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AZA3547: Urban planning, development and sustainability

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.






South Africa

  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


AZA2547, ATS2547, ATS3547


Cities are dynamic and complex environments that now comprise the majority of the world we live in but they face an array of major challenges. These include: How do we make our cities more habitable and sustainable? Can a city be sustainable? Who wants a sustainable city? Have cities ever been sustainable and can they be in the future? In this unit students will examine how contemporary cities around the world operate by focussing on urban processes and functions, case studies from African cities form a critical base from which to work. Major urban problems afflicting modern cities are looked at and best practice from around the world examined.


Students who successfully complete the unit will have developed the following key competencies and capacities.You will be able to:

  1. Describe and apply the concept of sustainability to urban form and function;
  2. Identify the pillars of sustainability and the strengths and weaknesses in the conceptualisation of sustainability;
  3. Identify unsustainable urban policies and practices and suggest effective methods of improving sustainability;
  4. Utilise selected geographic research skills and concepts relevant to sustainability in an urban context;
  5. Expand on the concept of a world African city and the implications for these settlements.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Fay Hodza

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Development studies – South Africa
Geography and environmental science – South Africa

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