Urban design as a field of activity is concerned with the four-dimensional form and functioning of the public realm. It is both a process and a product and is often regarded as the integrative force that straddles and connects the more traditional built environment disciplines: urban design aims to reunite the partnership between planning and design to help improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment. This course provides an introduction to urban design concepts and methodologies in relation to current planning practice. Starting from an appreciation of the fundamentals of design, topics include site investigations, defining urban structure, enhancing the public realm, understanding building typologies, and controlling built form. Specific aims of the course include developing an awareness of the scope of urban design projects, an appreciation of the physical structure of places, an understanding of shaping built form, a familiarity with a range of building typologies, and an appreciation of current urban design issues and debates. Particular skills to be reviewed include site analysis methodology, establishing robust planning and design principles, mapping and spatial understanding, design review criteria and mechanisms of development control.
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