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Community and Environmental Planning

Learn how you can make a difference by helping to apply environmentally sustainable approaches to community and regional planning.

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Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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If you're interested in learning how you can make a difference by helping to apply environmentally sustainable approaches to community and regional planning, then the Community and Environmental Planning program is for you.

You learn how to:

  • Work in a team environment, providing a variety of mapping, research and other technical functions to support community, regional and environmental projects and policy development.
  • Perform data analysis, problem-solve and use geomatics applications to support decision-making.

You also participate in off-campus field work, where you get involved in community projects.

This program is located at NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS). COGS is the Lawrencetown site of Annapolis Valley Campus

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
COGS Lawrencetown Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate in a related field of study such as archaeology, geography, forestry, geology, resource management, urban planning, science, engineering, computer science, marketing, commerce economics or business administration.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates are prepared to accept positions as Planning Technicians, Development Technicians, Mapping Technicians, Civic Addressing Technicians or Graphic Technicians.
  • Many job opportunities are available with municipal and provincial government departments dealing with parks, economic development commissions and development control agencies and in the private sector with planning consultants, engineering/survey firms or any firm involved in mapping and community planning.
  • Our graduates are assessing the impact of land uses on surface and subsurface water resources. They are helping to plan communities that are both socially and environmentally sensitive. And, they are doing suitability studies on potential development sites.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including your math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB)

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

COEP 3000 - Sustainable Community Planning
Through an exploration of the meaning and rationale for land-use planning, this course introduces the basic elements and practices involved in community planning. Investigating land-use planning instruments such as Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSP’s) and Municipal Planning Strategies (MPS) will provide learners with a foundation for comprehending sustainable development at the community level. Learners will analyze the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development versus conventional development. Learners will research planning methods used in the preparation of planning studies such as population projections, housing needs analysis, and transportation studies. Learners will be introduced to the exploration of e-government and the role of web development to provide and improve services, transactions and interactions with citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders.

COEP 3010 - Introduction to Planning Law
This course introduces the learner to the legal tools used to regulate the use of land. Topics to be covered include fundamentals of Canadian Law including constitutional law, real property law and how government works. Learners will examine issues such as public control over private property and the legislation that regulates land use and development. Throughout the course, extensive reference will be made to existing planning regimes, especially the Nova Scotia model under the Municipal Government Act.

COEP 3020 - Site Engineering: Environmental Design
This course exposes learners to various principles and techniques to assist in solving a number of municipal and environmental engineering problems related to the location and servicing of land developments. Computer Aided Design (CAD) software is used as an engineering design tool to assist in the problem solving process. Learners will gain proficiency in reading and visualizing survey maps, grading plans and investigating a variety of site-based, development constraints.

COEP 3100 - Introduction to Planning and Government

COEP 3110 - Municipal Asset Management

COEP 4000 - Sustainable Development Studio
This course provides the learner with an external exposure to the process of administering subdivision regulations, subdivision by-laws and land-use by-laws for municipalities. Learners will explore various processes (and related appeals) including such things as variances, site plans, and development agreements. By examining development control law through a practical examination of the subdivision process, learners will utilize concepts and skills from COEP 3000 (Sustainable Community Planning) and COEP 3010 (Introduction to Planning Law). Subdivisions often contain many lots, which require a full range of municipal services to be installed.

COEP 4020 - Site Planning: Environmental Design
The course is applied and practical in nature with emphasis on the process of site planning. The learner selects an environmental design problem and produces a site plan by applying research, data collection and analytical skills learned in COEP 3020 (Site Engineering: Environmental Design) and graphic skills from COEP 3040 (Graphic Design).

COEP 4040 - Map Graphics
This advanced graphics course focuses on the creation of graphic materials for two other courses in the Community and Environmental Planning Concentration. Site planning maps (including Constraints, Conceptual, Preliminary, and Three-Dimensional) will be generated for Site Planning, COEP 4020. Report graphics will involve the creation of inset maps, colour design, charts and graphs, and other desktop publishing requirement standards. In conjunction with the Planning Project, COEP 4050, a website will also be published.

COEP 4082 - Community Mapping
This course focuses on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data for supporting regional and community well-being through mapping projects. This course introduces the learner to Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) as a mechanism to undertake modern mapping to the local community level in order to promote knowledge production.

COEP 4090 - Applied Learning in Community and Environmental Planning

COEP 4100 - Data Compilation and Statistics for Planners

COEP 4110 - Community Planning and Design

GEOM 3000 - Project Planning for Geographic Sciences
This course provides learners with an opportunity to gain experience in project planning through working with external partners in a wide range of areas related to geographic sciences. Learners prepare a course proposal utilizing a topic of interest for approval and guidance by the instructor. Upon approval, the learner will work closely with a client to develop a realistic time line, report outline, needs analysis and background research paper to build a foundation for future project work.

GEOM 3020 - Applied GIS I
This course is designed to provide learners with hands-on experiences in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) relating to a wide variety of applications. Learners will explore a number of geographic problems and apply advanced spatial analysis techniques such as network analysis, 3D analysis and GRID analysis to arrive at potential solutions. Through the process of generating solutions to geographic problems a variety of tasks encountered in the workplace will be explored ranging from problem definition, through to presentation of results.

GEOM 4020 - Applied GIS II
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software provides many tools for solving complex spatial problems. This course will focus on applying project management principles and using GIS software to solve real world problems for a client. The learner will investigate processes and reasons for solving a problem using GIS and work will culminate in a final project, essay, presentation or demonstration. While the content of the presentation should be accurate and well documented, the goal of this course is the self-direction of learning.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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