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Urban design lecture 2

Lecture 2: Introduction to Urban Design
Lawrence Ogunsanya

Urban design lecture 2

Definition of Urban Design:
that part of town planning or architecture that determines the
order and form of the city with special emphasis on aesthetics
(Frederick Gutheim, 1963).
the complex inter-relationship between all the elements of
the built and unbuilt space in towns and cities (Creed &
Roberts, 1998)
the art of making places for peopleabout public realm
(SA Urban Design Charter) ..what differentiates place from
The complex relationships between all the elements of built
and unbuilt space

Urban design lecture 2

Definition of Urban Design:
Combination of tailored processes and creative responses
aimed at enhancing the general appeal and functioning of
urban areas (ibid)
Urban design creates a framework for our lives,We feel and
experience urban design every day.Design brings order and
relation into human surroundingsit is the production of
cities by people for people
The process of giving physical design direction to urban
growth, conservation, and change
The architecture of public space

Interdisciplinary nature of urban

Urban Design integrates the processes and expertise of many
related disciplines including art, architecture, landscaping, the
social sciences, economics, planning, engineering, law and
Notwithstanding, successful designs are actually determined by
the public at-large rather than academia!.
Below: Urban design works originating from engineering,
architectural studies, and landscape science

Urban Planning - Urban Design Architecture Axis

The relationship is historical:

In the 1960s, planning and architecture were split
(Gosling & maitland, 1984:7)

Planning concentrated on land use patterns and socioeconomic issues (macro)

Architecture concentrated on the design of buildings

There emerged a responsibility gap where design of

public space was concerned
Urban design came in to bridge this gap, Urban design
is generally considered neither a profession nor a

Urban design lecture 2

Urban Planning - Urban Design Architecture Axis

What is the difference between an urban designer and

urban/town planner, or between an urban designer
and an architect?
An urban planner was some one who was primarily
concerned with the allocation of resources according to
projections of future need.
Planners tend to regard land use as a distribution of
resources problem, parcelling out land, for zoning
purposes, without much knowledge of its threedimensional characteristics, or the nature of the building
that may be placed on it in the future.
The result is that most zoning ordinances and official land
use plans produce stereotyped and unimaginative

Urban Planning - Urban Design Architecture Axis

Urban design lecture 2

Urban Planning - Urban Design Architecture Axis

Architect, on the other hand, designs buildings. A good
architect will do all he can to relate the building he is
designing to its surroundings, but he has no control
over what happens off the property he has been hired
to considered.
Some one is needed to design the city, not just the
buildings. Therefore, there was a need for someone
who could be called an urban designer."

Urban design: Grouped Definition

The basis for a framework defining urban design can
be grouped under six main headings:
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

Why is Urban Design Needed?

Urban design lecture 2

Design can help enhance a citys advantages:

physical needs of citizens; safety, security and protection; an
environment free of pollution, noise, accidents, and crime;
a conducive social environment ..a sense of community; an
appropriate image and prestige; creativity and selfexpression in neighbourhoods; aesthetically pleasantness as
a place of culture and a work of art.

Design can help diminish a citys

disadvantages: containment of size & population; the
obligation to travel; social stratification.

Rationale for Urban Design

Any part of the city has a form and the assemblage of
such parts generates a unique urban form and
Any part of a city is designable, and so is the
assemblage of these parts to form streets, squares,
urban fabric, munuments, skylines e.t.c
Even the incremental town forms evolve on the basis
of commonly understood and accepted
patternsurban design offers a framework.
Today, many non-local forces are shaping the city; thus
rules and patterns need to be introduced in the form of
development and design frameworks founded on a
citys particular history, culture, location, e.t.c so as to
safeguard its identity.

Criteria for Urban Design:

What may dictate an urban design undertaking?

Appeal (how places look.)

Function (how places work);
Quality of urban areas; (ambience)
Community well-being: Vitality;

Urban design lecture 2

Criteria (contd)
Environmental stress: (human activity, pollution,
natural disasters)
Identity: (heritage, community, movement)
Diversity: (multiplicity, integration,variety)
Legibility: (recognition, iconize, landmark)
Meaning/communication: (signage, information)
Development: (growth, urbanization, infrastructure)
Regeneration: (Renewal, upgrades, transformation)
Constraints: (crime, chaos, sprawl, conflict)

Role of urban design

1. Description:
character of place

2. Imagination/Clarification
legibility of function/form

The use of imagery/iconic

design, different materials
and fabrics for different
circulation areas, use of
pedestrian/street furniture,
and signage.

3. Negotiation: among conflicting interests;

space contestation

4. Visualization: scenarios-building; simulation;


5. Correction/ reconstruction: defects/malfunctions; destruction

(hazards: fires, earthquakes, flooding, tsunamis, hurricanes,
erosion,/landslides, glaciers e.t.c

6. Mitigation:
e.g disaster preparedness, crime prevention

7. Prescription: Show the way out of situationsUrban design lecture 2

sprawl, land use conflict, pollution e.t.c

8. Beautification: aims at the creation of useful, attractive, safe,

environmentally sustainable, economically successful and socially equitable

Urban design lecture 2

9. Prowess: celebration of civic excellence

Goals of Urban Design

Mixed and compatible land uses,

Pedestrianization and human scale,
Preserving Human culture and identity
Quality Public realms
Built environment
Protecting Natural environment
Aesthetics: Strong Visual Impact
Development: New Investment. Employment opportunities
Functional Efficiency
Improved Environmental conditions
Safety and security
Guardianship and Space standards
Technical Solutions to unique problems

Elements of Urban Design

Building facades
Height and Massing
Materials and details
Public space
Transport and movement
Land-use and density

Process of Urban Design

Urban design lecture 2