Master of Urban Design

 
Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

Errata
Item Errata Date
1.

The following unit has been cancelled for 2021:

PLAN9049 Foundations of Informal Urbanism

21/1/2021
2.

Sessions have changed for the following unit:

PLAN9073 GIS Based Planning Policy and Analysis
The unit is no longer available in Intensive November

21/1/2021

Urban Design

Master of Urban Design

Students must complete 72 credit points, including:
(a) minimum 48 credit points of core units of study
(b) maximum 24 credit points of elective units of study.

Graduate Diploma in Urban Design

Students must complete 48 credit points, including:
(a) minimum 30 credit points of core units of study which must include ARCH9001 or ARCH9002
(b) maximum 18 credit points of elective units of study.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Design

Students must complete 24 credit points, including:
(a) minimum 18 credit points of core units of study comprising of ARCH9100 and either ARCH9001 or ARCH9002
(b) maximum 6 credit points of elective units of study.

Core units

ARCH9100 Urban Design Foundations Studio

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Duanfang Lu Session: Semester 1a,Semester 2a Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Students may apply for a waiver for this unit based on their academic and/or professional experience.
This unit is to introduce students to key concepts and basic principles in urban design through lectures and studio-based tutorials. By taking full advantage of the neighbourhoods around campus as our laboratory for urban design analysis and intervention, this unit will walk students through deep experiential, historical, and spatial study and engagement with Sydney as a place and urbanity. Through the critical interrogation of selected study areas, this unit will help students understand the urban environment where human beings operate physically, culturally and socially. The studio will engage students with critical thinking, collaborative work and constructive discussion, all of which will serve as the foundation on which the assessments will be based. Emerging out of a process of enquiry about the city, students will develop critical observation, visual documentation, map reading, systematic urban analysis, basic urban intervention, and visual, verbal and written communication skills. These skills will help students to participate with effectiveness in the urban design studios and integrated urbanism studio.
ARCH9063 Urban Form and Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Donald McNeill Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: ARCH9100 Prohibitions: ARCH9021 Assumed knowledge: Some prior study of architectural, urban or planning history. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The unit explores the complexity and evolution of city form and the influences of planning and design processes and practice. Using Australian and international case studies, the unit will investigate how urban functions, cultural values; technological, socio-economic and political circumstances; and design theory and practice shape the form of specific cities over time.

The course is offered with a strong commitment to understanding the relationship of urban design and form to Aboriginal culture and Country including practical examples of how to embed these into practice. It also notes the importance of understanding how concepts such as grids, place names, land ownership patterns, and `expert¿ approaches to land and water management have been part of colonial planning systems, and thinking through ways of decolonising these approaches.
PLAN9068 History and Theory of Planning and Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Donald McNeill Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: PLAN9031 or ARCH9062 or ARCH9031 or MARC4201 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The aim of this unit is to provide students with a range of concepts and methods which can be used to interpret the urban form and structure of cities. Organised thematically, and using a wide range of empirical examples from both Australia and internationally, students will encounter a range of theories and concepts that explain urban change and how it has impacted on theories of urban planning and design. Themes may vary slightly from year to year, but are likely to include the study of tall buildings, technology and cities, sustainability, mobilities, water infrastructure and urban design practice. The urban history and theory of Aboriginal urban planning, policy and design issues is a key element of the course. Students will be able to: critically review and interpret key planning and urban design texts/papers; construct and present basic arguments orally and in conjunction with graphics/images in illustrated documents; access and engage with key literature and other sources of knowledge; and use basic conceptual frameworks about planning arguments and stories for both the overlapping fields of urban planning and urban design. Interpreting the built form around you from an historical lens is an important learning outcome.
ARCH9001 Urban Design Studio: Urban Precinct

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Deena Ridenour Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: ARCH9100 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Design studios are the heart of the urban design program. Values, knowledge and skills acquired in other units and from previous experience are supplemented and enhanced, and applied creatively to both the investigation and development phases of design projects at an urban scale.
Urban Design Studio: Urban Precinct is concerned with developing design propositions that respond to the changing environmental, economic and social context of the city and that challenge 'business as usual' practice. Projects are carefully chosen to explore large complex urban areas, such as urban centres, waterfront precincts, renewal precincts, institutional campuses or major infrastructure interventions. The studio will generate proposals for major urban structures, spaces and forms which are rigourously informed by design methodologies.
Inter-disciplinary group work is an essential part of the studio and integrates the broad range of backgrounds and skills of the students while mimicing the reality of practice.
The central aim of this unit is to develop illustrative, writing and verbal skills which will enable students to carry out urban design projects such as the preparation of strategies, frameworks, master plans and public domain concepts in a professional and visionary manner. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative, design and presentation skills and abilities on projects of major urban scale. Assessment may also embrace abilities to prepare and interpret project briefs, program proposals and work in groups.
ARCH9002 Urban Design Studio: Urban Project

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Deena Ridenour Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: ARCH9100 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Design studios are the heart of the urban design program. Values, knowledge and skills acquired in other units and from previous experience are supplemented and enhanced, and applied creatively to both the investigation and development phases of design projects at an urban scale.
Urban Design Studio: Urban Project is concerned with the design development for a local urban project that explores how a specific design intervention can be a catalyst to broader urban change. Projects are carefully chosen to explore complex local urban sites or groups of sites and to generate proposals for public and private building types, streets, spaces and transport infrastructure that are rigourously informed by design methodologies. Implementation through staging, development controls and guidelines will also be addressed.
Inter-disciplinary group work is an essential part of the studio and integrates the broad range of backgrounds and skills of the students while mimicing the reality of practice.
The central aim of this unit is to develop illustrative, writing and verbal skills which will enable students to carry out urban design projects such as the preparation of frameworks, master plans and public domain concepts in a professional manner. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative, design and presentation skills and abilities on projects of local urban scale. Assessment may also embrace abilities to prepare and interpret project briefs, program proposals and work in groups.
ARCH9092 Urban Report

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Nancy Marshall Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: Students must have completed 48 credit points of study in their graduate program. Prohibitions: ARCH9060 or PLAN9018 or PLAN9010 or PLAN9011 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The Urban Report is a substantial project involving research conducted over one semester. It will usually take the form of an illustrated report (between 5,000 and 10,000 words) on an approved subject of the student's choice. The aim of the unit is to allow students to deepen their understanding, and methodological approach in relation to an aspect of urbanism of the student's choice and with the approval of the program director. The subject may be of a practical bent (e.g. review or preparation of an urban design, or urban development project) or more theoretical (e.g. review of a conceptual viewpoint), or it may occupy the middle ground (e.g. exploration of a contemporary issue or review/testing of a method). If of a more practical nature, its theoretical underpinning should be explicit. If more theoretical, it should refer to its practical implications. The report is an opportunity to advance knowledge and skills in a particular area of urbanism and so develop a 'professional edge'. The aim of the report is to enhance abilities and knowledge essential to the practice of urbanism.

Electives

Electives may be chosen from the list below, or from any postgraduate units in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, or, with the permission of the Associate Dean, from any other postgraduate course in the University subject to availability and permission from the relevant Unit of Study Coordinator.
ARCH9080 Urban Ecology, Design and Planning

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Adrienne Keane Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: PLAN9048 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will introduce the conceptual bases for sustainable development and explore how principles of sustainability can be introduced into land use planning and urban design, including environmental management and multi-criteria evaluation methodologies in three modules. The unit will examine the evolution of urban areas in relation to their biophysical setting. This will lead to an understanding and appreciation of the urban ecology of a city in terms of the flows of materials, resources and energy, and the challenges presented by climate change and peak oil. The principles of sustainability and the history and development of concepts of urban sustainability will be demonstrated through case studies. Assessments will explore a student's learning of the methods and frameworks for evaluating and measuring sustainability that are introduced in this unit.
PLAN9063 Strategic Planning and Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adrienne Keane Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: PLAN9027 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The aim of PLAN9063 Strategic Planning and Design is to provide students with grounding in the core knowledge and skills needed to practice as a contemporary planner. A key emphasis in the unit is understanding the skills needed to undertake strategic planning at a range of levels (both process and content). Strategic planning in one form or other is a generic process that underpins much of the work that planners and urban designers are involved in at varying spatial levels. This course will provide students with the basic skills required to function as a planner and it will also act as an introduction to a number of other units in the program by highlighting the connection between the work of a planner and the need to understand a range of different knowledge and skill areas. Basic skills may include basic demographic analysis, graphic presentation, governance audits, consultation strategies and survey tools, economic analysis, and GIS. In addition, this Unit of Study will enable students to develop generic skills such as group discussion, productive group work and organisation, negotiation skills and information literacy skills. This is an introductory core unit for the Urban Planning degree, a specialisation unit for the Master of Urbanism and an elective for the Urban Design degree.
PLAN9045 Economics for the Built Environment

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laurence Troy Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The aim of PLAN9045 Economics for the Built Environment is to introduce the key economic theories, processes and techniques used by contemporary urban planners. This unit of study has two parts. In the first part of the unit, students are introduced to the economic drivers shaping city and regional development outcomes, and the location and form of different land uses and how they evolve. The second part of the unit equips students with core technical skills, including project evaluation, economic impact analysis, development feasibility, and introductory aspects of public finance. A key focus of the course is to equip students with a very good working knowledge of property feasibility analysis.
PLAN9064 Land Use and Infrastructure Planning

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Nancy Marshall Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assumed knowledge: ARCH9100 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is concerned with land use and infrastructure and where that intersection occurs and how it influences the shifting urban form through planning processes. The unit emphasises conceptual knowledge, with examples and case studies to demonstrate the application of land use concepts and infrastructure planning in best practice. Students are encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically in developing an understanding of, and practical knowledge about all different types of infrastructure operating at different scales: national / state / metropolitan / district / local / site.
PLAN9049 Foundations of Informal Urbanism

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Paul Jones Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit is designed to fill a significant gap in the evolution of the urban and regional planning curriculum by focusing on the concept of informal urbanism in a developing and developed country context. This unit is designed for planners and urban designers who may wish to work in the field of international development and/or who have an interest in better understanding urbanisation, especially informal urbanism in the Asia and Pacific Region. The unit is run in both semesters, one as an overseas field trip and the other as an intensive in Sydney. The international field trip will be a collaboration with the highly esteemed Insititute of Technology Bandung (ITB), Indonesia, and is based around the theme of informal urbanism as expressed in a kampung (informal settlement). For the intensive in Sydney, students from ITB will participate in class activities.
By the end of this unit of study you should have an understanding of the (i) key readings on the dimensions of informal urbanism, (ii) key policy themes of poverty, spatial justice, and environmental sustainability, (iii) tools to explore the nature of informal urbanism, including understanding patterns and types of urban form and structure and their adaptation and transformation at the local level, and (iv) cross-cultural considerations in planning and urban design. The unit reflects the increasing internationalisation of Australian planning practice in contributing to better managing urbanisation, especially within the Asia and Pacific Region. It caters to the needs of local and international students intending to work on urban and regional planning projects internationally and wishing to better understand how the city is made and shaped including understanding dimensions of urban complexity in the formal and informal city.
Textbooks
Jones, P. (2016). Unpacking Informal Urbanism - Planning and Urban Design Education in Practice. Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB) University Press (Penerbit); Indonesia
ARCH9074 Principles of Heritage Conservation

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Cameron Logan Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: ARCH9003 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will introduce students to key controversies, theoretical propositions and practical innovations that have driven the historical development of heritage conservation. The unit covers ideas and examples from the ancient world until the present, with the main focus being on the period from 1850 until today.
The aim of the unit is to help students to arrive at a clear understanding of the concepts and practices that define heritage conservation and to promote a strong historical perspective on the field. Students will consider, for example, the meaning of, and differences between, conservation, restoration and reconstruction; the different forms of historical value that inform our place protection efforts; the function of conservation protocols such as the Venice Charter, Burra Charter and Hoi An Protocols; the importance of advocacy and activism; the growth of world heritage and its relationship to human rights and cultural rights; and the ideas of cultural landscape and historic urban landscape. The unit also challenges students to think about areas of practice and theory that challenge traditional approaches and knowledge such as indigenous heritage and the conservation of modernism.
ARCH9075 New Design in Old Settings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Cameron Logan Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
New Design in Old Settings explores the architectural approaches, conservation methodologies and planning issues relevant to situations when new meets old in the built environment. The unit highlights architecturally innovative reuse projects, exemplary additions and alterations to historic places, and architecturally distinguished new buildings in historic precincts and landscapes. We also examine historic theming, facadism and some of the design ideas and planning compromises that have blighted historic places.
The aims of the unit are to develop an understanding of the history of designing and building new buildings in old settings; to develop an understanding of the major theoretical and practical issues of designing new buildings in old settings; and to develop an ability to assess critically the appropriateness of new development in culturally significant places. Students will develop analytical skills in assessing design strategies and develop confidence in making critical judgements about design propositions in historically significant settings.
ARCH9093 Integrated Urbanism Studio

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Pranita Shrestha Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: Students must have completed 48 credit points of study in their graduate program Assumed knowledge: Equivalent to 48 credit points in the degree Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Integrated Urbanism Studio is a capstone unit for the Master of Urbanism. The studio will be focussed on "real world" strategic urban issues and the need for urbanists to formulate a compelling 'urban proposition' to convince the public, stakeholders, politicians and investors of the benefits of a particular approach or scheme. The studio will emulate practice by working with or being exposed to community groups, developers, politicians and practitioners to develop an appreciation of the strategic, economic, social and environmental context in which urban design and planning occurs. The specific intention will be to recognise and overcome the limitations imposed by professional 'silos' and give regard to, and reconcile the multitude of perspectives that are characteristic of the urban condition. Students will be working to develop abilities and skills (investigation, analysis and interpretation, design development and presentation) that enables them to prepare strategies, frameworks, concepts and master plans in a professional and visionary manner. Familiarity with economic, social and environmental factors, analytic and communication techniques will be assumed from previous units.
Textbooks
Exemplary planning documents, development strategies prepared by local government and state government agencies from NSW, other states and overseas will be used as reference material. Readings will be available via the elearning site prior to and during the classes.
PLAN9073 GIS Based Planning Policy and Analysis

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laurence Troy Session: Intensive June,Intensive November Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit is concerned with using GIS to analyse planning problems and undertake policy analyses. The unit will include a comprehensive introduction to mapping and the use of GIS: data structures, topology, projections, spatial and non-spatial queries. Australian census products will be described and students will be expected to analyse census statistics using GIS maps. The role of GIS in coordinating various forms of information for policy analyses, preparing master plans, in presenting information for development control, impact analyses and wider management purposes will also be covered. The use of GIS to support visualisation will be covered, using examples about designing development projects and planning instruments. Finally, the various forms of distributing maps to the public and policy-makers will be discussed. The unit integrates the hands-on learning of GIS software with a `research-based` approach. Teaching will involve short lectures, studios and workshops. Assessment will be on a series of smaller assignments and a larger report prepared by each student that integrates GIS-based (and other) graphics into a coherent policy analysis. In addition, each student will make oral presentations on their work in studio sessions.
PLAN9075 Urban Data and Science of Cities

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Somwrita Sarkar Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assumed knowledge: Basic mathematics and statistics; all required programming and mathematics needed for the unit will be taught from the basics. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The discipline of Science of Cities examines relationships between the physical form of cities and the social, cultural, economic, technological and spatial processes that give rise to this form. As technology evolves and changes, so do the ways in which we make and think about our cities. In this era of unprecedented and fast-accelerating changes, digital technologies are reshaping the ways in which we measure, sense, conceive of, design and plan for our cities. As a result, we collect and store large amounts of data on every aspect of the urban environment, but it is as yet unclear how this data can be used to inform evidence based planning and urban management. In particular, it is unclear how these quantitative methods and data driven frameworks may be best leveraged for planning and designing just, equitable, sustainable, liveable, and affordable cities. This unit of study will introduce the principles of science of cities and the tools, methods, algorithms and techniques on big urban data that enable transformative ways of thinking about, designing and planning for a fast urbanizing world. Fundamentals of programming with big urban data will be introduced through the Python programming language (Jupyter Notebooks) and open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. Emphasis will be placed on developing understanding of urban structure and fast and slow dynamics shaping this structure, and on the use of data to develop performance indicators for cities, in particular targeting the spatial and temporal measurement accessibility, affordability, segregation, displacement, social exclusion, and disadvantage. This transdisciplinary unit of study will be relevant for designers, planners, engineers, geographers, economists, physicists and data scientists interested in modelling urban systems.
Textbooks
Specific references for books, data and journal articles provided through the unit.
ITLS5100 Transport and Infrastructure Foundations

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: TPTM6241 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
Transport and infrastructure plays an important role both in terms of personal mobility as well as accessibility of businesses and their transportation needs. This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to the role of transportation and infrastructure within the economy. The key concepts and theories needed for management of transport and infrastructure are introduced along with the analysis and problem-solving skills needed for confident decision making. In providing the foundational knowledge for students in transport and infrastructure, the unit also introduces students to the professional communication skills needed. Examples and case studies are drawn from all modes of transport and infrastructure.