Sustainable Landscapes

Subject NRMT90014 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Twenty-nine hours of equivalent contact time and 29 hours independent study, plus assignment work.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission into the Graduate Environmental Program (OEP) or into Honours in the Faculty of Land & Food Resources. Students with 2073xx Landscape Studies and/or 2072xx Human Dimensions of Resource Management should consider this subject as a follow-on.
Corequisites: Nil
Recommended Background Knowledge: Nil
Non Allowed Subjects: Nil
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Ruth Beilin


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview: This subject will consider the wider landscape issues associated with:
  • rural and urban land use and land use change, clearing, fragmentation and modification of native vegetation, and the influences of these on biodiversity, and ecosystem services and processes;
  • utilisation, degradation and management of rural and urban biophysical resources, especially in regard to the soil and water;
  • climate change and sustainable rural futures;
  • population - the regional, the service town, the rural, urban fringe;
  • agriculture - agro-ecology, trends in modern agricultural production, and the sustainability of production, food sovereignty, post-production landscapes;
  • industrialisation - intensification and pollution;
  • the commons - public and private good;
  • environmental security and institutions;
  • governance - deliberative democracy, empowerment;
  • environmental economics.

Students will analyse the meaning of landscape through landscape sciences (ecology, resource management, extension, etc) and policy frameworks.

This subject uses a combination of Australian and overseas case studies to provide a framework for student analysis.

At the completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to discuss the implications in landscape changes for urban and rural or regional populations;
  • be able to map agro-ecological and social community interrelations;
  • be familiar with policy and planning tools that influence biodiversity, community and ecological resilience and governance;
  • be familiar with methodologies and methods to analyse and process issues of uncertainty and risk in landscape decision making and landscape management practice.

The aim of this unit is to extend the participant’s ability to:

  • assess and evaluate rural and urban land use and land use change associated with fragmentation and modification of native vegetation, biodiversity issues, ecosystem services and processes
  • assess the significance of urban, urban fringe and rural landscapes in terms of their landscape futures, and their impacts on biophysical resources
  • describe the principles and practices of socio-ecological systems, complexity, and resilience thinking underpinning ideas about sustainable landscapes
  • describe and evaluate issues of governance, property, ethics and economics as they relate to environmental security, the commons, and sustainable regional futures
  • describe and consider indigenous contributions to landscape futures
  • demonstrate an understanding of the political and social constraints on the intelligent management of the wider landscape, and its interface with the peri-urban
  • consider policy and planning issues with regard to the design and management of rural and regional landscapes.consider how rural and regional social and ecological systems connect to the urban environment (urban cology, community gardens, public open space and urban agriculture)

5000 words and in two segments (40% for the first 2000 words of a literature review and 60% for the final 3000 words).

Prescribed Texts: Walker, B. and D. Salt 2006. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a changing World. Island Press: Washington.
Recommended Texts:

Harris, G. 2007 Sustainability in an age of complexity. Cambridge Press.

Other readings will be provided through LMS.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students in this unit should:

  • enhance their discipline skills in the area of landscape policy and planning;
  • further develop their critical thinking through readings, lectures, assessment and group work; and
  • further develop their ability to think through issues of complexity by developing methodological approaches and methods to assist decision processes and practice.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture
Master of Urban Horticulture
Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Landscape Management
Climate Change
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions

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