APL200 Local Planning

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Marius Grønning

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:84

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:375 hours divided into lectures, individual studies and group assigments.

Teaching and exam period:The course starts in Spring parallel. Teaching takes place in the spring parallel, with evaluation in the exam period.

About this course

A municipal plan may be viewed as a landscape project and a government tool for place-making. Norwegian municipalities organize local democracy, provide services to their communities, and represent at the same time land-use and planning authority. The municipality is required to provide a comprehensive plan, with a social component (policies, services) and a land-use component. Municipal planning authority thus constitutes the principal spatial competence in Norway, and its overall land-use plan represents its most comprehensive instrument. In this course, the students learn how to create a municipal plan (the land-use component), i.e. to shape landscapes and to control spatial development using the land-use plan as a tool. It involves a wide range of knowledge, competence, and skills:

- insight in spatial planning as a technical support for sustainable development, ie for politicians, business, and civil society in the design of cities and landscapes, in the organization of space, and in place-making processes;

- the ability to identify what issues the municipal plan can solve, and to distinguish it from what it cannot solve, and to consider how further governance can be ensured and followed up through further, more detailed projects and plans;

- to shape the landscape and steer spatial development by coordinating and controlling land-use;

- to elaborate the plan itself, the formal document, with the design of physical structures, its representation in a planning map, and the use of instruments such as legal planning provisions that grant rights to use land surfaces.

The teaching and learning process is case-based, dealing with a municipality that is chosen within reasonable distance from the NMBU campus in Ås. Practical assignments are mainly organized as group work, with progressive exercises and guidance, and with submissions, oral presentations, joint discussions, and assessments. Individual assignments are also given, in order to develop critical reflection and insight into the role of the municipal plan in the Norwegian system of spatial governance, as well as the professional role of the planner.

In the course, a concrete plan proposal is prepared, with the formal components a municipal plan consists of (strategy/work program, confection, zoning map, planning provisions, impact assessment, and risk and vulnerability analyzes). The practical work is organized in project assignments for problem-based learning, where the students assess the state of given places, and then take a stance on how a planning process can be set up in collaboration with different actors, what can be achieved through strategies, physical design and regulation, and how a plan should be elaborated in order to propose a good and understandable management document for those involved. Lectures are given on the role of the municipal plan as a management tool, on principles and theories for spatial planning, on concepts and models for recognizing spatial phenomena and processes, on the functions and instruments of the Norwegian planning system, as well as on various working methods and techniques that have been handed down throughout the planning profession's history and professional tradition.

Learning outcome

When the course is completed, the students are able to:

- recognize functions and instruments of the institutional planning system;

- describe the role of the municipal plan in the Norwegian system of government;

- interpret land-use patterns and recognize spatial phenomena and processes;

- set up an effective, inclusive and democratic planning process;

- organize and shape spatial processes and structures through control over land-use;

- choose instruments that provide control over land-use and spatial processes;

- apply methods and techniques for the municipal plan as a landscape project and place-making tool;

- draw and edit a digital maps that convey geodata and plan data in a easily understandable way;

- prepare a plan proposal according to current laws, policies, and guidelines;

- appreciate overall planning processes and planning products, especially the municipal land-use plan.

  • Lectures, excursions, literature studies, exercizes and assignments in groups and individually. ICT is required for carrying out the assignments, especially Adobe programmes, GIS and software for plan drafting and management of plan data.
  • Tutorials and supervision will be given, as well as feed back during seminars and presentations. Teachers will offer up to a total of 12 hours of supervision (per group) for the assignments. Discussions and tutoring for course literature during lectures.
  • APL108 (or equivalent), LAD102, LAA200 (for M-BYREG), LAA250 (for M-LA), EIE310 (for M-EIE). Planning studio work assigment builds on the methodology and outcome of disse emnene.
  • Comprehensive evaluation. Obligatory assignments that are submittet and assessed (more information will be given at the introdution and along the course). The overall assessment is divided in 10% written assignments, 10% planning programme, 40% definition of planning issues, 40% elaboration and presentation of plan proposal. The assessment is based on written and oral presentation.

  • An external sensor will evaluate the group assignment. The written assignment is subject to internal evaluation.
  • Excursions with site visits and plenary presentations (midterm and final presentation and possibly seminars or workshops). Division of work tasks is based on mutual, binding agreements within each work group.
  • The main part of the work is carried out in groups of 3-4 students.
  • Lectures, exercizes, assignments, planning studio work with tutoring.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)