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Overview

Seneca's Sustainable Planning and Development certificate program is designed to meet the expanding need for trained individuals with a particular hands-on skill set in the fields of sustainable land use planning and community development. This program focuses on both academic and practical knowledge, offering a range of courses for students with a limited background in urban planning, and a wide array of advanced courses for practicing planners wishing to hone their skills and advance their continued professional development. This program provides an in-depth examination of the province's legal framework in the planning context, environmental issues and sustainability, advancing technology, urban design trends, mobility and transit, and social equity.

 

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

Seneca's Sustainable Planning and Development program provides a unique focus on skill-building that is steeped in both academic and practical planning educational models. This program will equip graduates with the necessary skills to compete in the ever-expanding planning and development industry.

Graduates can go on to pursue careers in the public, private or non-profit sectors, which include opportunities in:

  • Government - municipal, regional, provincial, federal (development, transportation, policy, natural resources, environment, health, etc.)
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in a number of areas (environmental sustainability, affordable housing, sustainable transportation, etc.)
  • Economic development
  • Public health and food security, including municipal or regional Public Health departments
  • Education, including school boards, colleges, and universities
  • Consulting (planning, engineering, architecture, surveying, etc.)
  • Law (particularly firms specializing in real estate or municipal planning law)
  • Real Estate
  • Land development and building
  • Corporate in-house planning services for corporations seeking expansion opportunities (e.g. Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaw Companies Ltd., etc.)

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
  • OR Mature student status (age 19 or older)

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Curriculum

SPD100
Introduction to Planning Theory Practice and Law
Availability
 

This course provides students with a thorough introduction to planning with a particular emphasis on theoretical and practical competencies used by planners and planning technologists on a daily basis. Policy frameworks such as the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement are examined. Emerging issues and the role of ethics and values will also be explored.




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SPD101
Introduction to Planning Software Applications
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This course provides students with an applied understanding of various planning software applications, including geographic information systems (GIS) and AutoCAD. Students develop refined measuring, mapping, modeling, and monitoring skills. Students also learn the basics of cartography, classification, thematic mapping, visualization and map design, querying and editing attribute information, projections, georeferencing, data manipulation, spatial analysis, and suitability analyses.




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SPD102
Digital Presentation Techniques
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This course examines the use and application of computer graphics software in planning, urban design, and environmental analysis. Students receive an introduction to the principles of graphic composition, such as rendering and visualization, and the incorporation of digital techniques in a variety of presentation modes and formats.




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SPD103
Research Data Collection and Analysis
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This course provides students with an understanding of those qualitative and quantitative research methods most commonly utilized in the field of planning. Social research methods such as interviews, observational research, and statistical analysis will be considered. Students also explore the key components of quantitative analysis, including collecting and presenting data, analyzing relationships between variables, and the testing of hypotheses.




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SPD104
Site Planning and Development
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In this course, students learn about the site planning and development process. Focus areas include site analysis, preliminary design, density, walkability and circulation, policies and by-laws, and the final approval process. An overview of the land development regulatory process is provided, which considers zoning issues, context, and infrastructure. Sustainable development techniques are also emphasized throughout the course.




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SPD105
Project Management for Planners and Technologists
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This course educates students on all facets of small- and large-scale planning projects, including scope, schedule, budget, timelines, communication tools, and project implementation. Students have the opportunity to gain applied experience in completing different projects of varying levels of complexity.




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SPD106
Environmental Sustainability
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This course provides students with an introduction to the concept of environmental sustainability in the planning context, by exploring the interplay between rural, industrial, and urban environments. Students are asked to consider sustainability as a potential way of addressing environmental, economic, and social issues. Key factors of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) will also be examined.




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SPD107
Planning for Diverse Populations
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This course focuses on those factors contributing to a broad range of disparities and challenges around planning and policy-making for diverse populations. Students are introduced to the theories and analytic tools necessary to respond to collective action and address issues around social equity and justice.




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SPD108
Fundamentals of Transportation Planning
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This course provides students with an opportunity to explore the changing face of transportation planning in the twenty-first century. Students examine different methods utilized by planning practitioners to analyze transportation problems and propose solutions, including demand analysis framework, data collection procedures, travel demand modelling and forecasting, and cost-effectiveness evaluations for new initiatives. The course also uses case studies from the Greater Toronto Area.




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SPD109
The Art of Public Consultation
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In this course, students gain insight into best practices guiding interactions between councils, administration, media, and the public. Students are introduced to the practice of mediation, negotiation, and a number of public participation processes. Students also have an opportunity to develop their own skills in public consultation through simulations and observations.




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SPD110
Urban Design Applied
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This course provides students with an introduction to the core principles of urban design. Course content will include a study of various methods for retrofitting existing neighbourhoods and creating new integrated neighbourhoods on greenfield sites. Other factors are considered, including strategic planning, socioeconomic viability, and design. Through a series of hands-on interactive exercises in a studio workshop setting, students learn about the challenges and opportunities facing urban revitalization projects in both small and large communities.




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SPD111
Planning and Economic Development
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In this course, students learn more about the relationship between planning and economic development. In particular, the planning process is explored through the lens of community engagement, using situational assessments, visioning, issues identification, option prioritization, and action planning.




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Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students are able to:

  • Support sustainable planning and development by applying planning theory and methodology, while adhering to jurisdictional planning legislation.
  • Support mid- and long-range planning considerations in Ontario by using software applications as a component of the comprehensive site evaluation process.
  • Communicate with public and private stakeholders by using current and emerging presentation tools and techniques.
  • Solve practical planning problems by interpreting data and generating recommendations and design strategies.
  • Synthesize supporting data and information of an analysis of infrastructure investments for economics, sustainability, and mobility.
  • Evaluate environmental regulation, health, and the needs of unique and diverse populations in the analysis of urban growth and transportation needs.
  • Manage projects and deliverables, taking into account scope, team composition, and desired outcomes and using project management principles, tools, and techniques.
  • Collaborate on new development projects and redevelopment opportunities by using urban design composition and site design principles.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.

Graduation/Convocation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Affiliations

Program Contacts

Contact us via this form or using the phone number(s) below it.





Sejal Ahir
Program Assistant

416-491-5050 ext.77290


Christina Sgro
Part-time Program Coordinator

416-491-5050 ext.22456


Robin Richardson
Program Coordinator

416-491-5050 ext.77273


Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.