Urban Design: City-Building and Place-Making
General Catalog Course Title:
Urban Design: City-Building and Place-Making
Terms Offered:
Fall 2016
Fall 2015
Fall 2014
Course Thread: 
Human-Centered Design
Course Thread: 
The Historical & Modern City
Instructor: 
MacDonald, Elizabeth
Instructor: 
John Ellis

This course introduces students to the field and practice of urban design. The objective is to provide a foundation for understanding the various dimensions of urban design, the role of urban design within development processes, and key issues and challenges facing urban designers today. Learning about cities via fieldwork is an integral part of the course. The concerns of urban design are diverse and multidisciplinary, encompassing perspectives, skills, and theories from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning. Urban designers work at a range of scales—region, city, neighborhood, and lot—and are concerned with the interrelationships between scales. They deal with large-scale citywide design issues, such as city pattern and street and block layouts, but also with smaller scale local issues such as designs for streets and public open spaces. Urban designers may work to shape the form of specific places within cities, such as downtowns, shopping areas, cultural precincts, or they may design citywide systems such as streets, greenways, and public open space systems. The may design small infill projects for existing cities and neighborhoods, or they may design large-scale master plans or framework plans to control development at the metropolitan edge or on large parcels within existing cities being redeveloped for different uses. The discipline of urban design is concerned with notions of the “good city.” It is concerned with how urban environments work for people and support human needs, how physical designs may facilitate or hinder human behavior, how cities look, and what cities mean. It is concerned foremost with environmental quality, measured in many ways but particularly in terms of access, connectivity, comfort, legibility, and sense of place.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.