1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Sustainable Landscapes

Sustainable Landscapes (NRMT90014)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2018 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks
You’re currently viewing the 2018 version of this subject


Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeNRMT90014
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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; community based natural resource management; and
  • economics.

These issues will be situated within the systems theory paradigm. Theories of complex adaptive systems, social-ecological systems, uncertainty, complexity, and emergence will frame the investigation of these issues and provide the foundation for a critique of command and control approaches to landscape management. Central to the framework explored in this subject are notions of resilience and community based knowledge systems. Students will engage deeply with the literature that informs these ideas and develop a critical understanding of their value and limitations.

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; and
  • be familiar with methodologies and methods to analyse and process issues of uncertainty and risk in landscape decision making and landscape management practice.

Intended learning outcomes

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; and apply these to critical analysis of socio-ecological system interactions.
  • 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).

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
  • further develop their ability to think through issues of complexity by developing methodological approaches and methods to assist decision processes and practice.

Last updated: 23 January 2019