Rural Environments

  • Online delivery
  • eClass
  • 39 hour course, no prerequisites

Exam­ine the chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties of rur­al land use plan­ning in Cana­da with spe­cif­ic empha­sis on rur­al Alber­ta. Stu­dent will explore and gain an under­stand­ing of the impor­tance of healthy and vibrant rur­al com­mu­ni­ties in a local, region­al and glob­al con­text with respect to: the econ­o­my, envi­ron­ment, social and cul­tur­al cap­i­tal; how plan­ning pol­i­cy, pol­i­tics and par­tic­i­pa­tion approach­es may dif­fer in a rur­al con­text com­pared to an urban coun­ter­part; and how region­al and glob­al pol­i­cy frame­works will affect rur­al land use plan­ning in the future.

Course at a glance
  • Fully online asynchronous course, accessible through eClass, the University of Alberta’s eLearning management tool.
  • May be recognized for Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) credits by the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) for holders of the Registered Professional Planner designation.
  • Aimed at professionals in the areas of municipal government planning, development, and bylaw enforcement. Students range from development officers, planning technicians, land use, environmental, and community planners, to resources managers, government officials, consultants, developers, lawyers, zoning administrators, administrators in smaller municipalities, and others involved in planning processes.
What you will learn

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss and analyze demographic patterns and economic conditions driving rural land use pressures.
  • Define the role of metropolitan influence zones in relation to rural environments.
  • Compare and discuss various environmental protection initiatives (e.g., voluntary stewardship approaches versus prescribed protection measures, etc.) in different planning contexts.
  • Analyze various patterns and themes reflected in the current planning challenges and land use pressures in rural Alberta.
  • Identify changing agricultural practices and approaches in relation to food security planning.
  • Discuss planning definitions, models, and examples (e.g., the social determinant framework) as they relate to health issues in a rural context.
  • Identify innovative planning tools in support of environmental protection and rural sustainability.
  • Identify and explain the legislative framework that structures and guides rural land use planning.
  • Discuss and analyze planning frameworks, including the Alberta Land-Use Framework, and intermunicipal plans, as they relate to regional planning in rural Alberta.
Take note:

  • A textbook is required for this course; details will be provided in the course syllabus.
  • Additional learning materials are provided through eClass.
  • Assessment may include discussion postings and essay assignments.
  • Refer to the course syllabus for the schedule of activities and due dates of assignments.
This course has no prerequisites

Students from all educational backgrounds welcome. You can register for this course without applying and enrolling in a program.


Course duration
Apr 19, 2021Jun 26, 2021
Asyn­chro­nous online learning, eClass

39 hours of instruction

In asynchronous online courses, students are expected to move through the course material at the same pace as their peers, but there are no real-time virtual classroom sessions to attend. All components of this type of course are accessible through eClass, the University of Alberta’s eLearning management tool. for­mat details




Rural Canada >Canadian<

ISBN 9780176500818

Class info
  • 39 course hours in total
  • Cost assistance: May be eli­gi­ble for the Cana­da-Alber­ta Job Grant and the Canada Training Benefit. (view all)
    Cor­po­rate mul­ti-reg­is­tra­tion pack­ages (groups of 4 or more) are avail­able for most Exten­sion cours­es. Con­tact us at for pre­ferred pricing.
  • Open for registration until April 19, 2021. Register at least one week before the course start date to secure your spot. If space is available you may register until the day the course starts.
Currently counts towards

* If you are already enroled in this program, please refer to your specific program requirements as outlined at the time of your admission: Bear Tracks > Academic Advisement.

You can register for and take a course without applying and enrolling into the program.

We recommend that you apply to the program as soon as possible to lock in your course requirements as they are subject to change.

Looking for different course dates?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

  • Offered now
  • Online delivery
  • 39 hour course, no prerequisites

A note about courses during COVID-19: all online

All courses will be delivered online, including many that were previously unavailable in the online format.

If you do see a course or program on our website announced as an in-person or downtown Edmonton offering, please disregard the format – but not the course. There will be no in-person offerings through the Faculty of Extension for the Winter, Spring, and Summer 2021 terms.

Get ready to keep learning! Register for a course and join us online this year.