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Advice for someone interested in urban design?

Messages
7
Points
1
hello fellow planners, would anyone have any book recommendations for someone wanted to learn a bit more on urban design?

i am already a municipal planner. i also have very good working knowledge of sketchup, photoshop, and using various rendering programs (this is a hobby of mine).

thanks for any tips!
 

mercdude

Cyburbian
Messages
235
Points
7
There's a series of highly technical books called Graphic Standards - don't let the name misguide you, these are technical books on how-to practically do things like install a LID planter, build ADA sidewalks, etc. Basically, it gives you none of the philosophical background and only the technical so since you know about Urban Design concepts already, this might be useful. There is one for Urban Design (planning and urban design standards), and it's packed full of really useful diagrams, methods, and technical drawings - I highly recommend it.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
393
Points
11
Had a friend who was going through this. She ended up quitting her job doing an intense summer urban design program from either Berkeley or Harvard (I forgot which, both both are similar) and using that as a springboard to enrolling in graduate school the following year. One note that if you do this, an MUD may not be very helpful as it is largely geared towards people who already have a design background. You may need to go back for a full 3-year MLA to really get the full debpth and range of design skills necessary to be an urban designer.
 

mercdude

Cyburbian
Messages
235
Points
7
Right. Coming from personal experience, I'd argue that a MLA isn't the best degree for most 'urban design' projects (nowadays); with the caveat, that if new commercial and residential PUDs are proposed, Land. Arch.'s (and not Architects) are the best design profession for the job. Basically, the work goes to the individual with a license and professional liability vs. a planner who might be able to discuss urban design concepts confidently and may be very knowledgeable but can't legally create (and isn't trained for) construction details, maps, plans, etc. Which means, they can't build it and Land. Arch.'s and Architects can.

That said, if you are conceptually thinking of "urban design" within the downtown setting of Chicago, New York, etc. or any truly big city, then Architecture is the way to go. Because, they will be designing building facades and store fronts, which is not covered by Land. Arch.'s license... and generally speaking, is beyond the design ideals of a MLA.
 
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