Urban Design

Click images for urban design projects
Click image for urban design projects
The art of creating and shaping cities and towns

Urban design involves the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. Urban design is the process of giving form, shape, and character to groups of buildings, to whole neighborhoods, and the city. 

It is a framework that orders the elements into a network of streets, squares, and blocks. Urban design blends architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning together to make urban areas functional and attractive.

Urban design

  is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. Urban design draws together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with distinct beauty and identity.

Urban design is derived from but transcends planning and transportation policy, architectural design, development economics, engineering and landscape. It draws these and other strands together creating a vision for an area and then deploying the resources and skills needed to bring the vision to life.

Urban design makes life better for all!


“The building of cities is one of man’s greatest achievements.” –Edmund Bacon

Urban design involves place-making – the creation of a setting that imparts a sense of place to an area. This process is achieved by establishing identifiable neighborhoods, unique architecture, aesthetically pleasing public places and vistas, identifiable landmarks and focal points, and a human element established by compatible scales of development and ongoing public stewardship. Other key elements of placemaking include: lively commercial centers, mixed-use development with ground-floor retail uses, human-scale and context-sensitive design; safe and attractive public areas; image-making; and decorative elements in the public realm.

Urban design practice areas range in scale from small public spaces or streets to neighborhoods, city-wide systems, or whole regions.

“Urban design and city building are surely among the most auspicious endeavors of this or any age, giving rise to a vision of life, art, artifact and culture that outlives its authors. It is the gift of its designers and makers to the future. Urban design is essentially an ethical endeavor, inspired by the vision of public art and architecture and reified by the science of construction.” –Donald Watson

Urban design operates at 3 scales:

the region

city and town

the neighborhood
district and corridor

the block
street and building

Urban design includes infrastructure, architecture, public spaces:

Examples of great urban design are all over the world:

Washington DC
Cartagena, Colombia
Salt Lake City, UT
Copenhagen, Denmark
Portofino, Italy
Strasbourg, France
Siena, Italy
A New City
Aleppo, Syria

Urban design has a wide range of applications:

Some of the best urban design comes from Italy

Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

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