Education Overview

What is 'planning'?

To plan is to improve the quality of public and private development and of decisions affecting people and their environment. Planners make decisions about the future of human settlements, resource management, environmental protection, human health and well-being, economic development, and many other areas. Responsible planning deals with balancing various private interests with the public interest and identifying viable, workable options. Ultimately, their work becomes part of or a catalyst to public policy.

Is Planning Right for You?

Are you interested in ...

  • The future of human settlements, resource consumption, environmental protection, human health and well-being, and economic development?
  • Identifying viable, workable options for healthy ecosystems, livable communities, vibrant cultures, and biodiversity?
  • Physical, economic, social, and political forces that shape cities and regions?
  • Assessing and reconciling the needs of diverse communities?

The Degree

The Bachelor of Planning (BPl) degree provides a broad education of the relationship between people and the environment. Students will learn how decisions are made about human settlements, resource management, environmental protection, human health and well-being, economic development, and many other areas.

Students are engaged through in-class discussions, group work, and 'real world' community-based projects. Courses include environmental assessment, ecological design, local economic development, First Nations planning, land use planning, sustainable communities, professional practice, and more.

Themes of the North

UNBC's School of Environmental Planning offers a unique undergraduate planning education. Our three themes give students the option of concentrating their planning degree in one of the following areas: First Nations Planning, Natural Resource Planning, and Northern Rural and Community PlanningNorthern Themes

First Nations Planning 

This stream integrates cultural and social needs that are developed from within and are grounded in the ecosystem, including infrastructure development, housing, and health planning. To undertake planning with First Nations, students will acquire a sound grasp of planning principles in conjunction with understanding the protocols, history, social structure, and traditional knowledge of First Nations. The aim of planners is to improve the livelihoods of First Nations peoples through sound economic development and skilled land management. 

Natural Resource Planning

This stream familiarizes students with planning and decision-making in a variety of sectors that includes provincial land use planning, environmental assessment, watershed planning, and integrated resource and environmental management. By focusing on both natural sciences and social processes, students will learn about provincial land use planning, environmental assessment, watershed planning and integrated resource management. Students address problems that revolve around how to use our natural resources, who benefits, and who should decide.

Northern Rural and Community Planning

This stream combines concepts such as bioregionalism, sustainability, and landscape design within the context of physical land use planning, social planning, and community economic development. Students will study sustainability within the context of land use planning, social planning, and local economic development. The aim is to provide future planners with knowledge that will improve the quality of the built environment while reducing the impact of human activities on the natural world.

For more information about the program or about specific areas of interest, please contact any member of the School of Environmental Planning faculty.