Urban design is the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities , towns and villages. In contrast to architecture , which focuses on the design of individual buildings , urban design deals with the larger scale of groups of buildings , streets and public spaces, whole neighborhoods and districts, and entire cities , with the goal of making urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable.
Urban design is an inter-disciplinary field that utilizes elements of many built environment professions, including landscape architecture , urban planning, architecture , civil and municipal engineering . It is common for professionals in all these disciplines to practice urban design . In more recent times different sub-subfields of urban design have emerged such as strategic urban design , landscape urbanism, water -sensitive urban design , and sustainable urbanism.
Urban design demands an understanding of a wide range of subjects from physical geography to social science , and an appreciation for disciplines, such as real estate development, urban economics, political economy and social theory .
Urban design is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. Urban design draws together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with distinct beauty and identity. Urban design draws these and other strands together creating a vision for an area and then deploying the resources and skills needed to bring the vision to life .
Urban design theory deals primarily with the design and management of public space (i.e.