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Module

TCP1020 : Environment and Sustainability

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elizabeth Brooks
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

1. Develop an understanding of the “environment”, looking in particular at the physical, biological and social environments.
2. Understand and synthesise competing views and underlying assumptions in environmental policy planning debates within the wider context of sustainability.
3. Understand and become conversant with a wide array of tools and techniques in use and developed in the field of environmental planning and management.
4. Develop an awareness of today’s environmental challenges and threats, and an understanding of the current global debates.
5. Develop creative thinking and visioning, i.e. thinking outside the box, problem formulation and research and communication skills.

The module aims to introduce participants to key environmental issues and processes within the overall context of sustainable development, from the perspective of planning. The underlying principle of the module is that the “environment” must be taken into account in policy planning for sustainable development to ensure participatory and accountable decision-making in managing change and development, whilst preserving and enhancing environmental values and resources.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course commences with a deconstruction of the terms “environment” and “sustainability”. Within this context the changing relationship between society and the environment is analysed and the existing threats that the physical, biological and social environments are facing are presented. Subsequently, how planning can promote sustainable development is discussed, and environmental planning and management tools and techniques are introduced, particularly focussing on strategic and project level environmental assessment. Finally, whether sustainable development represents a solution to the existing environmental threats and to the global environmental challenge, is explored.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:0016 blocks of recorded content of 15-30 minutes each, over 8 teaching weeks
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Writing-up of written exercise
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading401:0040:00Reading lists provided for each topic in support of learning and assessment
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities81:008:00Selected readings and activities related to content covered
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion71:007:00Structured discussion with guiding questions relating to content delivered each week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Tutorial support towards learning and assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk60:202:00Meet the students and explain activities. Written instructions are provided for those unable to atte
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk20:150:30Meet the students and explain activities. Written instructions are provided for those unable to atte
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:301:30Conclusions, Q&A and feedback. Session will also be recorded for those unable to attend
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered via both, scheduled and structured learning activities. These include synchronous module introduction talks which will provide students with weekly live contact with the module leader and with their peers, and an opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications or expand on the discussions in an informal manner. The talks also aim to explain the portfolio of guided structured learning activities for each session, and how they relate to the module learning outcomes. Written instructions will be provided for those that are unable to attend the synchronous introductory talks. Lecture materials will be provided in recorded content blocks, two per session of 15-30 minutes each. The recorded lecture materials are complemented by learning activities which provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the material covered and explore more in-depth the topics covered by reading a selected paper, which will then be discussed as a cohort in a non-synchronous online discussion board facilitated by the module leader. The discussions will be guided by questions, based on the readings and activities given. The conclusions to the module require a more interactive approach and will therefore be delivered through a module talk. The sessions will be recorded, and made available for those that are unable to attend.

The lecture materials covering different topics aim to provide a conceptual background for understanding the environment and sustainable development, and the role of planning in managing (environmental) change for sustainable development. The readings provide students with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth understanding of environmental and sustainability debates within the context of policy- and plan-making, and of the challenges in doing so. The non-synchronous online discussion boards provide students with the opportunity to discuss further the complex issues explored in the lecture materials and in the selected readings in a structured way, to critically reflect on the interactions and tensions between the different dimensions of sustainable development, and their implications on environmental planning – with the support of independent reading. All activities aim to support and guide students in the preparation for assessed coursework. Surgeries/drop-ins will be offered throughout the module to assist further with coursework preparation.

There are no present in person hours delivered within tcp1020. Tcp 1020's present in person hours will be added to tcp1028's present in person hours, and delivered by tcp1028. Both modules are core and compulsory for K421 and K400 students.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M902000 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Students are expected to contribute to the weekly structured non-synchronous discussion with at least two comments per week.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment by essay is designed to test the student's ability to assemble and synthesise appropriate information to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of environmental systems and sustainable development and their relationship to planning practice.

In addition, students are expected to participate and contribute to the online discussions boards with at least two comments per week: one comment responding to the question discussed and one comment reflecting or expanding on one of their peers’ comment. Assessment of the participation to the weekly discussion boards is worth 10% of the overall module mark.

Reading Lists

Timetable