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The art of creating and shaping cities and towns

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Urban design involves the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. 

Urban design is the process of giving form, shape, and character to groups of buildings, to whole neighborhoods, and the city. It is a framework that orders the elements into a network of streets, squares, and blocks.

Urban design is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. Urban design draws together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with distinct beauty and identity.

The building of cities is one of man's greatest achievements.

Urban design and city building are surely among the most auspicious endeavors of this or any age, giving rise to a vision of life, art, artifact and culture that outlives its authors. It is the gift of its designers and makers to the future. 

THREE SCALES

Urban design is derived from but transcends planning and transportation policy, architectural design, development economics, engineering and landscape.

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Urban design involves place-making - the creation of a setting that imparts a sense of place to an area. This process is achieved by establishing identifiable neighborhoods, unique architecture, aesthetically pleasing public places and vistas. 

Lively commercial centers, mixed-use development with ground-floor retail uses, human-scale and context-sensitive design; safe and attractive public areas; image-making; and decorative elements in the public realm.

Urban design practice areas range in scale from small public spaces or streets to neighborhoods, city-wide systems, or whole regions. It is essentially an ethical endeavor, inspired by the vision of public art and architecture.

main points

three scales

Oslo

Paris

Bruges

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the region city and town

the neighborhooddistrict and corridor

the 

block street and building

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Psychology experts from the University of Essex have discovered that modern buildings incorporating too many repetitive straight lines and railings, differ so greatly from nature that they can induce migraines

Arnold Wilkins, emeritus professor of psychology at Essex University, went as far as saying that “because the repetitive patterns of urban architecture break the rules of nature, it is more difficult for the human brain to process them efficiently.” The consensus, then, is that architects need to find new ways to not only provide functionality but now stimulate the minds of those who will pass interact with their projects. The need for a holistic approach to urban architecture has never been greater.

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