Applied Urban Design

The Applied Urban Design framework promotes the practice of contextually responsive urban design.

It is designed by Dr Philip Black, Mr Robert Phillips, Dr Taki Sonbli, and Dr Michael Martin (Aalborg University).

Applied Urban Design will be published with Routledge New York in late 2021 or early 2022. It seeks to allow readers to:

  • perceive urban design as a unique vocational applied discipline;
  • precisely understand applied urban design;
  • better appreciate the distinct practice of urban design;
  • better understand how designers can champion and deliver contextually responsive solutions.

There is a proliferation of context-less designs that stem from beliefs around:

  • progress;
  • development;
  • growth;
  • the notion that urban design ideas can travel easily and be replicated.

Applied Urban Design argues that urban design must attend more carefully to its local contexts.

It augments traditional proscriptive (critiquing poor practice design) and prescriptive (suggesting best practice design) approaches with new critical thinking on context (urban, social, cultural, historical) to deliver contextually responsive design interventions and solutions.

It provides a bespoke framework, set out across five stages.

Applied Urban Design further identifies the role of urban design(ers) in shaping spaces and places across differing contexts through a responsive and sensitive multi-scalar approach.

Each stage is supported with bespoke original graphics, illustrating a broad range of urban design visualisation techniques.

The process is demonstrated through 'live' projects and international urban design case studies.

It supplements the descriptive with original graphics and visuals.

This embeds and illustrates the process in real-world scenarios.

The forthcoming publication combines 'why' we design, with 'how' we design.

The framework acts as scaffolding for practicing urban design.

It also acts as a starting point for others to build on and engage with.