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SRP761 - Ecological Cities and Futures

Unit details


2020 unit information

Offering information:

2020 is the final offering of this unit

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Waterfront (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Phillip Roos




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

6 x 1 day classes/seminars (6 hours per day).

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin.


Urban ecologies through the lens of creative vegetation use and practice, linked to water sensitive design and urban design, is increasingly becoming a tenet of built environment design internationally. This unit explores urban ecology history, theory and contemporary practice in the design and planning of the built environment, offering insights into new projects, new technologies and approaches that use vegetation to achieve sustainable outcomes at regional, metropolitan, local and specific building levels. This includes a review of urban ecology theory as it relates to urban environments, water systems, urban wildlife systems, coastal and riverine environments, wetland systems, and mono-cultural open spaces as habitat shapers, manipulators and healthy community indicators, and thereupon consideration of urban ecology in design applications including design properties, use in open space and streetscapes, human and wildlife habitat formation and manipulation through a design and planning lens. It also reviews the role and potential of plant materials and plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, etc) in design and planning applications in mediating environmental effects, heat island mediation, offering environmental psychological benefits and quality environmental outcomes, therapeutic landscapes as place making, and in establishing the identity and distinctiveness of places whether historically or contemporary through a design and planning lens.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this unit successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Comprehend and assuredly describe key definitions
principles, theory and exemplars of contemporary urban ecological practice with an emphasis upon the role and use of vegetation and natural and ecological systems.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO8: Global citizenship


Critique and discriminate between rhetoric and practice reality in proposition, design and or planning arguments for urban ecological interventions in the built environment.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO7: Teamwork


Appraise the merit of a design and or planning proposition in addressing and achieving urban ecological outcomes.

GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving


Apply the theoretical concepts of urban ecology and propose an urban ecology-rich design proposition for a real place, whilst recognising its assumptions and constraints.

GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO5: Problem solving


Position this knowledge of ecological and biophilic urbanism in the professional practice of designing and or planning urban environments, and understand the opportunities it may offer in enriching design and sustainability outcomes compared at regional, metropolitan, local and site-specific scales.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO8: Global citizenship


Comprehend hypothesize ecological futures, and fluently discuss the position of urban ecological theory and practice in the context of key international sustainability charters and reports as well as the support of global citizenship
considering the potential of a new worldview of environmental stewardship.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO6: Self-management
GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Research essay Illustrated essay (2,000-word maximum) excluding any bibliography and appendix. 25% Week 4
Critique essay Critical illustrated essay (2,000-word maximum) excluding any bibliography and appendix. 25% Week 8
Planning/design proposal Illustrated essay (2,000-word maximum) excluding any bibliography and appendix. 35% Week 11
Oral presentation Narrated 5-minute PowerPoint. 15% Week 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SRP761 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

Click on the fee link below which describes you:

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