School of Environmental Planning (BPl)

Andrew D. Seidel, Professor and Chair
Mark Groulx, Assistant Professor
Theresa Healy, Adjunct Professor
Darwin Horning, Lecturer

The Bachelor of Planning degree provides a broad education in environmental planning.  The focus is on understanding the relationship between people and the environment and on reducing the environmental impact of human activities.
The study of planning examines public processes that improve the quality of decisions affecting the environment.  Responsible planning integrates various private and public interests and identifies viable, workable options.  Planners play a vital role in decision-making processes concerning the future of human settlements, resource management, environmental protection, human health and well-being, economic development, and many other areas.  Ultimately, the work of planners becomes part of, or a catalyst to, public policy.
To achieve its purposes, Environmental Planning offers a comprehensive program of courses, such as environmental assessment, ecological design, economic development, First Nations planning, land use planning, and sustainable communities.  Each course provides a creative and challenging learning environment for students to tackle today's most contentious issues such as sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, environmental stewardship, and urban sprawl.  Environmental Planning offers unique perspectives on a rapidly evolving field of study and solutions for an increasingly complex world.
Environmental Planning is dedicated to upholding professional standards of practice and is accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC).  Accreditation is a system for promoting national standards of education in planning and for recognizing educational institutions for a level of performance, integrity, and quality. 
Accreditation benefits students in Environmental Planning in three ways:
  • Current students can apply for Student Membership in PIBC;
  • Graduates are eligible for Full Membership in PIBC and CIP after only two years of professional planning experience; and
  • Employers in the planning field look for students graduating from an accredited planning program, thus significantly improving graduates' job prospects.
Three majors are available to students completing the Bachelor of Planning: 
  • Northern and Rural Community Planning
  • First Nations Planning
  • Natural Resources Planning
Planning students complete a set of general program requirements totaling 69 credit hours in addition to completing specialized course requirements for each Major. 
  
Program Requirements for All Majors in Planning

Lower Division General Environmental Planning Requirement

100 Level
ECON 100-3Microeconomics
ENPL 104-3Introduction to Planning
One of the following:
ENGL 170-3Writing and Communication Skills
     or POLS 290-3Research and Writing for Political Science
     or NRES 100-3Communications in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

200 Level
ENPL 204-3Principles and Practices of Planning
ENPL 205-3Environment and Society
ENPL 206-3Planning Analysis and Techniques
ENPL 207-3Introduction to Computer Aided Design for Planners
ENPL 208-3First Nations Community and Environmental Planning
GEOG 210-3Geomorphology
POLS 200-3Canadian Government and Politics
One of the following:
GEOG 204-3Introductory Geographical Information Systems for the Social Sciences
     or GEOG 300-3Geographical information Systems
One of the following:
ECON 205-3 Statistics for the Social and Management Sciences
     or STAT 240-3Basic Statistics
     or STAT 371-3Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers
 Upper Division General Planning Requirement

300 Level
ENPL 301-3Sustainable Communities: Structure and Sociology
ENPL 303-3Spatial Planning with Geographical Information Systems
ENPL 304-3Mediation, Negotiation and Public Participation
ENPL 305-3Environmental Impact Assessment
Rural Community Economic Development 
ENPL 318-3Professional Planning Practice
ENPL 319-3     
Social Research Methods 

400 Level
ENPL 401-3Environmental Law
ENPL 410-3Land Use Planning
ENPL 411-3Planning Theory, Process and Implementation
ENPL 415-3Ecological Design
Environmental and Professional Ethics

In addition, students may undertake ENPL 420-1 Research Methodology, ENPL 430-3 Undergraduate Thesis, ENPL 431-3 Professional Report, ENPL 440 (2-6) Internship as part of their electives.

Major Requirements 

Students must choose to specialize in one major.  All course requirements in the major must be completed.
Major in Northern and Rural Community Planning

The focus of this major is to promote an understanding of the complexity and diversity of environmental problems, to develop an appreciation of community change processes, and to provide planners with knowledge which will improve the quality of the built environment and reduce the impact of human activities on the natural world.  The  unique planning requirements of smaller communities and rural regions demand a grounding in both physical and social science methods and an understanding of the relationship between northern communities and surrounding rural resource regions.  Environmental planning necessitates strategic thought and action combined with knowledge grounded in professional practice.  The northern rural and community planning major combines concepts such as bioregionalism, sustainability, and landscape design within the context of physical land use planning, social planning and community economic development.
Northern and Rural Community Planning is the application of environmental planning principles and practices to the often unique social, economic, and ecological issues confronting northern and circumpolar communities in Canada and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere.  Successfully addressing these issues requires an appreciation of how and why communities change, an understanding of relationships between northern communities and surrounding rural resource regions, an understanding of the place and function of northern communities and rural regions in the global environment, and a grounding in both physical and social science methods of research and analysis.
Students enrolled in the Northern and Rural Community Planning Major must successfully complete 120 credit hours.  Students must ensure that all prerequisites are fulfilled prior to registering in any courses.
69 credit hours 
Major requirement: 
15 credit hours 
Major elective requirement: 
18 credit hours 
General elective requirement: 
18 credit hours
  
The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Planning with a Major in Northern and Rural Community Planning is 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements
Lower-Division Requirements
BIOL 110-3Introductory Ecology

One of:
GEOG 100-3Environments and People: The Geography of Natural Hazards
     or GEOG 206-3Society and Space
Three of:
Peoples and Cultures
ENVS 306-3Human Ecology (regional campus only)
The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
GEOG 100-3Environments and People: The Geography of Natural Hazards
Human Geographies of Global Change
British Columbia: People and Places
Economic Geography of Resources and Sustainability
Society and Space
Introduction to International Studies
Precalculus
Contemporary Political Issues
Canadian Law and Aboriginal Peoples
Introduction to Social Welfare

Upper-Division Requirements
POLS 350-3 Law and Municipal Government
One of:
ENVS 325-3Global Environmental Change: Science and Policy
     or NREM 306-3Society, Policy and Administration
     or POLS 316-3
Municipal Government and Politics 
     or POLS 320-3
Canadian Politics and Policy
One of:
GEOG 424-3Social Geography of Northern Communities
     or POLS 415-3
Comparative Northern Development
     or POLS 434-3Resource Communities in Transition
Three of:
ANTH 316-3The Social Theory and Structure of Contemporary Canadian Society
ANTH 413-3Topics in Environmental Anthropology
Cost-Benefit Analysis
ENSC 302-3Energy Development
ENSC 404-3Waste Management
ENVS 325-3Global Environmental Change: Science and Policy
Law and Indigenous Peoples
GEOG 305-3Political Ecology
First Nations and Indigenous Geography
Social Geography of Northern Communities
Society, Policy and Administration
How Government Works
Municipal Government and Politics
Canadian Politics and Policy
Community Development
Community Politics
Local Services and Public Policy
Local Government Finance
Comparative Northern Development
Resource Communities in Transition
SOCW 320-3Critical Social Policy

Students must ensure that all prerequisites are fulfilled prior to taking the course.
General electives courses comprise a total of 18 credit hours. Students are encouraged to use the general electives to take a minor offered in Geography and Political Science, First Nations Studies, or other fields associated with community development.

Major in First Nations Planning

First Nation communities have significant and growing demands for qualified planners. As many First Nations move to define land claims in Canada, potentially giving First Nations significant responsibilities for land and community planning, and as others work to build upon existing treaties, the availability of skilled planners becomes essential. However, planning by, and with, First Nations requires specific skills and abilities in the planners, whether or not they themselves are First Nation.

For most First Nation communities few distinctions are made between ecological/environmental planning and planning for social and cultural needs. Cultural and social needs are developed from within, and are grounded in, the ecosystem. First Nations planning must necessarily integrate all;  First Nations wish to remain grounded in tradition and seek to move into the future through sound community economic development and skilled land management.  Most face significant community development needs, including infrastructure development, housing , and health planning. Students need not just a sound grasp of planning principles, but also an understanding of the protocols, history, social structure, and ecology of Canadian First Nations. Further, cross cultural translation skills, community participation techniques, and a solid grounding in ethics are required.
Students enrolled in the First Nations Planning Major must successfully complete 121 credit hours.  Major and elective course requirements must also be met.
69 credit hours 
Major requirement: 
19 credit hours 
Major elective requirement: 
18 credit hours 
General elective requirement: 
15 credit hours 
The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Planning with a Major in First Nations Planning is 121 credit hours.
Lower-Division Requirements
BIOL 110-3Introductory Ecology
FNST 100-3The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
A First Nations Language: Level 1 
Three of:
Peoples and Cultures 
FNST 161-3A First Nations Culture: Level 1
Methods and Perspectives in First Nations Studies 
Introduction to Traditional Environmental Knowledge
GEOG 100-3Environments and People: The Geography of Natural Hazards
HHSC 102-3Introduction to Health Sciences II: Rural and Aboriginal Issues
MATH 115-3Precalculus
NREM 210-4Integrated Resource Management

Upper-Division Requirements
ENPL 409-4Advanced First Nations Community and Environmental Planning
FNST 304-3First Nations Environmental Philosophy and Knowledge
Law and Indigenous Peoples
Three of:
Ethnobotany
Global Environmental Change: Science and Policy 
FNST 303-3First Nations Religion and Philosophy
FNST 305-3Seminar in First Nations Studies
FNST 407-3First Nations Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender and Power
GEOG 403-3First Nations and Indigenous Geography
First Nations' Approaches to Resource Management 
Indigenous Tourism and Recreation 
Law and Municipal Government
First Nations Governance and Social Policy 
Individual and Community Wellness 
Of the above lower- and upper-division course requirements, students must select a minimum of three FNST courses (9 credit hours). Students must ensure that all prerequisites are fulfilled prior to registering in any courses. General electives courses comprise a total of 15 credit hours. Students are encouraged to use the general electives to take a minor offered in First Nations Studies, or other courses associated with aboriginal and First Nations issues. 

Major in Natural Resources Planning

The major in Natural Resources Planning is designed to provide students with an understanding of the complexities of including the natural and cultural environment in planning decision-making.  The major is intended to address both project-level and large-scale environmental planning issues that occur in developments that impact the natural environment.
The objective of this major is to familiarize students with planning and decision-making in a variety of sectors that include provincial land use planning, environmental assessment, watershed planning and integrated resource and environmental management.  These areas of planning are characterised by complex and intricate problems that revolve around how to use our natural resources and who should decide.  The multidimensional aspects of environmental management include natural and cultural complexity, different desired futures, value differences, assessment and monitoring tools, and integration methods.  This major emphasizes an understanding of planning in both the substantive realm (natural and social sciences) and the procedural realm (the process of including people in the decision-making process).
Students enrolled in the Natural Resources Planning Major must successfully complete 120 credit hours.  Major and elective course requirements must also be met.  Students must ensure that they complete course prerequisites before registering in any course. Students interested in working with biological and environmental aspects of natural resource planning should take BIOL 103-3 and BIOL 123-1, and BIOL 104-3 and BIOL 124-1 as elective courses, and BIOL 201 as the ecology elective, as they are prerequisite courses for many of the other biological and environmental courses. Furthermore, those students interested in the environmental sciences should also consider taking first- and second-year Chemistry courses as part of the general electives. Students interested in integrated natural resource planning are encouraged to take BIOL 102 and a mix of courses in areas of Political Science, First Nations (FNST or ENPL), Environment Sciences (ENSC), Geography and Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management, and International Studies and Economics.
69 credit hours 
Major requirement: 
17 credit hours 
Major elective requirement: 
18-22 credit hours 
General elective requirement: 
Elective credit hours as necessary to ensure the completion of 120 credit hours.
  
Lower-Division Requirements
GEOG 205-3Cartography and Geomatics
NREM 210-4
Integrated Resource Management
One of: 
BIOL 110-3Introductory Ecology
     or BIOL 201-3
Ecology
Three of:
    and BIOL 123-1
    and BIOL 124-1
Introductory Biology I 
Introductory Biology I Laboratory

Introductory Biology II
Introductory Biology II Laboratory
Weather and Climate 
Introduction to Aquatic Systems
FNST 100-3The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
FNST 203-3Introduction to Traditional Environmental Knowledge
Introduction to Soil Science 
GEOG 100-3Environments and People: The Geography of Natural Hazards
INTS 205-3Introduction to International Studies
MATH 115-3Precalculus
NREM 101-3Introduction to Natural Resources Management and Conservation
Resource Inventories and Measurements
Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries 
Sustainable Outdoor Recreation and Tourism 
Upper-Division Requirements
NREM 400-4Natural Resources Planning
NREM 410-3
Watershed Management
Three of: 
Limnology 
Conservation Biology 
Environmental Economics 
Resource Economics 
Forestry Economics 
Cost Benefit Analysis 
Advanced First Nations Community and Environmental Planning 
Energy Development
Northern Contaminated Environments
Boundary-layer Meteorology 
Waste Management 
Air Pollution
Global Environmental Change: Science and Policy 
Natural Resources, Environmental Issues and Public Engagement 
Traditional Use Studies 
Tenure, Conflict, and Resource Geography
Global Resources 
International Environmental Policy 
Agroforestry
Recreation and Tourism Impacts 
Protected Area Planning and Management
Recreation, Tourism and Communities
      OR NREM 306-3
Society, Policy and Administration of Natural Resources
Society, Policy, and Administration
Law and Municipal Government
Students must ensure that all prerequisites are fulfilled prior to registering in any course. 


Students are encouraged to use the general electives to take a minor offered in areas of Natural Resource, International Studies and First Nation Studies, or other fields associated with natural resources and environmental management.

Minor in Planning

The minor in Planning is designed to provide students with an opportunity to acquire a basic knowledge of planning theory and methods. The minor consists of 12 required credits (four designated courses) and six credits from a set of elective courses. A maximum of two courses (six credit hours) used to fulfill program requirements for a major or another minor may also be used to fulfill requirements for a minor in Planning.

The Minor in Planning requires the completion of 18 credit hours of ENPL Planning Courses, of which 12 credit hours must be at the upper division level.

Required

ENPL 104-3Introduction to Planning
ENPL 204-3Principles and Practices of Planning
ENPL 301-3Sustainable Communities: Structure and Sociology
ENPL 411-3Planning Theory, Process and Implementation

Two of:
ENPL 305-3Environmental Impact Assessment
ENPL 318-3          
Professional Planning Practice 
ENPL 410-3Land Use Planning
ENPL 415-3Ecological Design