Thursday, November 29, 2012

Urban Design Essay

Essay on Urban Design and Urbanism

"The Present City and the Practice of City Design" in Everyday Urbanism by John Kaliski
Urban design is study of the arrangement, appearance and functionality of urban areas, including the shaping and uses of urban public space. The theory of urban design deals mainly with the design and management of public space, the way they are seen and used. Public spaces are streets, squares, alleys. Boulevards and parks – places that we see every day. One of the main goals of urban design is to improve urban environment, make it more enjoyable and useful.

Urban planning is the integration of the disciplines of land-use planning and transport planning in order to explore a very wide range of aspects of the built and social environments of urban areas and communities. Regional planning deals with larger areas then urban planning, at a less detailed level. One of the main functions of urban planning is urban renewal, using urban planning methods in order to revive existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay.


We can draw a city on a map, plan the streets and buildings, however, the feeling of a city we can received only by experiencing it, walking on the streets, living its life, meeting its people. John Kaliski writes that despite of the professional efforts of the urban designers, the city lives its own everyday life.
The author starts the article with the words that we need the plan in order to look in the future. Later in the article, he mentions with some degree of disappointment, that many designers are behind the time and not in front of it. The designers should be ahead of their time, guessing the tendencies of city development and progress of society.
Most of the famous urban designers of the twenties century tried to create a conceptual city and wanted to create utopic cities, like for example, Le Corbusier, many designers wanted to create a city of order. This was characteristic to the designers of the early twentieth century. This trend has passed in the 50s, after the World War II. One of the greatest inventions of the postwar times is shopping mall. It was developed by Victor Gruen, whose childhood passed in Vienna. In the shopping mall, Gruen tried to recreate rich urban life of European cities, with its busy main streets and crowded sidewalks.

Jane Jacob, one of the key figures in American urban design, criticized the urban renewal policies of the fifties. In her famous work The Death an Life of Great American Cities she pointed out that when designing urban areas not the impression they give, but how people use things, she protected the traditional city blocks and proposed new principals of urban renewal. 
Edmund Bacon and Jonathan Barnett talked about architect as about “urban policy-makers.” Surprisingly enough, not the architectures and urban designers influence the appearance of the streets, but rather the officials who either approve or disapprove the design proposals. These people have power and authority to shape the way our cities look. Bacon and Barnett, for example, left greater contribution as government officials and not as individual designers.
Christopher Alexander thinks that designers and citizens should act collectively and residents should part in their community design together with professionals. He goes as far as suggesting that each time a new project is proposed, citizens and designers should come together and discuss the directions of the project. At the same time Alexander stresses that each time when a new building or object is planned, the next step of development should be also considered, just like a next step in a game of chess.
Denise Scott Brown is among the most influential architects of the twentieth century. She criticized urban designers and planners for not being able to catch up with the time and the changes. Her projects often incorporate the needs of every day city life as well as conceptual design.
In the United States throughout the 1990s emerged an urban design movement, new Urbanism. The goal of the movement is to change some aspects of real estate development, renewal and urban planning, from urban retrofits to suburban infill. New urbanist neighborhoods are designed to be walkable and interesting from the designers’ point of view.
Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Urban Design and Urbanism topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

Order Custom Essay on Urban Design
If you need a custom essay, dissertation, thesis, term paper or research paper on your topic, will write your papers from scratch. We work with experienced PhD and Master's freelance writers to help you with writing any academic papers in any subject! We guarantee each customer great quality and no plagiarism!