Urban Design and Physical Planning

View of Buffalo's City Hall.

Urban Design bridges urban planning, architecture and landscape. Urban designers work on the scale from the design of a street corner to a bird’s-eye view of the urban structure of a metropolitan region.

They work on a diverse range of projects from community development, housing, redevelopment of downtown and waterfront, streetscapes, natural resource reclamation, infrastructure programs, sustainable planning/design. Some of them work on planning/design of new campuses, towns or new city centers. Urban designers contribute to making cities and neighborhoods more livable, more pedestrian friendly and more environmentally and aesthetically agreeable. Most of urban design work requires knowledge in economic development planning and historic preservation. Bridging architecture and urban planning programs, students in the urban design specialization study the design of the natural and built environments, focusing on each discipline as a form of critical inquiry into the other. Studios, seminars, and community-based learning formats cover theories, methods, and case studies in urban design, ecological practices, physical and spatial planning, sustainable design, landscape design, and tools for financing urban design proposals.

  • Introductory:  URP 565, Urban Design I: Good Urban Form or URP 566: Urban Design II: Theories of Urban Settlement or URP 523 Graphic Communication in Planning
  • Advanced: URP 565 or URP 566  or URP 523 (if not taken under “introductory” category), or URP 526, Site Planning
  • Specialization paper, consisting of one of the following, as approved by the specialization director:
    • Masters Project relevant to the specialization
    • Thesis relevant to the specialization
    •  Independent study relevant to the specialization

Specialization Director:
Hiroaki Hata