Urban Design

Freeway traffic at dusk in downtown Los Angeles, California

Lonely by Design: How Urban Planning Can Intensify Social Isolation

Walkable neighborhoods, access to parks, and opportunities for social interaction can help reduce the burden of loneliness and promote community. But many of our cities aren’t built this way.

January 30, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

Ambulance driving down New York City street

Ambulances vs. Pedestrians

Are the needs of emergency response vehicles inconsistent with nondrivers’ needs for slower, safer streets? Maybe not.

November 21, 2022 - Michael Lewyn

Close-up of microphone on stand with blurred seating in background

How to Include Community Ideas in Urban Development

Urban planners are obligated to sensible and efficient development, but can also take community ideas into account. By prioritizing concerns and thoughts and keeping the future in mind, planners can develop optimal urban communities.

November 7, 2022 - Devin Partida

iPhone screen with Roku app open

‘Roku City’ Would Be a Desirable Place to Live—if it was Real

A streaming box screen saver exhibits better urbanism than many real-life cities.

November 4, 2022 - The New York Times

View of Dealey Plaza with pedestrians at crosswalk and brick book depository building in background

A New Vision for Dallas’ Dealey Plaza

After decades of neglect, a team of designers reimagines the infamous plaza as a safe, vibrant, multimodal public space.

October 24, 2022 - The Dallas Morning News

Downtown Berkeley, California with Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline in background

When Nostalgia Impedes Progress

Urban design critic John King urges fellow Berkeley residents to embrace change and growth.

October 12, 2022 - Berkeleyside

People post for photos in front of a colorful mural in the evening.

Placemaking: Building on the ‘Soul’ of a Place

Placemaking is often mistaken for a form of manufacturing. Every place already has a story to tell—placemaking just brings that story forward.

October 4, 2022 - Brian Chambers

Women Public Space

Urban Design Through a Gender Lens

Building cities to be safe and accessible for women and LGBTQIA+ people has benefits for all users of public space.

August 11, 2022 - Architecture Daily

Rendering of Commercial Row Commons redesign with trees, wide sidewalk

Midtown Atlanta Plaza Replaces Parking With Public Seating, Art

The formerly car-centric block was redesigned to include wider sidewalks, public seating, and enhanced landscaping in lieu of on-street parking.

August 9, 2022 - Urbanize Atlanta

Copenhagen Street

The Century-Old Call for Open Streets

Historical reports from the Regional Plan Association show that car-free streets is an idea almost as old as automobiles themselves.

August 7, 2022 - Regional Plan Association

San Salvador, El Salvador - September 15th, 2021: Protesters walk in the streets of the city against the bitcoin policies of current president Nayib Bukele.

El Salvador President Envisions Retro-Futurist ‘Bitcoin City’

In the same week that the cryptocurrency’s value took a nosedive, the president of El Salvador unveiled a model for a volcano-powered ‘smart city.’

May 18, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Rendering of Completing the Loop river plan for Pittsburgh, PA

“Completing the Loop” Plan Wins National Award for Excellence in Sustainability

Riverlife and evolveEA were honored by the American Planning Association (APA) for the plan, which outlines a 10-year vision to connect, enhance, and expand Pittsburgh’s network of riverfront parks, trails, and public green spaces.

May 9, 2022 - evolveEA.com

New York Public Library

How Urban Design Can Promote Social Equity

More inclusive urban design can help more people access social services and public amenities.

April 26, 2022 - The Architect's Newspaper

Vancouver Al Fresco

Where Urban Design And Public Health Intersect

As the pandemic emphasized, the way we design our cities can have lasting impacts on residents' health and wellness.

March 10, 2022 - Governing

walkable street

The Relationship Between Walkability and Public Health

New research indicates that improving public health requires targeted investments in more than just pedestrian facilities.

March 2, 2022 - Popular Science

The  Rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux is crowded with pedestrians in a lively European scene.

Where Words Fail: Teach Architects and Urban Designers Like Violinists

Architects and urban designers justify or explain their work with words, and municipalities govern design with jargon-filled regulations. The outcome is often underwhelming.

February 22, 2022 - Tristan Cleveland

San Francisco Skyline

San Francisco's 1971 Urban Design Plan Echoes Today's Concerns

A 1971 effort to quantify the city's values and design goals reflects many of the same priorities that planners and residents face today.

January 13, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Street

Reimagining San Francisco for the Post-COVID Era

A San Francisco nonprofit is developing a set of recommendations for making downtown neighborhoods more flexible and welcoming to a more diverse set of users.

November 30, 2021 - Smart Cities Dive

Manhattan, New York City, New York

Updating New York City's Urban Design Principles

Anita Laremont, newly appointed director of the New York Department of City Planning and chair of the City Planning Commission, elaborates on the city's priorities for the public realm and the role for good urban design to enhance quality of life.

November 4, 2021 - The Planning Report

Project site, New Orleans waterfront.

River District Megadevelopment Moving Forward in New Orleans

The project, led by Gensler, will span 39 acres of residential units, retail, and cultural attractions.

June 22, 2021 - The Architect's Newspaper

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.