1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods

    578 Pages 129 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As an evolving and contested field, urban design has been made, unmade, and remade at the intersections of multiple disciplines and professions. It is now a decisive moment for urban design to reflect on its rigour and relevance. This handbook is an attempt to seize this moment for urban design to further develop its theoretical and methodological knowledge base and engage with the question of "what urban design can be" with a primary focus on its research.

    This handbook includes contributions from both established and emerging scholars across the global North and global South to provide a more field-specific entry point by introducing a range of topics and lines of inquiry and discussing how they can be explored with a focus on the related research designs and methods. The specific aim, scope, and structure of this handbook are appealing to a range of audiences interested and/or involved in shaping places and public spaces.

    What makes this book quite distinctive from conventional handbooks on research methods is the way it has been structured in relation to some key research topics and questions in the field of urban design regarding the issues of agency, affordance, place, informality, and performance. In addition to the introduction chapter, this handbook includes 80 contributors and 52 chapters organised into five parts. The commissioned chapters showcase a wide range of topics, research designs, and methods with references to relevant scholarly works on the related topics and methods.

    Introduction: urban design research
    Hesam Kamalipour, Patricia Aelbrecht & Nastaran Peimani


    1.1. Researching urban design governance

    Matthew Carmona

    1.2. Dynamic multiplicity: contexts, perspectives, and timeframes

    Ali Madanipour

    1.3. Transect-based coding: a methodology

    Emily Talen

    1.4. Exploring the temporal dimension of urban design thinking

    Olgu Çalışkan & Egbert Stolk

    1.5. Commoning urban design: a research program

    Stavros Stavrides

    1.6. So the story goes: using narrative to explore social connections in urban space

    Troy D. Glover & Rebecca F. Mayers

    1.7. Bursting housing bubbles and the agency of urban design activism

    Thomas Markussen

    1.8. An anthropological way of working with urban design: examples from Africa

    Claire Panetta & Suzanne Scheld

    1.9. Exploring the agents involved in the urban design process for inclusive public spaces

    Müge Akkar Ercan

    1.10. Exploring financial agency in neoliberal urban design

    Francisco Vergara-Perucich


    2.1. Cognitive mapping as a research method: the childhood city

    Tridib Banerjee

    2.2. Discovering the playful affordances of urban spaces

    Quentin Stevens

    2.3. Exploring streets as places for social exchange

    Vikas Mehta

    2.4. Researching the applicability of body language methods in urban design

    Patricia Aelbrecht

    2.5. Exploring transit morphologies and forms of urbanity in urban design research

    Nastaran Peimani

    2.6. Putting people in place: deconstructing gendered imaginations through mental maps

    Shilpa Ranade & Shilpa Phadke

    2.7. Forms of negotiating space inside the Palestinian camp

    Samar Maqusi

    2.8. Exploring affective infrastructures: a feminist co-production method in urban design

    Catalina Ortiz, Yael Padan, Belen Desmaison, Judith Mbabazi, Jane Rendell, Vanesa Castán Broto, Paul Isolo Mukwaya, & Teddy Kisembo

    2.9. CPTED: research methods for crime prevention

    Miguel Saraiva & Ana Verónica Neves


    3.1. From place to assemblage: meanings and morphologies in urban design research

    Kim Dovey

    3.2. Phenomenological research methods and urban design

    David Seamon

    3.3. Researching place attachment

    Maria Lewicka

    3.4. Exploring the perception of urban environments for sound-driven placemaking

    Tin Oberman, Francesco Aletta, & Jian Kang

    3.5. Researching place in urban design

    Gethin Davison & Ian Woodcock

    3.6. Territoriology and the study of public place

    Andrea Mubi Brighenti & Mattias Kärrholm

    3.7. Creating character and identity in the rebuilt city: Investigating post-war Britain

    Peter J. Larkham

    3.8. Researching place history, memory and contested identities in urban design

    Ross King

    3.9. Urban design, consilience and placemaking

    Mahyar Arefi & Amir Tayyebi

    3.10. On the value of non-understanding in urban research: notes from explorations of significant non-translatables that make Tokyo - Tokyo

    Darko Radović

    3.11. Place writing, site drawing: researching graffiti as a critical spatial practice

    Konstantinos Avramidis


    4.1. The spatial form and built environment of urban informality: researching informal housing in the Global North

    Vinit Mukhija

    4.2. Researching informal settlements in urban design: documenting urban villages in South China

    Stefan Al

    4.3. The challenges of researching place in informal settlements

    Gabriela Quintana Vigiola

    4.4. Research by the seat of your pants: the bicycle, the camera, and the sequential case method in studying urban informality

    Gordon C. C. Douglas

    4.5. An urban design framework of informal development stages: exploring self-build and growth in informal settlements

    Jota Samper

    4.6. Exploring informal urbanism

    Hesam Kamalipour

    4.7. Understanding how vendors move: mapping spatial informality using grounded theory

    Kiran Keswani & Banashree Banerjee

    4.8. Who authors counter-maps? Lessons from an ethnography of street vending

    Francesca Piazzoni

    4.9. Researching the spatial heterogeneity of Informal Street Vending

    Lautaro Ojeda Ledesma

    4.10. Assessing temporary appropriation, informality, and displacement

    J. Antonio Lara-Hernandez & Abraham Echazarreta


    5.1. Studying the qualities of urban squares

    Jon Lang & Nancy Marshall

    5.2. Designing the urban metaverse: visual analytics for urban design

    Andy Hudson-Smith & Michael Batty

    5.3. Post-occupancy evaluation

    Mike Biddulph

    5.4. Parameters for action: urban morphology as a framework for research in the built environment

    Karl Kropf & Regina Lim

    5.5. Modelling, mapping and measuring urban densities

    Elek Pafka

    5.6. Fit for all: exploring invitations and imaginaries in urban design research

    Rachel Berney

    5.7. Urban design and mapping technologies

    Ole B. Jensen, Lea Holst Laursen & Signe Hald

    5.8. Morpho: urban morphology, performance assessment and urban design

    Vítor Oliveira

    5.9. Green urban futures: researching the performance of urban design

    Steffen Lehmann

    5.10. Exploring transit-oriented urban design

    Weichang Kong & Dorina Pojani

    5.11. Form syntax 1.0: an analytical tool assisting urban design via the measuring of urban vitality

    Yu Ye, Dan Qiang & Wei Zeng

    5.12. Examining the role of the urban built environment in supporting disaster risk reduction

    Jorge León & Magdalena Vicuña


    Hesam Kamalipour is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Design, Co-Director of MA Urban Design, and Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre at Cardiff University.

    Patricia Aelbrecht is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Design and Intercultural Studies and Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre at Cardiff University.

    Nastaran Peimani is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Design, Leader of the Urbanism Research and Scholarship Group, and Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre at Cardiff University.

    "This new Routledge handbook brings together a remarkable range of scholars, covering a vast range of topics and methods employed in urban design research. As much a snapshot of where we are now and how we've arrived here - as where we are heading in the field - it is a must have for any urban designer's bookshelf."

    Tim Townshend, Professor of Urban Design for Health, Newcastle University, UK

    "The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods is an expansive exposition of the diverse ways to interrogate and understand the city. The book critically demonstrates the modes by which urban practitioners can engage with city making and brings to sharp focus the unfulfilled potentials Urban Design."

    Rahul Mehrotra, founder principal of RMA Architects and John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization at the GSD, Harvard University, US

    "This timely book presents a rich variety of approaches and hands on tools and has the format to become a key source of inspiration for researchers, practitioners as well as policy makers. In a world with much shouting and screaming on social media, also when it comes to the build environment, we need dialogue tools and creative approaches. The tools presented in this handbook could serve to create a constructive dialogue around the build environment."

    Birgitte Svarre, PhD, CEO, BARK Consulting A/S, Denmark (co-author of How to study public life with Jan Gehl)

    "In sum, the Routledge Handbook...evidence[s] both the breadth and depth of urban design research globally. The diversity and strength of the work on offer provides great hope—for an increasingly recognised academic field whose robust knowledge base supports the delivery of more successful, sustainable, and equitable places in wide-ranging contexts. Taking forward this important challenge is a compelling prospect for those of us working within urban design research."

    Robert RichardsonCentre for Public Policy, University of Glasgow; review for Urban Design International