Explorations in Urban Design

An Urban Design Research Primer

Explorations in Urban Design LOOK INSIDE
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  • Edited by Matthew Carmona, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, London
  • Whilst recognising that distinctly different traditions exist within the study and practice of urban design, this book advances an interdisciplinary and innovative approach, which is of direct importance to understanding the urban forms, conditions, practices and processes. It enthuses and inspires users who are grappling with urban design research problems, but who need inspiration to move from idea to methodological approach.

    Through the work of 32 urban researchers from the arts, sciences and social sciences, it demonstrates a wide range of problems and approaches and shows how the diverse range of complementary approaches can come together to provide a holistic understanding to the design of cities. While each of the contributors presents a particular approach to researching the field, sometimes focusing centrally on particular research methodologies, others cutting across methods, or focusing on theory, all include discussion of actual research projects to illustrate their application to 'real world' problems. This book will be valuable to everyone from the informed undergraduate student about to embark on their first dissertation, to PhD students and seasoned researchers immersed in methodological and conceptual complexity and wishing to compare available and appropriate methodological paths.
  • Contents: Investigating urban design, Matthew Carmona; Part I Philosophical Approaches: The role of risk in urban design, Iain Borden; Deconstructing and recalibrating urban design in the global south, Camillo Boano, Melissa García Lamarca and Andrew Wade; The politics of space production: the case of Macau, China, Paula Morais; Urban design in the realm of urban studies, Pushpa Arabindoo; Place-temporality and rhythmicity: a new aesthetic and methodological foundation for urban design theory and practice, Filipa Wunderlich. Part II Process Investigations: Mixing methods/theorising urban design process, Matthew Carmona; Link and place - bridging stakeholder divides, Peter Jones; Actor-network theory coevolution framework for urban design, Tse-Hui Teh; Unlocking policy documents: policy analysis in urban design, Antoine Zammit; Smart cities, social networks and the Internet of Things, Andrew Hudson-Smith; Environmental masterplanning: defining an integrated approach, Aurore Julien, Ian Hamilton and Ben Croxford. Part III Physical Explorations: Urbiculturalism, understanding the patterns of place, Terry Farrell; Space syntax as interdisciplinary urban design pedagogy, Sam Griffiths; Thinking systems in urban design: a prioritised structure model, Kinda Al-Sayed; Explorations in generative street layouts, Stephen Marshall and Mark Sutton; The relationship between density, built form and design, Graciela Moreno and Philip Steadman. Part IV Propositional Experiments: London short stories, CJ Lim; The siting of writing and the writing of sites, Jane Rendell; Design as research and research as design: mega-plans and mega-projects in Karbala and Hong Kong, Matthew Carmona; Crafting a methodology for urban design in development: between research, pedagogy and practice, William Hunter and Anna Schulenburg; An evidence-based approach to designing new cities: the English New Towns revisited, Kayvan Karimi and Laura Vaughan. Part V Performance Enquiries: Public space as lived, Quentin Stevens; Historical exploration/explanation in urban design, Michael Hebbert; The problem of scale, Adrian Lahoud; Urban design as a tool in urban conservation, and urban conservation as a tool in urban design research, Elisabete Cidre; Does urban design add value?, Matthew Carmona; A personal postscript, Matthew Carmona. Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Editor: Matthew Carmona is Professor of Planning and Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. He has previously lectured at the University of Nottingham and before that worked as a researcher at Strathclyde and Reading Universities and as an architect in practice.
  • Reviews: ‘This book explores a very wide range of recent research into urban design emanating from the diverse and prestigious Bartlett School at UCL. Edited by Matthew Carmona, who provides a “mainstream” perspective on divergent approaches, this book will encourage graduate students in urban design everywhere to explore simultaneously new research perspectives and techniques.’
    John Punter, Cardiff University, UK

    ‘This well-illustrated volume edited by Matthew Carmona lifts the state of the art in urban design research and scholarship to a new height. This primer offers intriguing new methods and technologies for conducting research on urban form, urbanism and the processes of urban design. It is an exciting and unique contribution to the expanding scope of theory and practice - a must read for students, scholars and practitioners.’
    Tridib Banerjee, University of Southern California, USA

    'This book brings together a rich and varied set of approaches for not only understanding and analysing existing urban situations but also how to go about starting the design process for a new urban layout … Highlights of the book are the many essays which propose completely new approaches for urban design … (it) is a fascinating gathering of the recent research UCL’s many built environment departments (and) will interest anyone with a passion for urban design. This is a must read for those working in the field and a ‘go to’ reference work for students'. RIAS Quarterly