Plants and the Urban Environment

Subject HORT90003 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Burnley - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
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:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison Email:


Assoc Prof Nicholas Williams


Graduate School of Science

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Coordinator:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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: Environmental Science
Environmental Science
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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