Courses & Units

Critical Planning: Theory, Process and Applications KGA511


This unit provides a theoretical and conceptual foundation for advanced studies in urban and environmental planning. The unit covers the diverse functions and purposes of planning. You will have the opportunity to think critically about the philosophical and historical underpinnings of planning as a discipline, and the interactions between planning theory, wider social theory and planning practice. Different approaches to planning and their relative merits are considered, especially their importance for informing planning practice. We will examine the roles and responsibilities of planners in different capacities and contexts, including government, non-government and private sectors. Different planning methods such as strategic planning, adaptive planning, and community engagement are evaluated. Australian planning institutions are also reviewed – across federal, state, regional and local planning scales – and we examine relevant policies, processes and legislation. You will participate in practical activities to develop your skills in planning, including data analysis, communication, plan evaluation, site assessment, risk management and project management. Upon successfully completing the unit you will understand what planners do, why we plan, how we plan, who is involved in planning, various planning tools and processes, and how we can tell if planning has achieved its goals.


Unit name Critical Planning: Theory, Process and Applications
Unit code KGA511
Credit points 25
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Professor Jason Byrne
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how planning theory, wider social theory and planning practice inform decision making about built and natural environment as an important human activity
  • Analyse the diverse roles and responsibilities of planners, when applying strategic planning, statutory planning, adaptive planning, and community engagement methods, tools and techniques.
  • Evaluate how historical and contemporary planning approaches are applied within capitalist economies and democratic systems of governance when responding to social environmental and economic objectives.
  • Appraise the influence of procedure, policy and process in shaping planning practice when undertaking project management, plan making and plan implementation.
  • Formulate potential responses to a contemporary planning issue using key social, environmental and economic data to inform your recommendations
  • Convey planning proposals to specialist and non specialist audiences in accordance with academic and professional standards and frameworks

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
050901 $2,075.00 $2,075.00 not applicable $5,844.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


AssessmentCity Portfolio (30%)|City Talks Seminar (30%)|Planning Report (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required unit readings will be available via MyLO. The required textbook – Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences, by Iain Hay, is availble electronically as an e-book from the library.


Recommended readings and resources will be available from MyLO.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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