School of Architecture and Planning

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GEOG 1003A Geography for Planners

The course will cover geomorphology; the geology and archaeology of Greater Johannesburg; rural development; Southern African climate. Related practical techniques will also be covered; in addition to map reading and basic research techniques. Practicals will apply to the material covered in the theoretical aspects of the course; and in specific cases these will be linked to studio work being undertaken in the BSc Urban and Regional first year programme.


APPM 1023A Mathematical Techniques for Planners

This course begins by contextualizing the study of mathematical techniques in terms of the requirements of planning. The unit then provides review of area and volume; rate, ratio and proportion, percentage, density, straight line graphs, indices and Logarithms, logarithmic graphs. The unit provides an introduction to graphic literacy, least squares and polynomial interpretation. It also provides an introduction to concepts from surveying as well as introduction to financial mathematics.


ARPL 1015A Introduction to Environmental Interpretation

This course directs the attention of students to their living environments, and to the physical, cultural, social, political and economic factors that are shaping the nature of these environments. The course introduces the student to different living environments shaped within different cultural contexts. The course introduces students to graphic and other visual skills that are used in interpreting settlements and presenting plans


SOCL 1014A Identity and Society 1

This course is an introduction to the theoretical and conceptual foundations of Sociology. It locates the discipline’s key concerns with the relationship between individuals and the social context, and examines sociological debates around modernity, social change and identity. This will be achieved by an in-depth exploration of the ideas of central classical theorists. The course also aims to develop students’ content knowledge, and reading and writing skills.


ARPL 1016A Introduction to Settlement Form and Design

This course introduces different types of settlements in urban and rural areas, the shape (or morphology) of these settlements, the idea of urban environmental design, the various elements that comprise a settlement, the different urban components and basic design elements with a focus on the development of graphic communication and the application of digital technologies


ARPL 1014A Settlements through History

The course introduces the evolution of human settlement through history around the world and presents human settlements as ever-changing cultural constructs that are always open to new interpretation and understanding. The course includes an African perspective on settlement by specifically focusing on Southern Africa and tracing the


ARPL 2006A Planning for Housing, Services, Infrastructure and Transport

This course introduces topics in relation to both rural and urban areas: national and provincial policies in relation to the above; service delivery options; financing and institutional arrangements (e.g. public-private partnerships and municipal service delivery agreements); the contribution of services and infrastructure to local economic development; inter-sectoral co-ordination; concepts such as corridors, nodes, densification; and basic principles of project management and urban land economics


ARPL 2017A Histories, Theories and Futures of Planning

The course introduces the idea and practice of planning as it evolved from the nineteenth century to the present day in South Africa and internationally. The course covers different histories of planning, illustrating both its successes and failures and the extent to which it has been shaped different contexts and factors. The intellectual basis of planning and the developments regarding theory from modernism, pragmatism, post- modernism and the impacts of collaborative and insurgent planning are reviewed. International histories and theories are interrogated from a South African perspective, examining changes in planning and the city from apartheid to post-apartheid contexts. Remove as this is an outcome of the course.


ARPL 2013A Introduction to Land Management

The course introduces land management incorporating different forms of land legal issues (cadastre, general plan, deeds registry, boundaries, rights etc.); land uses (categories, relationships between uses, thresholds etc.); land use management (zonings, schemes etc.); different approaches to land use regulation; and, technologies used in the management of land - including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), satellite-linked survey systems, aerial photos and remote sensing; relationships between land use, densities, services and transport. It introduces the challenges and critiques of formal property ownership, rights of users of land vs owners, land uses and transactions outside of and unrecognized by the formal system. The dynamics underlying informal land processes, their implications and management challenges are considered. The course explores the consequences and implications of alternative practices in recent urban land management studies


ARPL 2018A Introduction to Environmental Planning

The course provides a critical perspective on the notions of “the environment,” “sustainability,” ”sustainable development” and the “sustainable city“ and focusses on the relationship between the environment and urban development. It introduces students to the fundamentals of ecology, the notions of sustainability, and sustainable development, and, inter alia, the overall concepts of and tools associated with Environmental Assessment (EA), Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Remove as this is an outcome of the course


ARPL 2015A Contemporary Design and Environmental Issues in South Africa

This course focusses on concepts of liveability and environmental quality; the public realm and privatisation of space; inner-city redevelopment; heritage and conservation; and urban form, including concepts and approaches such as the new urbanism and the compact city. These are addressed in relation to South Africa and Johannesburg in particular.


ARPL 1025A Two and Three Dimensional Computer Aided Design and GIS

This course introduces Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information System (GIS).Students are required to use these tools, techniques and technologies for practical application in their courses and projects.


ECON 1002A Economic Concepts I A

Microeconomics: The economic problem; demand and supply; market equilibrium; elasticity of demand and supply; markets in action; utility and demand; production and costs; market structures and factor markets.


ECON 1003A Economic Concepts I B

The courses develop and extend knowledge of concepts covered in Economic Concepts IA. It also develops the theoretical basis for entry into Economic Studies II. Course content includes: consumer theory and price theory; market structure; international economics; Keynesian aggregate demand and aggregate supply theory; fiscal and monetary policy; theories of migration; human capital; labour market discrimination; growth and development; and trade integration.


CIVN 1005A Civil Engineering in Relation to Planning

This course provides students with an overview of civil engineering infrastructure and how it relates to the socio-economic conditions in South Africa and includes the following topics:

  • an overview of civil engineering, development and infrastructure;
  • the relationship between infrastructure provision and country income level and investment;
  • the description and application of civil engineering infrastructure (e.g. water resources, water quality and supply, transportation and storm water) and associated issues (e.g. land use and problem soils); and
  • an overview of existing South African guideline books for infrastructure provision.
ARPL 3010A Comparative Planning systems

This course focusses on the different systems and forms of planning across the world. It illustrates the contextuality of planning, and different possibilities for future planning practice in South Africa. It relates comparative planning systems to different forms of government, and traditions of planning. The course makes extensive use of Internet searches


ARPL 3026A Integrated Development Planning

This course has two components:

  • The theoretical component focusses on the different approaches to integrated planning and international precedents, planning in relation to 'developmental local government', the historical development and legal basis of the South African Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and a critical review of integrated development planning practice in South
  • the practical component consists of a project that introduces students to the IDP process, the integration of planning and institutional processes and the linkages between key sectors such as transportation and land use and economy and the environment. The project involves the preparation of a planning framework for a selected municipal area, critical engagement with the regional context, key issues and relevant development approaches situates the project within a broader conceptual framework drawn from international and local literature.
ARPL 3027A Regional Planning and Local Economic Development

This course introduces students to planning at supra-local scales (ie. regional, national transnational) and to the theories and practices of regional and local economic development as they have evolved internationally and in the South African context. It locates changing ideas about regional and local economic development within theories and approaches to development. The course provides a historical overview of the histories and traditions of regional planning and local economic development internationally and with reference to South Africa, but largely focusses attention on contemporary approaches.


ARPL 3028A Development Policy and Processes in SA

This course introduces students to the rationale for public policy, the policy-making process, frameworks of policy analysis, decision-making models, and current trends in the policy-making environment internationally and in South Africa. Through close examination of current policy frameworks, the course provides an introduction to key policy issues that affect planning and development in Southern Africa, such as urbanisation and informal settlement, land tenure and governance in rural areas, land reform and land restitution, developmental local governance, the developmental effects of HIV/Aids and gender and development.


ARPL 3030A Graphic and Spatial Communication

This course requires students to apply the use of mapping, graphic and presentation tools/techniques acquired in previous years. It introduces and develops the skills of plan and framework interpretation at various scales ranging from the precinct and ward levels to national scales. Content assists students with honing graphic communication, using maps to analyse and communicate complex issues and dynamics, translating social, economic and political data onto readable maps, graphs and graphic inputs, articulating and illustrating spatial change and transformation.


BUQS 2013A Urban Economics

This course introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organised around two out of these four areas. The first set of questions focusses on the development of urban areas (Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth?). The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas (Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas?What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? ). Students will be expected to grapple with these questions and apply them to real estate markets.


APPM 3036A Quantitative Methods for Planners

This course is designed as an introduction to basic statistical tools and quantitative methods for students in urban planning. Elementary statistics, probability, and other types of quantitative reasoning useful for description, estimation, comparison, and explanation are covered. Emphasis is on the use and limitations of analytical techniques in planning practice. This course covers topics including introductory statistics, gravity models, curve fitting and interpolation, and population growth models. Examples and homework problems are chosen to relate statistical methods to issues of substantive interest to planners, in most cases using real-world data.



A specialisation:

  • Either Urban Design, Housing or Urban Politics