Whenever we go out of our homes, urban design is all around us, even when at times we might ignore it or simply not notice it. Urban design is the art and the process of giving shape and form to public spaces, transportation systems, services, and amenities. It is such an essential aspect of our everyday lives, that the design of a public space can modify the way we interact with others in and around spaces like squares, parks, sidewalks, roads, and a long list of ongoing etcetera’s. Urban design shapes our cities, our towns, and our communities, and understanding its role in society will help us understand our collective identity, too.
Buildings are the most noticeable elements of urban design, as they shape our cities and towns, define streets and corners, and ultimately articulate the space we all inhabit. Urban design is in charge of helping create a sense of identity and coherence amongst buildings and the way they interact with and complement each other. Buildings define our public space, and urban design helps give shape and form to such identities.
Public spaces are another important element of urban design, as these places are where we get together as a community, where we can interact with each other, creating meaningful relationships and bonding with those around us. Urban design plays an important role when it comes to public spaces, as it will have a great impact on our mood, on our interactions, and on our relationship with our own cities and towns.
In order to move around the city and get to different places we use streets, which work as the veins and arteries of the public space. Whether we transit by car, public transportation, bike, or walking, streets create networks of varying sizes, shapes, and dimensions. The role of urban design here is to optimize the use of public space, designing streets that enable us all to reach different parts of the city while balancing different patterns of order, unity, proportion, symmetry, harmony, beauty, among many other aspects that will result in unique and efficient spaces.
Having an efficient and user-friendly system of transportation is an essential part of any city or town, and it requires a complex and thorough process of development and planning to achieve it. Urban design is responsible for creating the best possible network, as it will have a deep and significant impact on how the users are able to move through it. Finding the balance of all means of transportation, while prioritizing the mobility of the most vulnerable is a huge challenge, but one that will define the quality and character of cities and towns.
Last but not least, we have landscaping, which is what makes public spaces welcoming and warm, consolidating communities, and ensuring that public spaces have a positive impact on the well-being of its users. Urban parks, trees, flowers, and water all come together to create an inviting space that can be enjoyed by everyone. Through landscaping, urban design creates harmony and beauty in cities, providing citizens with spaces that evoke peace and comfort all around.