Plants and the Urban Environment

Subject HORT90003 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours comprising lectures, practical classes and field trips
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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 fo 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:


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the relationship between the urban environment and the plants that grow in urban landscapes. It examines how urbanisation alters the physical and climatic environment of cities and the influence of these changes on urban vegetation and the ecosystem services they provide. Topics include: the origin, ecology and characteristics of remnant, spontaneous and designed vegetation in cities, the effects of urbanisation on climate, air, water and soils, the response of plants and animals to these changes, and the use of plants in living roofs and walls and water-sensitive urban design.


Students will be able to critically evaluate urban vegetation and understand why different urban plant communities grow where they do, the characteristics of species that comprise them, the ecological processes maintaining or threatening their persistence and the ecosystem services they provide.


A 120 minute final examination (50%:end of semester), an individual report equivalent to 2000 words (20%:due during semester) and a group assignment of 3000 words (30%: due end of semester).

Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be prepared for use in the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the conclusion of the subject students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the urban environment, its effect on plant performance and how vegetation can be used to ameliorate some of the effects of urbanisation.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture
Master of Urban Horticulture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate Change
Environmental Science
Environmental Science
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions

Download PDF version.