1st Edition

Essential Urban Design A Handbook for Architects, Designers and Planners

By Rob Cowan Copyright 2021
    256 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

    Shaping our cities, streets and public spaces, urban design informs the places we live. It is a complex multi-disciplinary process, requiring the input of a wide variety of stakeholders and design and construction professionals. Each urban project invariably throws up a new set of problems and strategic decisions for the design team. This guide distils the essential information required for the expert direction of the day-to-day work of urban design, from strategic design to masterplanning through to character assessment and collaboration. Compact and accessible with over 250 hand-drawn figures and plans, it's the perfect everyday companion for junior practitioners and experienced heads alike across the built environment.

    1. Place, Pioneers and Practitioners

    2. Urban Design in Action

    3. Context, Character and Quality

    4. Politics, Collaboration and the Role of Local Authorities

    5. Strategic Urban Design and Masterplanning

    Appendix: Checklist for Assessing Context and Character


    Rob Cowan is the author of The Dictionary of Urbanism and director of the consultancy Urban Design Skills. He is editor of Context, the journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He invented Placecheck, and was the joint author of By Design, the UK government’s ground-breaking urban design guidance. He is a cartoonist and illustrator, and he presents the Plandemonium series of online videos.