Current Issues in Urban Design
College of Architecture + Design
The seminar is designed as a critical and collective inquiry into current issues of the urban design discipline. Through a series of lectures, readings, case studies, discussions, presentations, site visits and research work, students focus on the issues that are currently part of the global discourse regarding shaping urban growth and change in the 21st century. The seminar will be structured around five key issues facing the discipline: 1 Design on a Big Scale Urban Designers are generating visions at the scale of the City and Region. There is a need to think holistically and effectively bridge disciplines in order to deliver integrated solutions. Seminar participants will explore how urbanists play a vital role in making a good city: one that is more beautiful, equitable, and sustainable. 2. Sustainable Urbanism Urban Designers are addressing the complex environmental, economic, and social forces that effect City + Regional form. Seminar participants will explore notable Green Cities Initiatives (Chicago, Freiburg, et al); integrated design strategies for Cities + Regions; change in Sea Level Rise (impact on coastal cities); LEED ND, LAND and other rating systems that address the scale of the site, city and region; smart growth, etc. 3. Density Urban Designers are currently addressing the duality of the global urban condition in the 21st century: both Shrinking Cities and exponential urban grown in the BRIC nations. Seminar participants will explore Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Value Densification, Dense Housing Typologies, Mixed-Use Development, etc., and identify both the environmental, economic and social benefits and impacts of density. 4. Design Agency Urban Designers, to effect their significant role in urban growth and change, must behave as change agents. Seminar participants will explore the various avenues for design agency, including: practice, advocacy, elected + appointed positions, community building, community process and civic engagement, environmental justice. 5. Next Generation Urban + Regional Designers are currently debating how to best cultivate the next generation to pursue careers in urban + regional design both in the academy and in practice settings.