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Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

DEFINITION
1.

that part of town planning or architecture that determines the order and form of
the city with special emphasis on aesthetics (Frederick Gutheim, 1963).

2.

organization of space, time, and communication/meaning (Amos Rapoport,


1977).

3.

the complex inter-relationship between all the elements of the built and unbuilt space in towns and cities (Creed & Roberts, 1998)

4.

the art of making places for peopleabout public realm

5.

Peter Webber defines urban design as 'the process of moulding the form of the
city through time'.

6.

Jerry Spencer has described it as 'creating the theatre of public life'.

7.

Art of designing cities without designing buildings

8.

Addressing the public realm / art of place making

9.

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 - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

EVOLUTION
In the 1960s, planning and architecture were split (Gosling & Maitland, 1984:7)
Planning concentrated on land use patterns and socio-economic issues (macro)
Architecture concentrated on the design of buildings (micro)
There emerged a responsibility gap where design of public space, detailing, at
street level was concerned
Urban design came in to bridge this gap

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

AADI Allianz Design

MEASI Academy of Architecture

The INTERFACE

The BASS FOR A FRAMEWORK defining


urban design can be grouped under six main
headings according to The Institute for Urban
Design (IUD)s criteria:
1. Historic preservation and urban conservation
2. Design for pedestrians
3. Vitality and variety of use
4. The cultural environment
5. Environmental context
6. Architectural values
GOALS AND PRNCPLES describing urban
design can be grouped under eight major
headings:
Place,
Density,
Mixed and compatible uses,
Pedestrianization and human scale,
Human culture,
Public realm,
Built environment
Natural environment

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

WHAT DO URBAN DESIGNERS DO?

1. Developing visions for places and leading to place making


2. Designing built spaces in the urban fabric from whole towns and neighbourhoods to
streets or squares.
3. Design of developments, renewal and regeneration projects.
4. Research, Analysis and understanding places and people the physical, political,
economic, spatial and psychological context of the places

5. Guiding frameworks for people to help others make better decisions and teach them
how to make successful places.
6. Developing framework, codes and policies relating to the built environment and the
fabric.
7. Community consultation helping the public to take part in planning and designing
their neighbourhoods.

8. Graphic representation from sketching, technical, visualisation and computer aided


design, 3D and parametric conceptualisation of the urban fabric.
Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

SCALE OF URBAN DESIGN

http://www.slideshare.net/alshimaak/lecture-1-45014383

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

ELEMENTS OF URBAN DESIGN

The diagram (refer next slide) shows the approximate hierarchical


relationship between the elements of urban design, followed by a brief
definition of each of the elements.

http://urbandesign.org.au/what-is-urban-design/

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

ELEMENTS OF URBAN DESIGN

Elements of urban form macro to micro


Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

http://urbandesign.org.au/what-is-urban-design/

MEASI Academy of Architecture

URBAN STRUCTURE
The overall framework of a region, town or precinct, showing relationships between zones of built
forms, land forms, natural environments, activities and open spaces. It encompasses broader systems
including transport and infrastructure networks.
URBAN GRAIN
The balance of open space to built form, and the nature and extent of subdividing an area into smaller
parcels or blocks. For example a fine urban grain might constitute a network of small or detailed
streetscapes. It takes into consideration the hierarchy of street types, the physical linkages and
movement between locations, and modes of transport.
DENSITY + MIX
The intensity of development and the range of different uses (such as residential, commercial,
institutional or recreational uses).

HEIGHT + MASSING
The scale of buildings in relation to height and floor area, and how they relate to surrounding land
forms, buildings and streets. It also incorporates building envelope, site coverage and solar orientation.
Height and massing create the sense of openness or enclosure, and affect the amenity of streets, spaces
and other buildings.

http://urbandesign.org.au/what-is-urban-design/

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

STREETSCAPE + LANDSCAPE
The design of public spaces such as streets, open spaces and pathways, and includes landscaping,
microclimate, shading and planting.
FACADE + INTERFACE
The relationship of buildings to the site, street and neighbouring buildings (alignment, setbacks,
boundary treatment) and the architectural expression of their facades (projections, openings, patterns
and materials).
DETAILS + MATERIALS
The close-up appearance of objects and surfaces and the selection of materials in terms of detail,
craftsmanship, texture, colour, durability, sustainability and treatment. It includes street furniture,
paving, lighting and signage. It contributes to human comfort, safety and enjoyment of the public
domain.

PUBLIC REALM
Much of urban design is concerned with the design and management of publicly used space (also
referred to as the public realm or public domain) and the way this is experienced and used.
The public realm includes the natural and built environment used by the general public on a day-to-day
basis such as streets, plazas, parks, and public infrastructure.

http://urbandesign.org.au/what-is-urban-design/

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

TOPOGRAPHY, LANDSCAPE AND ENVIRONMENT


The natural environment includes the topography of landforms, water courses, flora and fauna
whether natural or introduced. It may be in the form of rivers and creeks, lakes, bushland, parks and
recreational facilities, streetscapes or private gardens, and is often referred to as green infrastructure.
SOCIAL + ECONOMIC FABRIC
The non-physical aspects of the urban form which include social factors (culture, participation, health
and well-being) as well as the productive capacity and economic prosperity of a community. It
incorporates aspects such as demographics and life stages, social interaction and support networks.
SCALE
The size, bulk and perception of a buildings and spaces. Bulk refers to the height, width and depth of a
building in relation to other surrounding buildings, the street, setbacks and surrounding open space. For
example, a large building set amongst other smaller buildings may seem out of scale.
URBAN FORM
The arrangement of a built up area. This arrangement is made up of many components including how
close buildings and uses are together; what uses are located where; and how much of the natural
environment is a part of the built up area.

http://urbandesign.org.au/what-is-urban-design/

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

THE NATURE OF URBAN DESIGN: THE LESSONS FROM EXPERIENCE


In recent times, the term urban design has come to mean almost anything as various design
fields try to claim the field as their own. Perhaps it is wise to go back to the original usage
of the term as established by those who first used it at Harvard and at Pennsylvania during
the late 1950s at a time when both the traditional professions of architecture and city
planning faced the criticism of the Modernists efforts in city and precinct design.
Urban designing is indeed an activity that overlaps many others but can one can identify a
number of types of design that, if nor unique amongst the professional design fields, are
central to what can be regarded as urban design practice. It is possible to distinguish
amongst urban design as: 1) Urban Physical Policy Formulation, 2) Infrastructure Design,
3) Piece-by-Piece Urban Design, and 4) Total Urban Design (see also Lang, 1997).
Urban Physical Policy Formulation
Decisions about the nature of the good environment for people of different cultures and at
different stages in their life cycles should have an impact on land use decisions. One type
of urban design is thus concerned with the broad issues of zoning to achieve public
benefits. It is applicable to the city and precinct design on green-field, brown-field and
urban renewal sites. The concerns are not only with controlling development but also with
providing developers with incentives to build in particular ways and to provide specific
facilities. It may involve the formulation of standard land use zoning ordinances, incentive
zoning and/or the creation of special zoning districts such as tax increment zoning areas
and business improvement districts (Houstoun, 1997).
Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

Infrastructure Design
Urban design as infrastructure design has also been referred to as plug-in urban design. The public
infrastructure of cities is vast. Not only does it consist of the open space between buildings streets and
footpaths that provide for movement channels, but also for public facilities such as museums, schools
and more mundanely sewage farms and fire stations. The infrastructure has a catalytic effect on the
investments that individual developers make. It shapes the locational decisions developers make but
leaves them with the freedom of choice about what they actually plug into the infrastructure network.
In much recent urban design work, the concern is with the global city, the information city and the
provision of the telecommunications infrastructure that provide systems for the developers of buildings
to plug into.
Piece-by-Piece Urban Design
Piece-by-piece urban design is the heart of urban designing endeavors. Whether one is designing a new
town or an urban renewal project, the design process is one of establishing goals, developing a
conceptual design and then designing use specifications and guidelines for the components buildings
and landscaped spaces to be developed and designed by a number of developers and their architects
while retaining some overall behavioral and visual coherence. The goal is have the parts orchestrated to
add up to a whole.
Total Urban Design
Much urban design, has involved not only infrastructure design but also building design. It has thus
covered designs from a new towns scale, to precinct scale, to building scale. Thus this type of urban
design can justifiably be called Total Urban Design when one team of design professionals carries it out.
It is the closest type to large-scale architecture. Total urban design projects are much more limited in size
than during the early years of the second half of the twentieth century. Few Brasilias are being built now,
but there are still large-scale mass housing developments taking place in countries as diverse as South
Korea, the People's Republic of China and the United States.
Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture

Urban Design - Unit 1

Prof. Priya Sasidharan

MEASI Academy of Architecture