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PLAN412 Spatial Planning and Development

Land development process theory and methods. This includes developing, designing and evaluating developments, site analysis, community engagement, assessment of biophysical and socio-political context and knowledge of sustainable development, strategic planning and resource management in relation to spatial planning.

This paper combines project planning, development planning and the process of evaluation in planning (i.e. the process by which the efficacy of planning practice, and development proposals in particular, is assessed). It examines the theoretical aspects of the development process, incorporating key processes such as information gathering and processing, site evaluation, environmental impact assessment, project feasibility, consultation processes and project development, design, management, and evaluation.  Students are encouraged to be creative in conceptualising and designing appropriate developments in conjunction with a local community.  Students experience and work on potential real world developments.

Paper title Spatial Planning and Development
Paper code PLAN412
Subject Planning Studies
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,409.28
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Also available for BAppSc, BAppSc(Hons), and other approved students.
Teaching staff

Course Instructor: Professor Claire Freeman

Paper Structure

The paper focuses on evaluating the process and potential outcomes of a planning project with regard to both the environmental and socio-economic processes and outcomes. Students are asked to consider forward and strategic planning issues and how planning can be used to enhance the environment whilst simultaneously taking into account economic and social considerations.

A major focus of this paper is the development process as it relates to a selected development project. The paper provides students with the opportunity to propose and explore their own development scenario in relation to this topic for the selected location.

This paper is 100% internally assessed.

Teaching Arrangements

2 x 2 hour lectures per week

The paper comprises a mix of lecture sessions, practical studio-based sessions, field visits and workshops.


A key reading is Black, P. and Sonbli, T.E. 2019. T.E. The Urban Design Process, London: Lund Humphries. 

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The paper will develop students' ability to:

  • Understand the relationship between spatial planning and site-based development
  • Examine development provisions and practise planning processes established under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • Explore and understand the development process in its constituent parts
  • Apply, as appropriate, tools such as assessment of environmental effects (AEE), site evaluation, project feasibility and community participation in the development planning process
  • Understand the roles of different stakeholders
  • Produce a professional development proposal including materials for public display
  • Critically appraise the site-based development process and its outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Demonstrate connections between strategic planning goals and on-site development
  • Appreciate the various stages in developing a project and the processes associated with each of these stages
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically appraise and apply development planning processes, tools and techniques in the planning process
  • Understand the perspectives of key stakeholders in the development process
  • Demonstrate an ability to produce a professional-quality development proposal
  • Make a critical appraisal of planning projects, their design and development
  • Propose interesting, exciting and professional developments for a range of sites and planning situations.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41