What is Urban Design?
Urban design is the process of shaping the space in which we live. It means bringing together all the specialist skills required to develop a master plan with the objective of creating better cities, towns, villages and a sustainable and useable infrastructure that can be enjoyed by current and future generations.
The term Urban Design covers a mass of specialist skills to deliver a successful plan. It also allows these skills to work more closely together with a clear objective of sharing these skills and give a better result than doing otherwise.
Architects and planners do not always see eye to eye. This is why Urban Design has developed extensively over the last 25 years; it is a platform for bringing all the diverse professions together in a way that allows effective communication between them.
By looking at existing places and by learning about the complex relationship between the community and the infrastructure, we can learn to recognise the things that are required to create a rich and stimulating urban environment.
Why is Urban Design Important?
Urban Design is an important concept because it is a way of bringing professionals together so that they can offer their services with a logical workflow.
It should also be able to inspire confidence; to deliver the assurances that the local community will be getting the best value for money.
Everyone should be involved in the process. As with all design, the process must involve a dialogue with the customer and it is important to be able to identify and relate to all these customers. Urban design is a process that needs to generate and sustain local interest. Never underestimate the value of local knowledge; it is often the key to how an existing area works.
For each household and each business, large and small: you are the customer; you will be the end user; you will be the people who have to live with the outcome once the developers have gone.
Much can be done to involve communities early in the urban design process. A shared understanding of local issues can reduce the possible antagonism that may result when communities are faced with changes to their lifestyles and surroundings.