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URP4203 Urban and Regional Planning

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Surveying & Spatial Science
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Marita Basson
Moderator: Glenn Campbell


Growth in urban and regional areas is putting pressure on infrastructure such as transportation and communications systems, water and power supply networks, and other public service facilities. It also causes environmental problems such as a decrease or degradation of natural resources and climate changes. Urban and regional planning is about effectively managing the shared spaces, the science of ordering the use of land, and the way of arranging buildings, spaces and activities so that we can have a quality living environment for working, playing and enjoining our life. Urban and regional planners are employed by different levels of government institutions (Federal, State and Local Government) as well as by private consultancy practices. They are responsible for addressing current problems using their knowledge plus stakeholder input to develop and implement urban and regional management strategies, providing viable solutions that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable now and in the future, thereby ensuring that our cities, towns and regions have vibrant economies, communities and environments.


This course provides students with an introduction to urban and regional planning as it is practiced in Australia today. It is aimed at providing those who will work in allied professions with knowledge of planning principles and practice, and the major planning issues confronting urban societies at the beginning of the 21st century. The course begins with a study of the evolution of urban and regional planning theory and practice, with an emphasis on urban design. This is followed by a review of current planning processes as they are applied at State, regional and local government levels in Australia. Considerable emphasis is placed on the legislative framework which is used by local government to prepare town planning schemes and to control land use and development. The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 is used as an example of progressive planning legislation. The course concludes with a discussion of the major urban planning and design issues that will need to be resolved in the coming years.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. discuss the evolution of urban and regional planning theory and practice, particularly those aspects relating to neighbourhood and urban design;
  2. describe the planning processes that are used in Australia at State, regional and local government levels to control land use and development;
  3. outline the legislation that is used to provide a framework for urban and regional planning in their state or country;
  4. discuss the purpose of, and the significant elements of, the Queensland Sustainable Planning Act 2009;
  5. describe in detail how the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) has been implemented in Queensland;
  6. outline the principles of performance based design;
  7. discuss the major urban planning and design issues that confront society at the beginning of the 21st century;
  8. describe one of those issues in detail;
  9. analyse the relationship or dynamic between the different stakeholders and the planning process;
  10. demonstrate an ability to learn from experience by reflecting on the design and communication process they used to complete their assignments.


Description Weighting(%)
1. History of Planning. Settlement patterns and urbanisation from ancient times to the industrial revolution. Planning responses to the growth of cities. Trends in neighbourhood planning and the implications for urban form. 15.00
2. Planning Processes. Evolution of planning practice and processes. 5.00
3. Planning Legislation. Planning legislation in Australia. The Queensland Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) and its relationship to other pieces of State legislation affecting development like the Urban Land Development Authority Act 2007. 15.00
4. Regional Planning. The aim of regional planning. Regional plan preparation, content and implementation. Examples of regional planning projects throughout Queensland, for example, the South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP 2009-2031). 10.00
5. Implementing the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). Practical application of the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS). Defining development and ecological sustainability. The standardised local government planning scheme (based on the Queensland Planning Provisions) as a framework to guide decisions about use and development of land. 35.00
6. Planning and Design Issues. Discussion of issues that may arise when planning and designing for communities, for example: neighbourhood structure, choice of housing types, urban renewal, transport networks, access to services and facilities, major centres, natural resources, agricultural land, cultural heritage, native title, and community consultation. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • No text is prescribed for this course.
  • The following items are provided as Readings in the course and will form the basis for the acquisition of knowledge: Sustainable Planning Act 2009; Your guide to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009; Queensland Planning Provisions version 2.0; South East Queensland Regional Plan (2009 2031).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Additional current Readings will be provided as and when needed. A list of current relevant websites is provided in the Introductory Booklet.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 113.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 25 Mar 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 400 40 13 May 2013
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 400 40 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. APA 6th edition is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA 6th edition style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA 6th edition style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.