The Program in the Design of Urban Places, leading to the Master of Urban Design degree, is a unique, interdisciplinary program of advanced study in which exceptional architects and landscape architects holding professional degrees partake in an intense, focused learning experience. They share working methods, acquire additional skills, and explore new avenues of development under the supervision of an interdisciplinary group of faculty members in the College of Environmental Design drawn from the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and City and Regional Planning.
The program addresses the need for professionals who are specifically concerned with the design of varied urban areas open to public use. The activities of urban design are diverse in both type and scale. Urban designers may be concerned with settlement patterns in urbanizing areas; the restructuring of inner cities; and the design of streets and open spaces, buildings, and landscape patterns that establish neighborhoods and provide the settings for public life. They may shape the form and space of specific places such as civic or shopping centers, or they may design citywide systems, such as streets, lighting, signing, greenways, or bicycle and pedestrian ways. They may work on infill in older towns and cities, or they may prepare plans, guidelines, or standards to manage extensive new development at the metropolitan growth edge.
The need for urban designers is as urgent today as in any period of recent history. Worldwide, the cities of both developing and developed countries are struggling with problems of managing rapid growth. Urban design professionals are as necessary in cities of developing countries where infrastructure and land-use patterns are being established as in developed cities where historical continuity and the reuse of existing sites are major issues.
Urban places are shaped by many forces acting over long spans of time. The design of good places — places that are configured so that they will sustain reasonable patterns of development, provide valuable opportunities for public and private involvement, and nurture citizenship — requires many skills. Their design requires consideration of current users as well as unknown future users. Ecological, cultural, social, political, technical, and financial issues must be addressed.
Today as more and more land is developed in patterns that are dehumanizing and wasteful, the core cities continue to decline. Repair of the country's urban infrastructure is an increasingly important priority. Under these circumstances, designers, who are able to work effectively in teams across a range of scales and with a well-developed understanding of urban places and the interdependencies of the fabric of buildings, landscapes, public ways, and the social interactions that shape them, are needed. Professionals who can deal creatively with urban design problems both within existing towns and cities and at the growth edge of the metropolis are in demand. Older inner-city districts require rethinking and adaptation to new uses and to new groups of users. At the same time, cities are expanding at an unprecedented pace into open land. New models for dealing with peripheral growth are desperately needed that are socially informed and ecologically sensitive.
Urban design also may be pursued as a concentration in the master's degree programs in the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and City and Regional Planning. A concurrent degree in Urban Design, offering both the MLA and MCP, is offered in the Department of Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning, and a concurrent degree in Urban Design, offering both the MArch and MCP, is offered in the Department of Architecture and the Department of City and Regional Planning. Please refer to these departments for further information.
There is no undergraduate program in Urban Design.
Urban Design: MUD (Master of Urban Design)
Faculty and Instructors
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Christopher L. Calott, Associate Professor. Urban Design, Infill Housing, Mixed-use Infill Development, Urban Landscape Infrastructure, Participatory Design and Community Planning, Affordable and Informal Housing, US-Mexico Border Urbanism, Native American Planning and Development, Latin American Urban Development, International Development .
Renee Y. Chow, Professor. Field Urbanism: Systemic, Relational, Contextual Design, Collaboration, Agency, Accommodation of Change .
Margaret Crawford, Professor. Everyday urbanism, evolution, uses and meanings of urban space and therapid physical and social changes on villages in Chinaâ€™s Pearl River Delta .
C. Greig Crysler, Professor.
Rene Davids, Professor. Architecture and Urban Design, connected to Watersheds, Landscapes, Affordable Housing, Architectural Materials and Detailing .
Nicholas de Monchaux, Professor. Urban History and Theory, Drawing and Representation, Urban Information, Design and Resilience .
Kristina Hill, Associate Professor.
Richard Hindle, Assistant Professor. Landscape and plant technologies including horticultural and material processes, innovation, and patents; green roof technologies; landscape related technologies across a range of scales, from ecosystem to site.
Walter J. Hood, Professor. Urban design, community development, landscape architecture, environmental planning, landscape design, citizen participation, design of architecture and landscape.
Elizabeth S. Macdonald, Professor. Urban design.
Louise A. Mozingo, Professor.
John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
David Rodriguez, Professor.
Richard Bender, Professor Emeritus.
Peter C. Bosselmann, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture.
Elizabeth A. Deakin, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, city and regional planning, transportation policy, planning and analysis, land use policy and planning, legal and regulatory issues, institutions and organizations, energy and the environment, new technologies.
Harrison Fraker, Professor Emeritus. Environmental performance of buildings (passive solar, daylighting, natural cooling), Integrated whole systems design approach for resilient eco cities, neighborhoods and blocks, environmental performance of public space to mitigate urban heat island effect .
Randolph T. Hester, Professor Emeritus.
Allan B. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus.
Linda L. Jewell, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, landscape architecture, environmental planning, landscapes and structures, on-site design decisions, site planning, sustainable construction.
Donlyn Lyndon, Professor Emeritus. Architecture, structure of place, ethical dimensions of design.
Daniel Solomon, Professor Emeritus.
Michael Southworth, Professor Emeritus. Management, analysis, design, city and regional planning, landscape architecture, environmental planning, morphology of the post-industrial city, design of public space.