Winter Session

For course dates and times, please visit the UBC Course Schedule

Non-SCARP students who wish to take SCARP courses are asked to contact

PLAN 503
Planning for Community Economic Development
Course Instructor: Will Trousdale

PLAN 503 Course Summary

This course will focus on the planning process, examining key issues such as how to get started, community engagement (stakeholders and public participation), situation assessments, visioning, issues identification, objective elicitation/structuring, option evaluation/prioritization, action planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

PLAN 508
Foundations of Planning Theory and History
Course Instructor: Leonie Sandercock

PLAN 508 Course Summary

This course explores the history of planning ideas and theories. What are the modern roots of (community and regional) planning, its colonial history, and how does this shape and perhaps limit contemporary practice? Why do we need planning? Why is it important to theorise about planning? This course covers the leading thinkers and schools of thought and is primarily focused on western ideas about planning. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 509
Urbanism as a Global Way of Life
Course Instructor: Su-Jan Yeo

PLAN 509 Course Summary

This course is structured around the intersection of two essential themes that shape the theory and practice of planning in our world today: the shift to an increasingly urban world, and the expansion of interconnectivities between places, referred to as globalization, which has had such an important influence on the nature of urbanism around the world. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 510
Environment and Sustainability Concepts for Planning Practice
Course Instructor: Jordi Honey-Rosés

PLAN 510 Course Summary

This is an introductory course to environmental and sustainability planning. Students will rapidly review the essential concepts that planners should know about environmental and sustainability planning. Topics include: an introduction to ecology; traditional ecological knowledge, ecological restoration; landscape ecology; spatial analysis and planning; the ecological footprint; ecosystem services; energy planning; climate change and adaptation; transportation policy, and environmental governance. Each of these topics will be studied within a planning context, and with the goal of preparing students to address these issues in professional practice. As a survey course, the focus will be on major themes and core principles, rather than detailed or technical analysis that might be offered in a more specialized course. However the advantage of reviewing multiple environmental topics is that students will be able to consider the connections across sustainability problems. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 517
Theory and Methods of Urban Design
Course Instructor: Erick Villagomez

PLAN 517 Course Summary

This course focuses on the fundamentals of urban design theory and methods, and its application to neighbourhood design. This is a required course for Urban Design students and a foundation for anyone interested in gaining basic urban design literacy. It meets the distributional requirement for the Urban Design and Transportation area within SCARP’s Masters level degree program. PLAN 517 is an entry point into the urban design field, from which students can build deeper understanding, with additional coursework and focused research.

PLAN 521
Quantitative Skills for Planners
Course Instructor: Stephanie Chang

PLAN 521 Course Summary

The course enables students to develop basic capabilities in working with quantitative data for analysis in professional planning practice, including the appropriate use of statistical measures. This includes developing core vocabulary, conceptual understandings, critical awareness, analytical capabilities, and computer skills. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 522
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
Course Instructor: Nora Angeles

PLAN 522 Course Summary

This two-credit course focuses on the what, why, who and how of qualitative mixed methods research design, data collection and analysis relevant to professional planning practice. This practice-based course provides beginning and more advanced students an opportunity to prepare for their professional careers. Students will learn about and apply each step of various methods and strategies in qualitative data collection and analysis useful for planning practice. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 523
The Profession of Planning
Course Instructor: Emilie Adin

PLAN 523 Course Summary

This course is built around a framing of “planning as leadership”. It explores what professional practice means, and develops the competencies and skills of leadership in students. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 524
Legal Concepts for Professional Planning
Course Instructor: Bill Buholzer

PLAN 524 Course Summary

This course is designed to familiarize planning students with the legal principles that will apply to their work as policy advisors, decision-makers and advocates. Planning law can be, as one Supreme Court of Canada judge observed in a recent case, a “dry, forbidding and not very fashionable subject”. Yet on a daily basis, Canadian courts make decisions in cases involving collisions of sometimes epic proportions between community interests in sound management of land use and resources, and private property and business interests – cases at whose core can be found the work of a planner. Plans are implemented by means of regulatory systems whose operation is governed by certain legal principles, and it’s essential that those designing and operating such regulatory systems, and beneficial that those whose activities are subject to the regulations, know the relevant law. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 525
Planning Practice Methods
Course Instructor: Mark Stevens

PLAN 525 Course Summary

This course examines/evaluates issues related to (1) community decision-making; (2) creating community plans; and (3) implementing community plans. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 526
The Planning Studio
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 526 Course Summary

The planning studio is an intensive year-long professionally oriented course in which students partner with community, municipal and private sector organizations to identify problems and propose solutions. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 527A | PLAN 527B
MCRP Internship
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 527A & 527B Course Summary

The Internship Program that provides the mechanism for students to earn academic credit for relevant work experience outside the University. An Internship is essentially a three-way partnership among the student, the agency and the School. The primary goal of the Internship Program is to assist students to develop professional skills and capabilities through guided "hands on" experience in a workplace environment while gaining academic credit. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 528A | PLAN 528B
MCRP Capstone
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 528A & 528B Course Summary

The major purpose of the Capstone is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their planning education and to synthesize their knowledge of planning. The Capstone serves as a culmination of the MCRP degree program. It allows students to articulate and demonstrate the competency they have developed in their chosen focus area, through synthesis and/or application of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities they have gained in the program. It is expected that students will be able to use the Capstone output to demonstrate their professional competency to potential employers. For students in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program only. 

PLAN 530
Affordable Housing Policy and Planning
Course Instructor: Penny Gurstein

PLAN 530 Course Summary

This course will provide an introduction to affordable housing policy and planning. The history of Canadian housing policy and programs will be examined followed by current issues and challenges faced by municipalities, regional governments, non-profit housing providers, and others. The causes and responses to homelessness will also be addressed, as well as the evolution of social or non-market housing in Canada and elsewhere. Students will undertake a major research project in partnership with a local organization.

PLAN 531
Planning for Disaster-Resilient Communities
Course Instructor: Stephanie Chang

PLAN 531 Course Summary

This course will study natural disasters from the perspective of risk analysis, risk reduction, and planning for disaster-resilient communities. The focus is primarily on Canada and the U.S. but includes disaster risk globally. 

PLAN 532
Strategic Planning: Developing and Implementing Policy Plans
Course Instructor: Ann McAfee

PLAN 532 Course Summary

The first half of the course introduces the theory and practice of developing and implementing strategic/policy plans using examples from metropolitan, city, and neighbourhood plans. A range of topics including land use, transportation, environment, economic, social, and financial directions are combined into integrated plans for sustainable futures. The course considers the challenges and opportunities of engaging broad public participation in plan preparation and implementation. The second half of the course explores techniques for writing and managing plans both at the city and regional-metropolitan levels. Classes will introduce example plan making under various governance systems including the challenge of integrating new issues such as resilience into established plans.

PLAN 533
Indigenous Planning: Ways of Being, Knowing and Doing
Course Instructor: Leonie Sandercock

PLAN 533 Course Summary

The intent of the course is to empower emerging planners by introducing substantive knowledge of contemporary Indigenous community planning, built on a foundational understanding of the political, social and cultural protocols and values, history, philosophy, social structure, traditional knowledge, and ecology of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.

PLAN 534
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Course Instructor: Bill Gushue

PLAN 534 Course Summary

This course introduces students to the theory, history and capabilities behind GIS, with customized laboratory exercises that incorporate urban design and planning themes.

PLAN 535
Transportation Planning and Analysis
Course Instructor: Alex Bigazzi

PLAN 535 Course Summary

This course covers fundamental urban travel demand modelling techniques and aims to help students understand how travel models are used in the planning process.

PLAN 542
Practical Practice: City Planning as a Craft
Course Instructor: Larry Beasley

PLAN 542 Course Summary

This course will explore the approach, roles, styles, and essential skills of planners in the normal situations of practical urban planning. Typical planning formats will be surveyed: area planning; policy planning; development management. Regulatory tools, development economics, practical urban design, and applied sustainability will be emphasized.

Current Issues in Planning – Plan Evaluation
Course Instructor: Mark Stevens

PLAN 548K Course Summary

This course examines/evaluates issues related to (1) evaluating plans. This course builds upon material on plan creation and implementation by students are exposed to in the course, PLAN 525.

Current Issues in Planning – Urban Transportation Systems
Course Instructor: Alex Bigazzi

PLAN 548L Course Summary

This course provides an overview of multi-modal urban transportation systems, including key characteristics, interactions, and analytical techniques. There are no prerequisites for the course, but some quantitative analysis is required and students should be comfortable working with spreadsheet software. This course will not be offered in the 2020 Winter Session.

Current Issues in Planning – Urban Planning and Policy in the Global South
Course Instructor: Michael Hooper

PLAN 548M Course Summary

This course undertakes a detailed examination of urban planning and policy in the Global South. The course adopts a seminar format, with most class sessions involving a discussion of readings and a group exercise, debate, role-playing scenario or guest speaker. The course’s goal is to engage in a thoughtful analysis of the place of urbanization, and urban settlements more broadly, in the diverse and rapidly changing countries that constitute the Global South. The course will address both theoretical and applied aspects of urbanization and, as a result, is relevant for students hoping to pursue professional planning work as well as those intending to engage in research on urbanization and development topics. From a theoretical perspective, the course will examine the debates that have framed the urban policy decisions taken by international organizations and national and local governments. At the same time, the course will draw on case studies and examples from around the world to provide a grounded perspective on how these policies play out in real world contexts. The course ultimately seeks to provide students with a fluency surrounding the main issues and debates in urban planning and policy, and their relationship to development, and with the critical skills to approach related topics, whether in professional or academic contexts, in an informed and analytically rigorous manner. 

The course will begin with an introduction to the historical context for urban growth in the Global South. Early course sessions will examine, in particular, colonial policies towards urban settlements and urbanization and the ways in which post-independence governments have built upon and departed from these approaches to planning. The course will then address the key policy frameworks and theoretical paradigms through which the challenges facing contemporary urban settlements in the Global South are understood and addressed. Later sessions will focus on an in-depth analysis of the principal substantive challenges facing cities in the Global South, including rural-urban migration, service delivery, rapid growth of informal settlements, displacement and urban governance. The course makes a concerted point throughout of examining areas of overlap between experiences in the Global South and North, looking in particular at parallels between urban challenges in the South and issues facing communities in North America and Europe.

Current Issues in Planning – Practical Legal Basics for Professional Planners
Course Instructor: Pat Kendall

PLAN 548O Course Summary

This is a practical “how to” course - it does not address the substance of policies or decisions, but it teaches students how to lawfully implement and execute those policies and decisions.

Current Issues in Planning – Reconciliation and Planning
Course Instructor: Maggie Low

PLAN 548P Course Summary

What is the role of planning in reconciliation in what is now known as Canada? How do planners decolonize planning?  What is Indigenous community planning? If you are interested in these questions, and have an open and curious mind, please join me in exploring the relationships between planning (as a discipline and profession) and reconciliation efforts happening in cities and communities across Canada. During our 12 weeks learning together, we will: spend time contextualizing ourselves within Indigenous and settler-colonial histories; critically examine what reconciliation means (and does not mean) and how it plays out in the ‘era of reconciliation’, learn from Indigenous planners and worldviews, and; examine what it might look for planners to decolonize their practice and genuinely contribute to reconciliation efforts through city and community planning.

Master’s Thesis
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 549C Course Summary

Research and preparation of a thesis on a topic in public policy or professional practice. For students in the Research Master's (MAP/MScP) program only. 

PLAN 550A | PLAN 550B
Directed Studies
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 550A & 550B Course Summary

In special cases and with the approval of the Director of the school, a student may study an advanced topic under the direction of a faculty member.

PLAN 553
Indigenous Law, Governance and Community Planning
Course Instructor: Crystal Reeves

PLAN 553 Course Summary

This course will introduce students to the laws within which Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and particularly in British Columbia, live, and which impact their communities and Nations. Students will gain an understanding of how law and governance inform planning with Indigenous communities.

PLAN 558
The Role of Theory in Planning Research
Course Instructor: Heather Campbell

PLAN 558 Course Summary

The instructor will offer an overview of benchmarks in the evolution of planning theory, and its relationship with political movements and transitions in governance and policy values and models, as well as principal urban theory drawn from the fields of sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies. For students in the Research Master's (MAP/MScP) program only. 

PLAN 559
Design of Planning- and Policy-Oriented Research
Course Instructor: Mark Stevens

PLAN 559 Course Summary

The purposes of this course are to develop understanding and skill in the design of empirical research used in the analysis of policy and planning problems, as well as to develop the ability to critically evaluate policy-related research products. For students in the Research Master's (MAP/MScP) or PhD program only. 

PLAN 560
Master’s Thesis Workshop
Course Instructor: Heather Campbell

PLAN 560 Course Summary

The format will be an interactive workshop. Course structure and content will include discussion on the scope of the master’s thesis in planning; the role of informing theory and relationship with the larger planning and urban studies discourses and debates; and a reading list drawn from planning, the humanities and social sciences, and urban/community policy studies. For students in the Research Master's (MAP/MScP) program only. 

PLAN 561
Seminar in Real Property Development and Planning
Course Instructor: Jay Wollenberg

PLAN 561 Course Summary

This course provides an introduction to financial analysis and market analysis for urban development projects and applications in urban/regional planning, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis.

Urban Design
Course Instructor: Erick Villagomez

PLAN 587A Course Summary

This course is designed to expose students to the fundamentals of urban design, such as issues and skills in physical planning, designing with hands-on graphic tools, verbal and graphic communication, as well as the development of conceptual tools to understand the built landscape.

PLAN 595
Facilitation, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution for Planning
Course Instructor: Aftab Erfan

PLAN 595 Course Summary

This is an experiential course, focused on building the practical skills of planners as facilitators and negotiators.

PLAN 602
Planning Theory Advanced Seminar
Course Instructor: Leonie Sandercock

PLAN 602 Course Summary

This course requires students to think deeply about the intellectual place in the field of planning. By reviewing the bodies of work of leading planning theorists of the past fifty years students will understand which streams of planning thought to identify with, and why, and begin to imagine their own trajectory in and contribution to this field. For students in the PhD program only. 

PLAN 603
PhD Colloquium
Course Instructor: Heather Campbell

PLAN 603 Course Summary

The PhD Colloquium is intended to provide a collegial setting in which students can discuss their research ideas and related issues with their peers. For students in the PhD program only. 

PLAN 649
Doctoral Dissertation
Course Instructor: N/A

PLAN 649 Course Summary

PhD Doctoral Dissertation. For students in the PhD program only.