Urban Design: A Literature Review

A great little overview of some of the literature in Urban Design. Sure, it’s not biking related but, as we know, if you get the design right, people will feel invited to bike and walk. Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design and Traffic Engineering have to work as the most intimate army ever for this to work well.


Whilst a grad student, I learned that the opinions on what urban design is, vary greatly between planners, architects, and landscape architects. It’s only fair to admit that most urban designers in the United States today are trained as architects. Some of them might argue that urban design is essentially a large-scale architectural exercise, where architects not just design buildings, but also neighborhoods and cities as an ensemble of buildings, held together by public space and infrastructure. A planner, on the other hand, might say that urban design sits firmly in the planner’s domain, and that the endeavor is practiced through comprehensive planning, zoning and other regulations that deal with form, such as height restrictions, setback regulations, and design guidelines.

Part of the mystique surrounding urban design, is the fact that it isn’t a regulated profession. To become a planner, a landscape architect or an architect, you have to graduate…

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