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Combine creativity and practicality

Community design studies the shape, patterns, processes, and issues in human and natural communities. It explores the world as a system of interconnected and embedded communities linked by cultural and natural processes. Our courses examine ways that people can work towards creating and maintaining healthy and sustainable communities.

We place an emphasis on design as a method of learning, analyzing, and addressing problems. We also focus on reasoned, creative, and practical outcomes. Our classes develop the knowledge and skills that allow you to analyze and create solutions for community issues.

PLAN 1001
Introduction to Community Design 1

This class introduces community design by exploring the characteristics of human and natural communities, the connections between them, and the types of interventions designers and planners can make to help people create good living environments. Community design involves applying scientific and creative approaches to helping communities accommodate human needs while respecting the environment.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

PLAN 2001
Landscape Analysis

Designers and planners need to understand the influence of physical, biological, and cultural systems in landscape evolution, and the relevance of that information in analyzing land capability. Through field trips and lab work, you'll develop inventory and analysis tools for understanding environmental processes and their implications for design and planning.

Prerequisites: GEOG/ERTH 1030 (or concurrent)

PLAN 3002
Reading the City

Any city reflects the history of its topography, cultural traditions, and design interventions. This class introduces the principles, theories, and methods of urban form analysis in the local urban context. You'll explore the local urban environment to interpret what the city means, and how it comes to take the shape it does.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

PLAN 3025
Representation in Design

This class explores techniques of representation in community design work. You'll examine design drawing conventions such as orthography, paraline, and perspective projections. The class will also help you develop your awareness of design approaches and your skills in design presentation.

Prerequisites: PLAN 2002 or PLAN 2025 or ARCH 2025

Student story

Paradise in a parking lot
Chad Manley

Chad Manley looked at a neglected Halifax parking lot and was inspired by the vibrant grafitti art on its concrete walls. He thought the space would make a perfect urban park, so he designed one as a project for his Plants in the Human Landscape class. The proposal earned the North Vancouver native the inaugural Lezlie Oler Prize in Community and Environmental Design. Read the Dalnews story: Paradise in a parking lot.

"This planning competition provides a forum for students to express some real vision for the city, by working with an actual example."