- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 25 Nov 2020
To help develop this article, click ‘Edit this article’ above.
Urban design is concerned with the arrangement and design of the buildings, transport systems, services, public spaces and amenities that make up the urban environment. It is the process that shapes and gives character to groups of buildings, neighbourhoods and cities. It considers the connection between people and places, movement, nature and the built environment.
Urban design is a process that many different design professionals contribute to, including architects, engineers, town planners and so on. Recognition of the role as a specific profession in its own right has only really emerged in the last 25 years or so.
The typical duties of an urban designer might include:
- Working on ‘visions’ for places, including the preparation of ‘vision statements’.
- Designing built spaces from an individual street or square to neighbourhoods or even whole towns.
- Providing advice on the design of developments or regeneration schemes.
- Undertaking research into people and places to help inform decision making.
- Developing built environment guidance and policies.
- Undertaking community consultation.
- Preparing technical drawings and designs.
- Preparing urban design strategies.
- Preparing design and access statements.
- The planning system.
- Principles of urbanism.
- Development economics.
- Movement and transport.
- Landscape design.
- Site planning.
- Stakeholder management.
- Consultation processes.
- Project management.
- Regeneration strategies.
 Urban design as a profession
It is possible to study urban design on courses at a number of universities around the UK and whilst there is not a professional body for urban designers, it is possible to become a recognised practitioner through the Urban Design Group. It is also possible to study a subject related to the built-environment at undergraduate level (such as town planning, architecture or geography) and then complete a postgraduate urban deign course.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Consultation process.
- Design and access statement.
- Compact sustainable city.
- Consultation process.
- Engineering smart cities.
- Inclusive design.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Smart cities.
- Smart cities design timeframe.
 External references
Featured articles and news
How elements and processes work together in a systems approach.
CIOB offers digital guide to proactive methods of working.
Tech will drive professional development in fields tied to infrastructure.
The idea for the structure emerged from the architect's dream.
Changing air tightness requirements prompt testing and revisions.
Government takes steps to revise building safety legislation.
Product can be 'grown' into bricks or used as a self-healing building material.
Anticipating COVID-19's continuing construction disruptions.
Availability payment arrangements involve project performance.
EU responds to COVID-19 with NextGenerationEU plan.
Property developer and founder of London Brick Company.
New course offered by CIOB.