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.

The CACPT has granted full accreditation to the Seneca College Sustainable Planning and Development Program. See the Associations page for more details on how to become a Certified Planning Technician (CPT).

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)
Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   

Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


Mandatory (2 courses):

Introduction to Planning Software Applications

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Digital Presentation Techniques

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Elective courses (Select 8):

Introduction to Planning Theory Practice and Law

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Research Data Collection and Analysis

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Site Planning and Development

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Project Management for Planners and Technologists

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Environmental Sustainability

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Planning with Diverse Populations

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Fundamentals of Transportation Planning

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

The Art of Public Consultation

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Urban Design Applied

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Planning and Economic Development

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.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

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

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 Office of the Registrar.


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.


The CACPT has granted full accreditation to the Seneca College Sustainable Planning and Development Program. Seneca College is the only accredited part-time program in Canada and the only program offered through Continuing Education. The CACPT is the recognized voice for Planning Technicians since 1978 and are the advocates for Planning Technicians across Canada. CACPT members are part of school advisory Committees, and interact with governmental representatives for its members.

The benefits of accreditation include the following:

  1. Student member: Students in Seneca's Sustainable Planning and Development Program are eligible for student membership.
  2. Associate Member: Once students graduate from the program they can become Associate Members. Associate Members must complete the required work experience for certification as a full member.
  3. Full member: Once the required work experience is complete, all associate members become full members. Work experience required after completing the certificate from Seneca College: 3 years of work/technical planning experience prior to becoming full members of the CACPT (graduates with six (6) months of Full Time Employment in a related field may be allowed to submit this employment towards their technical experience hours).

All information for membership is available on the CACPT website.

Becoming a member of the CACPT provides the following advantages:

  • Use of the CPT (Certified Planning Technician) designation; now one of the compulsory criteria by employers when hiring Planning Technicians
  • Provides a network of employers for future graduates by advertising, promoting, and creating outreach socials for employers to provide working planning experience to the students and future graduates of the program.
  • Networking Opportunities including an Annual General Meeting
  • Exclusive Job Circulations

Program Contacts

Rasika De Silva
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.77290

Martine Spinks
Part-time Program Coordinator

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.