structural analysis for understanding landscape and place-making.

C. General competences to: 

  • collect, understand, and analyze spatial data material;
  • understand the relationships between scenarios and planning ideals;
  • understand the relationships between complex data, theoretical abstractions, and models for spatial organization.
Learning activities:
Lectures about methods together with case-based exercises and assignments.
Teaching support:
30 hours total are designated for supervision in the course.
Various articles, book chapters, public documents, and notes from lectures. A list of recommended and obligatory literature will be announced on Canvas.
Basic courses from one of the study programmes in Landscape architecture, Urban and regional planning, or Property subjects. Basic IT knowledge is needed to carry out assignments, particularly GIS and Adobe programmes
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Obligatory activities include exercises for practicing the method and practical individual assigments (more information will be given at the course introdution),  along with plenary presentations.
Completion and submission of 2 obligatory assignments, (50% each) A-F. Both must be completed to a satisfactory level.
Nominal workload:
150 hours total
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
The course runs parallel with LAA250, can have overlapping case-material. Together the two courses offer preparation for APL250 (Spring term).
Type of course:
12 hours of lectures, 30 hours of supervision, 8 hours of presentations, 100 hours project work
Participants in this course must expect that the teaching will be conducted in both English and Norwegian.
An external sensor will evaluate the two written, individual assignments. 
Examination details: Continuous exam: Passed / Failed