Require Course

Require Course

  1. 「Practice of Environment Planning and Design(I)」(6 course credit)
  2. 「Practice of Environment Planning and Design (II)」(6 course credit)
  3. 「History of Planning and Design」(3 course credit)

Practice of Environment Planning and Design

This course( PEPD) charged by three professors and three teaching assistant. Each two student team work with a pair of “professors and teaching assistant.” In order to advance communication and cooperation ability. When dividing groups, members in group should came from different professional majors.

Field work
In first semester, we will arrange field work project in different scale, to intensify the understood of planning and developing fact of urban and country in Taiwan, and turn into resources of this practice course.

Course goal
PEPD is a two-semester require course. PEPD(I) was identified as a general knowledge study, exercise and reflection of planning theory and practice. PEPD(II) based on the achievement of first semester, and keep practicing. In each semester, we’ll pick a special area for study target, and practicing as environment planning And also we visit similar space for compare and discussions. Otherwise, this class arrange document study and community planning model case study, in order to offer chance of reflection and study of planning theory and issue.

Through two semester practicing course, we hope to provide a preliminary knowledge that environment planning and design as a professional work which full of environment and social meaning. Also, PEPD provide practice method that formed a reasonable relationship between planning profession and social, environment users.

History of Planning and Design


“History of Planning and Design” is a prerequisite for the first year foundation course at the Graduate Institute of Building and Planning (NTUBP). This course reviews the development of environmental planning and design profession through a critical examination of history, which includes history of practices and history of thinking. To understand and criticize the practices and thinking of planning and design, we need to go into abroader context of political and economical regulations, social relations and spatial processes. By doing so, we may examine the relationship between planning and design and the processes shaped by social-spatial arena.

“Planning” and “design” are both foremost “verbs” describing actions as practices. Together these terms imply interference into society and space, the shaping of the future and the past, and the intervention into humans and humanity. It is a projection with practical purposes as well as an exercise, with its intention pointing towards specific anticipation. Interference, shaping and intervention can have errors, deviations and unexpected results, making reflection a necessity. At this point planning and design become “nouns”, objects for observation, criticism and thoughts. This is when history and theories are born. The purported history of planning and design is a selective representation of its development process instead of a mere neutral record. The theories of planning and design often refer to history to criticize the past and to advance possibilities for the future. The history and theories of planning and design is therefore one filled with judgment of value and power manipulations.

Planning and design naturally contain the dialectic tension between thoughts and actions, history and the future, and theory and practices. Planning and design contain a dynamic relationship and developmental process between three aspects: human thoughts (hope, desire, aspiration, utopia), practices (all the actions that take place through skill and technological mediums), and the conditions of the object on which planning and design work upon (social relations and processes,the actual state of material or nature, spatial constructs, people, and objects). As planning and design intervene and interfere with society and the real space, and then in the complicated, conflicting and stressful world,the process would involve multiple yet imbalanced social orders, cultural fabrications, customs, lifestyles, environments, and power relations. Therefore planning and design are broadly defined political processesas well as arenas of competing interests. The history and theory of planning and design are also part of it, and are arenas of power/knowledge.

By using the history and theories of planning and design, this course examines the aforementioned issues andprovides a basic tool kit of conceptual ideas. The course is designed as such to help students take more advanced courses smoothly on specific issues, methods and theories afterwards. Due to the specific standpoint and orientation of this course, it adopts a critical perspective with the focus on qualitative research and less on quantitative analysis andrelated models. The course content is divided into two parts. The first part is on the planning and design issues within the context of changes in Taiwanese society as well as the process of regional urban development. The second part reviews the rise and development of modern town planning in Western countriesas well as the ideological changes in environmental planning and design theories.

Course goal 
The course content is divided into two main sections. The first section is on the history and theories of planning. This section first discusses Taiwan’s urban planning and urban developmental history. Secondly it reviews the rise and development of modern town planning in Western countries. Lastly it concludes with trends and issues in urban planning. The second section is on the history and theories of design. Due to the course time limit, only a few topics will be discussed briefly. These include the development of architectural design education in Taiwan, Kevin Lynch’s Urban Image, Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language, and Manfredo Tafuri’s critique on modernistic architecture. For more details, please consult the weekly schedule. The content is divided into two parts. The first part is to help students remain up to date with the knowledge of people, culture and society, with a particular emphasis on a few disciplines that promote critical analysis: sociology, policy analysis, and cultural studies. This content cultivates comprehensive thinking and critical analysis skills in the students so that they can think outside of the narrow field of planning and design. After a general introduction of Taiwan’s urban planning developmental history, the second part returns to the history and theories of planning and design themselves. Within the time limit, a brief introduction will be given on the positivist paradigm, left-wing perspective on criticism and reform, communication and community-oriented studies, planning in feminism, post-modernism perspectives, and environment and sustainability ideologies. 


Optional Require Course

  1. 「Social Analyze of space」or「Economic Analyze of Space」(3course credit)
  2. 「Qualitative research method」or「Quantitative research method」(3course credit)

Social Analyze of space

We exist within space and live within society. “Space” and “society” should be inseparable categories of thought and fields of practices. However, under the existing division of academic disciplines, sociology, which has been established for over one and a half century, has not regarded space as a research subject, and has not formally examined the spatial dimensions of social phenomena. Even sub-disciplines such as “rural sociology”, “urban sociology”, or “community studies”, which appear to have a close relationship with space, actually only focus on their respective studies and are not able to apprehend the rich meaning of the concept of “space”. Likewise, fields which are directly related to space, such as architecture, landscape architecture, geography, urban planning and design, and environmental psychology, lack a mature social perspective to handle the ample social implications pertaining to space. After the 1980s, the academia started paying attention to the interrelationship between space and society, and began developing cross-disciplinary viewpoints. More recently, perspectives of cultural studies were also included, thus inspiring more issues worth exploring. This has even produced the so-called “spatial turn” within the field of humanities and social sciences.

The aim of this course is to introduce the contemporary development of theories and contributions of researches that have linked “society” and “space” together. The course will serve as a foundation for the advanced courses such as “Political Economy of Space” and “Cultural Studies of Space”. Students who have taken the course are expected to obtain analytical viewpoints and concepts which can be used in practice. Socio-spatial issues concerning architecture, landscape, and city and which include local, regional and global scales will be explored. The content will be arranged according to the perspectives by which the socio-spatial relationship is analyzed, and the approaches to theories. We will first examine the various definitions on spatial concepts that have been emerging from 1980s onwards. The course will initially explore location theories and spatial organizations from a positivist point of view, and goes on to look into people-environment studies or environmental psychology, phenomenology and humanistic geography, political economy, symbolic analysis on spatial text, landscape studies, cultural studies and cultural geography, feminist geography, post-structuralism, and urban ethnography, etc. Practical case studies will also be included along with the classic literatures.

Qualitative research method


“Qualitative research” is merely a transitional name,before the advent of statistics (especially after the development of computers), social sciences (including anthropology, sociology, psychology) made use of qualitative methods. From the 1960s, positivism (as epistemology) and statistics(as methodology) dominated in the social sciences. So it was only in the 1980s that scholars proposed “qualitative research” as a means of countering the mainstream quantitative research. When we talk about the qualitative or quantitative, we need todifferentiate between whether we are referring to data or method of analysis. A researcher could hold quantitative analysis (such as calculating the area and ratio that is covered by a certain type of news on the newspaper) on qualitative data ( text, images). Or he could also hold qualitative analysis(textual analysis and interpretation) on quantitative data (numbers). But, whether qualitative or quantitative is different in epistemology or methods, is still a disputed issue. In theory, the choice of methodology is dependent upon the research question,but in practical application, it could still be dependent on the researcher’s own training and world view.


The objective of this course is to understand the merit and limitations of qualitative methodologies through literature and practical application. Every student in this course must go through the entire research process. From literature review, writing a research proposal,to practicing different research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. Depending on the number of students, they will be divided into research groups. First year students of NTUBP: please discuss with your mentors whether you should take this course according to your own requirements. Some people feel that the course is too abstract before they have even started on their thesis. But there are also some who regret not having taken this course earlier, otherwise their thesis would not have been so difficult to write. Factors to be considered are your own academic backgroundsand past experience in research.


國立臺灣大學 建築與城鄉研究所