This eight course series explores essential urban design concepts through free, open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process. The first course introduces the software you’ll use to create analytical maps, 3D models, and 2D graphic designs.
Neighborhoods are the building blocks of the urban pattern. A transect considers patterns of urban intensity, ranging from rural to urban. In this course, learn how to delineate a set of neighborhoods and design a new zoning map.
This course focuses on connectivity on corridors of various types—from major thoroughfares to pedestrian paths. Learn how to find strategic areas where design interventions to improve connectivity will have the most effect.
Neighborhood centers provide a common, centrally located destination for residents. In this course, learn how to suggest design improvements to enhance neighborhood centers.
This course will show you how to identify the edges in a neighborhood. You'll also learn how to propose design interventions to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of edges.
Planners often argue that neighborhoods should be socially and economically diverse—mixed in income, mixed in use, and actively supportive of places that commingle people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, occupations, and households. The objective in this course is to evaluate land-use diversity in a neighborhood and propose design interventions that support and enhance a healthy mix.
This course will explore two related concepts: proximity and density. Design can help enhance proximities among people, goods, and services. Density, if designed well, can be a community asset by increasing proximities between people, goods and services.
The final course in the Urban Design for Planners series addresses the automobile as part of the urban fabric. The storage of cars and high levels of congestion can be very detrimental to neighborhoods, but good design can mitigate those negative effects.