Last edited 25 Aug 2015

Urban designer

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[edit] Introduction

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.

[edit] Typical duties

Urban designers will often work within large, multi-disciplinary consultancies or architectural firms. Some developers, government departments and local authorities may also employ urban designers.

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.

To perform these duties, urban designers require a wide range of knowledge, including an understanding of:

[edit] 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.

Further information on urban design can be found at the Urban Design Group and RUDI (Resource for Urban Design Information).

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.

[edit] External references