Urban designing refers to the designing or shaping or any city, town, or village’s physical infrastructure. The idea is to provide municipal services to the city residents and tourists visiting it. So, urban designing focuses on the sensory and visual relationship between the population and the constructed and natural environment. While the built environment will comprise of the streets and buildings, the natural environment will have features like parks, canyons, shorelines, etc that are incorporated into the city framework. So, urban designing as a profession will include elements and processes of architecture and other professions like urban planning, landscape designing, civil engineering, municipal engineering, etc.
Urban planning refers to designing and developing urban areas. So, as an urban planner, you must guide the development of towns and cities and a well-crafted urban plan demands a lot of research and data from various stakeholders like landowners, citizens, and government employees. As this plan will use taxpayers’ money, it must be made cost-effective. Here are some of the types of urban designing that we come across:
- Strategic urban planning focuses on high-end goals and identifies those areas in the city that are ready for growth. This strategic plan is popularly known as a core strategy, development plan, or comprehensive plan. The goals may to be make transportation inside the city easier, to build more community spaces, to introduce things that will attract visitors to the city, or to upgrade a citizen’s overall quality of life.
- Land-Use Planning focuses on policies and laws, and adopts instruments like regulations, codes, rules, governmental statues, and policies for influencing land usage. Such tools will focus on the location, type, or amount of lands required for carrying out diverse projects inside the city. For instance, they will reserve lands for specific purposes like residential living in apartments and condominiums, commercial buildings like offices and shops, industrial edifices like warehouse and plants, municipal buildings like courthouses and police stations, etc.
- Master planning focuses on developing buildings on underdeveloped lands, green field development projects where you must start from scratch. In this type of urban designing, you must envision a state for a particular space, whether it is going to be for commercial or residential purposes, and plan location of urban amenities like schools, parks, etc.
- Urban Revitalization will focus on upgrading those areas that are declining. This may vary from one city to another but usually when an area records many failing businesses, it can be considered suitable for revitalization. Tactics used will depend on why the decline happened; so, you may use methods like developing new infrastructure, pollution control, adding new parks or public spaces, etc. This needs community interactions because the local people will have insights in the matter that can help urban designers do a better job.
- Economic Development identifies growth areas for harnessing more financial prosperity for the city residents. The companies interested to set shop here will recruit local talents; this in turn will boost visibility for the area and lead to an overall economic growth.
- Environmental Planning focuses on sustainability and will consider factors like noise and air pollution, wetlands, flood zone susceptibility, habitat of endangered species, and any environmental factors influencing relationships between human and natural systems.
- Infrastructure designing will focus on basic systems and facilities for a city and residents like public works infrastructure, hospitals and schools, and transport and safety, and how these can help achieve goals highlighted in strategic plans.