Courses & Units

Planning and Managing for Sustainable Systems KGA514


Attendance at the back to back 2-day charette and 1-day student conference is a compulsory requirement for both on-campus and distance students.


This unit develops an understanding of how instruments of power and organisation can be shaped through effective planning and management, to foster sustainable systems of production and consumption. We begin our journey by examining the concept and interpretations of sustainable systems, the challenges facing socio-ecological sustainability (with a political ecology lens) and their implications on planning and management professions. With this context set, we study the components, instruments and approaches through a typical management cycle, with emphasis on the role of regulatory, economic and voluntary instruments and their implementation through governance structures and processes. We use this background to critically analyse a range of production and consumption systems to formulate adaptive solutions. Key themes include the roles of information and community engagement, responses to natural hazards, and working with natural capital. The unit uses advances in cognitive sciences, systems studies and resilience thinking in our understanding of production and consumption systems and identifying leverage points for improving sustainability at varying spatial and temporal scales. A mid-semester workshop provides a platform for collaborative experiential learning through case and problem-based exercises.


Unit name Planning and Managing for Sustainable Systems
Unit code KGA514
Credit points 25
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Vishnu Prahalad
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


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Learning Outcomes

  • examine the need for and the role of sustainable systems in addressing a wide range of human development issues concerning the production and consumption of natural resources, and evaluate the implications for environmental planning and management professions while envisaging your role in its practice
  • explain the challenges and complexities involved in planning and managing for sustainable systems, critically analyse the range of management options available and demonstrate the ability to formulate adaptive solutions;
  • appraise the effectiveness of different sustainable systems in a variety of case studies at varying spatial and temporal scales, and communicate constructively to promote equity, integrity and scientific rigour in applying and adapting tools to diverse contexts;
  • demonstrate advanced academic and professional skills including critical analysis, essay writing, literature-based research, sophisticated debate, project organisation, teamwork and group management, oral presentation, and offering/receiving feedback.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
not applicable

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.

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Teaching Pattern

Workshops (4 hours per week over 13 weeks); 2-day student conference and charette field trip.

AssessmentStudent Conference (20%)|Charette (scenario exercise) participation and presentation (20%)|4000-word Essay (40%)|Class Participation (20%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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