elements of urban design

Urban design is concerned with the arrangement, appearance and function of our suburbs, towns and cities.

It is both a process and an outcome of creating localities in which people live, engage with each other, and engage with the physical place around them.

It involves the design and coordination of all that makes up cities and towns.


  • Buildings are the most pronounced elements of urban design
  • they shape and articulate space by forming the street walls of the city. 


  • Great public spaces are the living room of the city – the place where people come together to enjoy the city and each other.
  • Public spaces make high quality life in the city possible – they form the stage and backdrop to the drama of life. 
  • Public spaces range from grand central plazas and squares, to small, local neighborhood parks.


  • These are the connections between spaces and places, as well as being spaces themselves. 
  • They are defined by their physical dimension and character as well as the size, scale, and character of the buildings that line them. 
  • The pattern of the street network is part of what defines a city and what makes each city unique


  • Transport systems connect the parts of cities and help shape them, and enable movement throughout the city. 
  • They include road, rail, bicycle, and pedestrian networks, and together form the total movement system of a city. 


  • It is the green part of the city that weaves throughout, in the form of urban parks, street trees, plants, flowers, and water in many forms
  • The landscape helps define the character and beauty of a city and creates soft, contrasting spaces and elements.

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