Introduction to Neighbourhood Design

Make a difference in the future of your neighborhood. While city-building has traditionally been a top-down undertaking, neighborhood design has focused on building from the grassroots up. In this course, you will learn the basic tools and strategies to help you join the conversation and advocate for the neighbourhood you want to live in.

You will build a toolkit to help you navigate public processes, including: permitting, zoning, economic planning, context reading, and choosing appropriate built forms. Through examinations of relevant case studies, you will learn how to strategically convey local aspirations towards thoughtful, transformative outcomes.

You’ll also have an opportunity to discuss the current urban design challenges facing your neighbourhood, and develop specific co-design participatory strategies to address them. Walk away with an achievable plan and a support network comprised of others who are passionate about place-making.

Note: This course includes a walking tour through Kitsilano.


Location: Online and Vancouver
Duration: 4 weeks
Tuition: $455

Upcoming Offerings

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateTue, Sep 10, 2024
  • Tue, Sep 10, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time (virtual class)
  • Tue, Sep 17, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time (virtual class)
  • Sat, Sep 21, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time (field trip)
  • Tue, Sep 24, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time (virtual class)
InstructorScot Hein
Seats Available25

What you will learn

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain municipal development processes and related regulatory language
  • Examine a neighbourhood along the dimensions of urban form context and density
  • Determine the optimal set of urban design best practices for a given neighbourhood context
  • Initiate strategic public engagement processes aimed towards shared outcomes
  • Identify case studies that are relevant to local issues important to neighbourhoods
  • Understand how co-design processes should/could work

How you will learn and be evaluated

  • Expect instructor-led presentations and class discussions
  • Prepare to discuss, debate and formulate your own opinions

You will be evaluated on:

  • Assignments
  • Presentations

Who should take this course?

This introductory course is for both professionals and engaged citizens with an interest in learning about neighbourhood design.

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

This course combines online classes via Canvas/Zoom with an in-person walking tour. 

Professional Development Credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.