What is urban design? Illustrate your viewsUrban 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 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
Public space –One definition of public space or a public place is a place where anyone has a right to come without being excluded because economic or social conditions (fees, paying an entrance, being poor, …). Malls are examples of ‘private space’ with the appearance of ‘public space’.
(Urban block – A city block, urban block or simply block is a central element of urban planning and urban design. A city block is the smallest area that is surrounded by streets. City blocks are the space for buildings within the street pattern of a city, they form the basic unit of a city’s urban fabric. City blocks may be subdivided into any number of smaller lots or parcels of land usually in private ownership, though in some cases, it may be other forms of tenure.
City blocks are usually built-up to varying degrees and thus form the physical containers or ‘streetwalls’ of public space. Most cities are composed of a greater or lesser variety of sizes and shapes of urban block. For example, many pre-industrial cores of cities in Europe, Asia and the Middle-east tend to have irregularly shaped street patterns and urban blocks, while cities based on grids have much more regular arrangements.
Figure groundA figure-ground diagram is a two-dimensional map of an urban space that shows the relationship between built and unbuilt space. It is used in analysis of urban design and planning. It is akin to but not the same as a Nolli map which denotes public space both within and outside buildings and also akin to a block pattern diagram that records public and private property as simple rectangular blocks. The earliest advocates of its use were Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter
figure ground planThe figure-ground theory of urban design and urban morphology is based upon the use of figure ground studies. It relates the amount of “figure” to the amount of “ground” in a figure-ground diagram, and approaches urban design as a manipulation of that relationship, as well as being a manipulation of the geometric shapes within the diagram. A figure-ground illustrates a mass-to-void relationship, and analysis of it identifies a “fabric” of urban structures. Other related theories of urban design employ different approaches.
Linkage theory operates upon linkages between elements of an urban space, and manipulates those. Place theory operates upon structured systems of human needs and usage. Urban skyline – A skyline is the overall or partial view of a city’s buildings and structures against the sky. It can also be described as the artificial horizon that a city’s overall structure creates. Dubai metro urban population 1.6 million
Urban morphology –Urban morphology is the study of the form of human settlements and the process of their formation and transformation. The study seeks to understand the spatial structure and character of a metropolitan area, This can involve the analysis of physical structures at different scales as well as patterns of movement, land use, ownership or control and occupation. Typically, analysis of physical form focuses on street pattern, lot (or, in the UK, plot) pattern and building pattern, sometimes referred to collectively as urban grain.
Analysis of specific settlements is usually undertaken using cartographic sources and the process of development is deduced from comparison of historic maps. Special attention is given to how the physical form of a city changes over time and to how different cities compare to each other. Another significant part of this subfield deals with the study of the social forms which are expressed in the physical layout of a city, and, conversely, how physical form produces or reproduces various social forms. Urban morphology is not generally object-centred, in that it emphasises the relationships between components of the city.
To make a parallel with linguistics, the focus is placed on an active vocabulary and its syntax There is thus a tendency to use morphological techniques to examine the ordinary, non-monumental areas of the city and to stress the process and its structures over any given state or object, therefore going beyond architecture and looking at the entire built landscape and its internal logic. Urban typology
Typology (in urban planning and architecture) is the taxonomic classification of (usually physical) characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, according to their association with different categories, such as intensity of development (from natural or rural to highly urban), degrees of formality, and school of thought (for example, modernist or traditional). Individual characteristics form patterns. Patterns relate elements hierarchically across physical scales (from small details to large systems). Eg. Industrial town, agricultural town, fishermen’s town
Urban Tissue- urban tissue refers to the environmental level normally associated with urban design. Tissue comprises coherent neighborhood morphology (open spaces, building) and functions (human activity). Neighborhood exhibit recognizable patterns in the ordering of buildings, spaces and functions (themes), within which variation reinforced an organizing set of principles.
Interface – System- is a set of interconnected part of elements, having a regularity or relationship and interdependence between each other. The functioning of this whole complex called system.