Undergraduate Courses

SCARP is pleased to offer a dynamic suite of undergraduate courses that will provide a range of diverse approaches to the understanding of our urbanizing world. These courses could serve as complementary electives to various undergraduate programs of study that include but are not limited to Civil Engineering, Geography, Global Resource Systems, Media Studies, Political Science, Real Estate, Sociology, and Urban Forestry.

 

2018-2019 Winter Term 1

 

PLAN 211 - City Making: A Global Perspective

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to students with second year standing or above in any program.


In 2008 the world’s urban population tipped the scales for the first time in human history, marking the significant prevalence and propulsion of cities. As cities continue to increase in size and number, the more we need to better understand the implications of rapid urbanization on cultural and technological development; and, conversely, how “tech culture” might impact the future of cities. This interdisciplinary course will provide an introduction to the global phenomenon of city-making as explored against the backdrop of culture and technology. The course will culminate in a City-Making Ideathon Challenge—a collaborative and creative platform towards generating idea solutions to a real-world problem through hands-on transference of skills and knowledge.


 

PLAN 331 - The Just City in a Divided World

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to UBC students in 3rd year and above, regardless of prior experience. Second year students may be admitted with permission of instructor.

Cities are often posited as locations of density and agglomeration effects; they exist as necessary hubs for people to come together and share in production and exchange. However, this conception of the urban lacks any normative value. It fails to ask questions such as “Who do cities benefit?”, “Why are those benefits allocated across the population in particular ways?”, and “How do citizens, institutions, and the market negotiate urban values and trajectories?”. At the heart of these questions, and the course itself, is the notion of justice. Cities are crucibles of justice, and the craft of city-making requires understanding how spatial and cultural contingencies produce a broad range of expected and unexpected outcomes for urban citizens.


 

2018-2019 Winter Term 2

 

PLAN 221 - City Visuals

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to students with second year standing or above in any program.

An exploratory journey through the vast world of visualizing the city. How has our way of understanding and representing cities evolved from old parchment maps to dynamic real-time data capture with user-interactive visualizations of urban regions? How do we represent spatial data and what do we use, when and how? Gain a historical understanding of how the city has been represented visually, as well as the fundamentals of representation types and information design, in the service of reading and interpreting visualizations of the city. Future creators and consumers of city visuals will be exposed to the data sources and production processes behind a wide variety of representations including; videos, maps, diagrams, plans, charts, fly-through animations, interactive graphics, and comics. Experiential exercises will allow students to comprehend and use the principles for creating clear and powerful graphic narratives of the city.


 

PLAN 321 - Indigeneity and the City

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to students with third-year standing or above in any program. Second year students may be admitted with permission of instructor.

A place-based exploration of the multiple, complex and contested ways urban Indigeneity is constituted in Canada today. Through cross-disciplinary and intersectional analyses, students will engage with the concept of Canadian cities as central nodes of colonial power while also being places of Indigenous resistance, resurgence, and renewal. Through various teaching strategies such as lectures, guest speakers, presentations, videos and site visits, students will critically engage with settler colonial constructions of Indigeneity and urban space, with attention to how such narratives continue to be expressed today. These issues will be examined from an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on material from the fields of Indigenous Studies, History, Cultural Geography, Planning and Community Health Studies.


 

PLAN 341 - Smart Cities: Concepts, Methods & Design

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to students with third year standing or above in any program. Second year students may be admitted with permission of instructor.

This course is an introduction to the technological and policy challenges and opportunities in the emerging field of Smart Cities. It will begin with a high level policy analysis of current challenges facing cities around the world including population growth, urbanization, social well-being, economic development and climate change. The course will also provide an overview of key concepts, tools and frameworks to assess the sustainability impacts of Smart Cities including: urban metrics and indicators, big-data analysis, and applications in urban modelling and simulation. There will be a focus on how data-driven analytics, and technological and social innovation can help address urban policy challenges and inform evidence-based decision-making.


 

PLAN 425 - Urban Planning Issues and Concepts

Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisites: This course is open to third- and fourth-year students with interest in urban planning.

A general introduction to some of the main concepts, challenges, and debates in community and regional planning, both as a professional practice and as a process of social and political intervention in space. At its heart, planning is an action-oriented and problem-oriented activity. As a profession, planners use well-defined tools such as zoning by-laws, citizen engagement, and land-use policies to manage a wide range of issues, including transportation, housing, real estate development, community-building, and the allocation of social services, which affect our everyday lives in communities, cities, and regions. As a general practice by ordinary citizens, planning operates in complex social and political environments that are shaped by local, regional, national, and transnational forces. This course aims to critically engage students with the multiple meanings, practices, and tools that shape the field of community and regional planning.