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Where creative ideas meet the natural world

Our program explores how we interact with and shape our surroundings, and challenges you to create and maintain healthy and sustainable communities within them.



"Within one project, I can study everything"

Laura Trudell loves the fact that she can learn about everything from politics to social interactions—all while she works toward an honours degree in Environmental Design.



Learn by working in the real world

While you'll study the theory and skills in the classroom, our program encourages you to get outside and put it all into practice. Our internships even put you to work in professional settings.



From paradise to the burbs

Professor Jill Grant discovered her passion for planning while living on a South Pacific island. Now she focuses her research on something completely different: the suburbs.


Program snapshot

Top 7 reasons to study Community Design at Dal:

  1. Our professors come from a broad range of backgrounds and most are active in their professions—from planners and architects to designers and landscape architects.
  2. Our interdisciplinary approach means you’ll be taking advantage of Dal’s expertise in environmental science, environmental studies, urban history, policy management, architecture, and more.
  3. We offer five program options, including Environmental Planning and Urban Design Studies streams, and a double major option with Sustainability.
  4. Through our internships in the honours program, and research institute (Cities and Environment Unit), you get real-life, hands-on experience working on community projects.
  5. Our honours majors degrees are recognized as first professional degrees by the Canadian Institute of Planners.
  6. Our students are active in professional groups such as the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Atlantic Planners Institute, the Licenced Professional Planners of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Association of Planning Students.
  7. You’ll be part of a tight-knit program in one of the most vibrant, student-friendly cities in the country.

What will I learn?


Our courses develop the skills and knowledge you'll need to start a career in community design. From understanding the landscape to learning different design techniques, you'll be informed, enlightened, and equipped with the right tools.

What can I do?


Community Design graduates are in demand. As we recognize that our cities need to grow in different ways than in the past, and that growth needs to protect our natural resources, we turn to planners and designers to create livable environments.