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PLAN435 Planning Case Study I

Group study of a local or regional planning issue; data collection, analysis and report writing.

PLAN 435/535 is based on specific case studies of planning issues in urban and/or rural settings and is undertaken by both first- and second-year students. Student groups act as honorary consultants to the client, typically a local authority within New Zealand. Each student group works a local planning problem or concern identified by the client agency to analyse the issues involved, identify options for addressing these and formulate recommendations for implementation.

Paper title Planning Case Study I
Paper code PLAN435
Subject Planning Studies
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,307.76
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,517.77

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Required for MPlan.
Teaching staff

Planning Coordinator: To be advised
Teaching: Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett

Paper Structure

The paper mainly comprises lecture sessions, group study sessions, a week-long fieldtrip and a formal presentation to the client at the end of the research process.

All class members are assigned to one of a number of small groups and will operate as a member of that group for the duration of the paper until the submission of the final report. This exercise will involve meeting as a study group on a regular basis (once or twice a week) for the project duration. In addition to study group sessions, regular lectures are held to support the different components of the research process.

The paper is 100% internally assessed, consisting of a group report (90%) and a formal group presentation (10%).

Teaching Arrangements

The paper has one 1-hour class per week.

Resources are provided to students as and when required as the paper progresses.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper, all students in PLAN 435 must demonstrate acquisition of the following:
  • Ability to develop a coherent research project in conjunction with an external agency
  • Appreciation of the significance of biophysical and socioeconomic interrelationships within environmental systems as a cause of environmental problems and as a consideration in developing planning policies
  • Appreciation of the different political, administrative and statutory contexts within which planning takes place
  • Communication and networking skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Independent research and practical planning skills and an ability to carry out a successful research project
  • Ability to analyse planning issues and to formulate policy recommendations to address these

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9-16, 18-22, 28-34, 36-41