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People, Place, Design provides an introduction to the extensive body of environment-behaviour research and theory on people’s relationship to place. Students will gain an understanding of the needs of specific users in the design of public spaces in which they live, work and play. Individual perceptions of shared and personal space, universal design and social inclusion will be explored, along with considering how planning and design contribute to social and environmental sustainability in communities. Most of the ideas and concepts discussed will be relevant to all environments and all types of design but for this course the focus will be on public spaces and environments in the public domain.

The course will look at concepts that relate to people and their needs. This will include special population groups, such as children and young people, the elderly, people with disabilities, and people from different cultural backgrounds. It will also look at different environments through a social lens including the public domain; open space and parks in urban settings; the streetscape as a significant environment for interaction and ‘liveability’ of a city; environmental design factors that enable or discourage participation and sustainability in communities. The third part of the course will look at the implications of using an environment-behaviour lens as part of design and planning practice, discussing concepts such as public involvement and participatory planning and design and providing opportunities for the class to engage in some of these processes and methods.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 3



Delivery Mode

Fully on-site

Indicative contact hours



Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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