Augustana Extended Education (AEE)

Rural Planning & Design

This half-day course discusses rural planning and design as being embedded in governance, and always part of a community and its traditions of organizing and decision-making. It covers several development approaches in which planning and design are core aspects, with a focus on the forms of and possibilities for design in rural areas, where it is often not expected or deemed possible.

About the Course

This course will discuss the topic features as being embedded in governance, and always part of a community and its traditions of organizing and decision-making. After briefly introducing several key concepts from governance theory, the course will discuss several development approaches in which planning and design are core aspects, and different approaches to planning and design itself. Special attention will be devoted to the forms of and possibilities for design in rural areas, from very small to large scale, where it is often not expected or deemed possible. The course instructor, Dr. Kristof Van Assche will draw on his book Rural Development. Knowledge and Expertise in Governance, and on projects and studies throughout North America. Different ways of institutionalizing planning and design will be presented, and the possibility of 'light', transitional and temporary forms reflected upon. Finally, the course will consider the possibilities for learning from other places and experimentation, finding ways the discussed topics could be integrated into our rural Albertan communities.

About the Instructor

Kristof Van AsscheKristof Van Assche

Kristof Van Assche is Associate Professor Planning, Governance & Development at the Faculty of Extension, U of Alberta, Visiting Associate Professor Strategic Communication at Wageningen University, and Research Fellow Development at Bonn University. Kristof is interested in transition and innovation in governance, with special focus on planning, development and environmental policy. He has worked on rural issues in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and also recently in Africa (Ethiopia). His book Rural Development, Knowledge and Expertise in Governance (Wageningen Academic, 2015, with Anna Katharina Hornidge) combines his various international experiences into a comprehensive perspective on different ideas and practices regarding rural development, and gives a prominent role to rural planning and design. Kristof has also extensive practical experience with advising rural communities and governments on planning and development issues.