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Course Description

Person writing value concepts on board

The course links the body of planning theory to the Canadian experience of local planning practice. It provides an introduction to the issues of planning in the public realm and its role in implementation of the development of municipalities through both growth as well as decline. This is achieved by examining planning theory and reflecting on the context and process of planning in practice in Canada. The student in the course will come to understand both the role of theory in guiding practice as well as the role of practice in evolution of theory. This understanding is critical to the role of the professional planner in facilitating local development and managing change in the public interest.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Explain how planning theory enhances appreciation of practice and how practices lead to evolution of theory;
  2. Identify the theoretical basis of the legislative and regulatory requirements of the planning and Municipal Acts;
  3. Describe how to incorporate appropriate planning methods into practice based on the theory that fits the situation; and
  4. Describe the evolution of planning theory based on the course and how that allows you to understand the evolution of planning as it is practiced in Ontario and Canada.

Course Topics

  • History and Context
  • Development of Planning
  • Institutions Roles, Power and Justice: Governance and Planning
  • Local Planning
  • Planning in Rural, Remote and Resource Based Communities
  • Rational Planning
  • Planning in Aboriginal Communities
  • The theory of Trans-Active Planning
  • Strategic and Adaptive Planning
  • Advocacy Planning
  • Trends and Futures for Planning Theory

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 2.00 credits


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Group Discussion 15% 1, 2, 3
Course Paper Proposal 15% 1, 2, 3, 4
Course Paper 35% 1, 2, 3, 4
Take-Home Final Exam 35% 1, 2, 3, 4
Total 100%  



Additional Technical Requirements

This course uses Zoom as a video communication tool. A Webcam, a microphone to record video, and headphones/speakers to play back the recording are also needed. In order to use Zoom, you must meet the following technical requirements:

  1. An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  2. Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
  3. A webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in


Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
Planning Theory and Practice
September 10, 2020 to December 04, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note: If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above. You must register through WebAdviser.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) There is no required textbook for this course.
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