Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students are introduced to the topic of urban development and town planning, choosing one of these depending on what is used in their local area. They begin by activating their prior knowledge of these terms. Students then consider what forms urban development or town planning can take, and consider some of the stakeholders in the decision-making around urban development projects. Finally, students are introduced to The Bays as an example of a real world, ongoing urban renewal project.

Lesson developed in partnership with the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation.


Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand what urban development or town planning is (depending on what is used in your local area).
  • Students will recognise some of the key features of urban development or town planning projects.
  • Students will identify some of the stakeholders in urban development projects.


21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 HASS

  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)
  • Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges (ACHASSI094)

Year 6 HASS

  • Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges (ACHASSI122)

Syllabus outcomes: Stage 3 – Geography

Students will:

  • explain interactions and connections between people, places and environments (GE3-2)
  • compare and contrast influences on the management of places and environments (GE3-3)
  • acquire, process and communicate geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry (GE3-4)

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 5 HASS achievement standards: Students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places. They identify the effects of these interconnections on the characteristics of places and environments, and develop questions for an investigation. 

Relevant parts of Year 6 HASS achievement standards: Students develop appropriate questions to frame an investigation. 

Topics: Sustainability, Social Issues

Unit of work: The Bays – Year 5 to 6

Time required: 80 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee discussions and lead students in development proposal analysis activity.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Enough printed copies of Community Profiles Activity for small group work. A device capable of presenting a website to the class.

Keywords: The Bays, urban development, town planning.

All photo images in this lesson are licensed to UrbanGrowthNSW. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... understand and recognise key features of urban development or town planning.
  • ... identify some of the stakeholders in urban development or town planning projects.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... define urban development or town planning in their own words.
  • ... identify some of the ways people can change and influence the areas they live in.
  • ... read a map and identify its key features.
  • ... compare the renewal of The Bays to urban development or town planning in their local area.
  • ... work collaboratively to complete tasks.
  • ... contribute to group and class discussions.

Teacher content information: Sitting just two kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, The Bays comprises 5.5 kilometres of harbour front, 95 hectares of largely government-owned land and 94 hectares of waterways in Sydney Harbour. Over the next 20 to 30 years The Bays will be renewed into a bustling hub of enterprise, activity and

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Do you live in an urban area?

What might development look like?

Working in groups, look at this map of a town, noting where the following features are:

  • School
  • Kindergarten
  • Park
  • Houses
  • Shops, cafes and restaurants

Now look at the map below that shows a proposed development for new houses, shops and cafes. Spend some time talking about this proposed development before discussing and answering the questions below the map (Note: you can discuss and share your ideas together, however each student must write the answers to the questions in their own words).


1. What do you think about this proposed development? Do you think it’s a good idea? Why or why not? 

2. Which people in this neighbourhood might be concerned by the new development? In what ways might they be concerned?

3. How might the people planning the development make the development better for all the people in this neighbourhood? What changes could they make?

4. Do you th

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