The design and planning of a city must be able to meet the demand of 21st century lifestyle as well as the condition of the citizen and environment. This is why a good urban design is very much needed in the modern society.
Urban design is more than just designing a building in the city. Instead of just focusing on an individual building, it is more of a holistic approach to create a functional city with complete facilities that will support the activities of its citizen.
Urban design is also an art of managing the public spaces so that the people can connect with them. In the end of the day, the main role of the project is to provide comfort and convenience to the people so that they can use the facilities to maximize their skills.
This is why, when the urban design architects start their project, they should not only think about the attractiveness or the functionality of the building. Of course those aspects are also cannot be neglected. But the most important thing about public space management is to make sure the public can experience the value of those facilities. Whether it is a mall, street or a city park, the design of the city must be able to deliver social, economic and also environmental benefits for the citizens.
The Difference between Urban Design and Urban Planning
The terms urban design and urban planning are often used interchangeably. But the truth is those two are completely different. While urban design is more focused on the physical form, for example the building itself, urban planning is related to policy making. Instead of working on making the actual building, an urban planner is responsible to write policy recommendations.
Even though urban planning and design are two different fields, they are strongly related. The policy will be a guide for the urban designers to create the buildings and other public facilities. This way, the city design will have a proper direction and will be suitable with what the public really needs.
Elements of Urban Design
There are several elements that make a good urban design. These following elements support each other to make the city more livable for the citizens.
Buildings are the most important elements of an urban design. Buildings are divided into two categories. The first one is public building and the second one is residential building. Public building consists of commercial, governmental and other types of places that are used as public facilities. Meanwhile, residential building consists of various types of housings.
To make the city balanced, it should not only be filled with buildings. The urban planner and designer also should include landscapes in the city design and planning. Various landscapes like trees, flowers or water fountains are not only beneficial to beautify the city, but also to increase its environmental point.
3. Public Space
Instead of a closed building, public space is more of an open space where the people can easily visit to enjoy their day. A public space can be used as a place for the people to socialize and it ranges from small neighborhood parks to city squares.
4. Street and Transport
Street and transport are the most difficult part of a city to plan and design. Street and transport will connect one place to the others so it is very important because those two aspects also will determine the productivity of the citizens
Principles of Urban Design in the 21st Century
The world keeps changing every day and city design should be able to keep up with that. As a matter of fact, since it is impossible to change the design of a city every single time a change happens, a good urban design should be able to forecast what might occur in the future, what the citizens might need in the decades to come.
One of the most important urban design principle in this era is a pedestrian and bike friendly street. Traffic jam is a problem in every city nowadays. If the street has room for bikes and pedestrians, it is not impossible that the citizens will prefer to walk or bike rather than commuting with personal cars. It will not only solve traffic problem but also will give big contribution to the wellbeing of the environment.
To keep up with the latest development, a good urban planning should accompany and guide the urban design. Every city, every place, every country will have different requirements in terms of their local design. But if the urban designers are able to translate the urban plan into the values that the public really wants, a sustainable development definitely can be achieved.