Urban Design

Aerial view of green roofs with plants in Sydney, Australia.

Where Urban Design Is Headed in 2024

A forecast of likely trends in urban design and architecture.

March 10, 2024 - Daily Journal of Commerce

Paved walkways with wood benches in green city park with large trees.

Considering Mindfulness as an Urban Planner's Tool

A recent blog post in Substack considers the appropriation of mindfulness to urban observation and, implicitly, urban planning today.

February 26, 2024 - Resurgence: A Journey via Substack

Pedestrianized street in Milan, Italy with outdoor dining tables and umbrellas.

Did the Pandemic Spur Radical Urban Change?

The Covid era highlighted social inequities and prompted new paradigms for urbanism and mobility. Will they stick around?

February 14, 2024 - LinkedIn

Green u-shaped school building with slanted roof and courtyard in the middle

Vernacular Architecture in the Era of Climate Change

We no longer have time for design that ignores the climate crisis. Building and community design must respond to this new context to successfully meet people’s needs.

February 5, 2024 - Corey Squire

Man sitting on wooden bench under tall streetlight at night.

Can Urban Design Truly Impact Loneliness?

Some theorists want to design cities to reduce loneliness and isolation. Others want to accommodate them.

January 23, 2024 - Governing

Low angel shot of three people with four dogs in enclosed grassy dog park.

Fighting the ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ in Cities

While urban design alone can’t mend the tears in our social fabric, planning decisions and thoughtful, inclusive design can offer or hinder opportunities for interaction.

December 17, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

Blurred dense crowd of people with no recognizable faces walking in a busy city.

How Cities Can Avoid Perpetuating Segregation

Residents of big cities, known as the ‘melting pots’ of America, have fewer interactions with people outside their socioeconomic group than those in smaller communities, according to new research.

November 30, 2023 - Stanford News

Two women walking on wide walkway among large trees next to neoclassical building in Cologne, Germany.

How Urban Design Impacts Public Health

With more and more people living in cities, designing equitably healthy urban spaces becomes a key question for policymakers.

November 1, 2023 - Wired

Wooden walkway in forest in Bonnet Springs Park, Lakeland, Florida.

Finding Beauty in Adaptive Reuse

The summer issue of Metropolis Magazine calls on designers to embrace the beauty in circularity.

October 9, 2023 - Metropolis

Blurred pedestrians on busy walkable street in Copenhagen, Denmark with old buildings in background

How the ‘Social Field of View’ Impacts Street Life

The vibrancy of a neighborhood may be defined by what people can see in their immediate vicinity.

September 8, 2023 - Happy Cities

Ai generated image of greenway with transit line adjacent

AI and Downtown Recovery: Missing the Mark in Seattle?

In his fourth GeekWire article on downtown recovery, Chuck Wolfe reviews the use of AI imagery in a section of the Seattle Downtown Activation Plan and suggests how it may have missed the mark.

July 20, 2023 - GeekWire

Greenwich Village street with red brick buildings with green awnings and businesses on first floor

Livable Streets, Revisited

The updated version of Donald Appleyard’s 1982 book Livable Streets, written by Appleyard's son, dives even deeper into the ‘ecology of the street,’ proposing actionable solutions for the conflicts and problems facing urban environments today.

February 26, 2023 - Bruce Appleyard

Washington Square Park, New York City

Reshaping Cities for Present-Day Populations

The demographic changes of the last few years give city planners and urban designers an opportunity to reimagine how public spaces can most effectively promote public health, wellbeing, and equity.

February 23, 2023 - Douglas C. Smith

People walking and biking on flat dirt trail next to San Francisco Bay with Golden Gate Bridge in background

City Dwellers Happiest in Parks, Angry at Transit Stops

An analysis of geotagged tweets reveals that city dwellers express positive emotions in green spaces and restaurants, while bus stops and transit elicited more frustrated reactions.

February 12, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

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

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.