Urban Design for Planners

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This eight-course series explores essential urban design concepts using 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. 

Urban Design for Planners 2: Getting Started with QGIS and SketchUp

The second course in the Urban Design for Planners series provides training on two important tools: SketchUp and QGIS.

Urban Design for Planners 3: Neighborhoods and Centers

This course demonstrates how to delineate a set of neighborhoods and neighborhood centers for a given area and suggests design improvements that enhance neighborhood centers. 

Urban Design for Planners 4: Mix and Proximity

The purpose of this course is to evaluate land-use diversity in a neighborhood, propose design interventions that would support and enhance a healthy mix, evaluate distances between where people live and what people need, and propose design interventions that would help increase desirable proximities. Students will find areas with different kinds and levels of mix, and then propose design strategies for areas of low housing mix. They will then compare areas for access to the most desirable facilities and places and propose corresponding infill strategies.

Urban Design for Planners 5: Density

The purpose of this course is to show how neighborhoods can increase in density in keeping with their character. Students will learn how to find areas that are close to civic uses, commercial areas, and public transit; propose a level of urban intensity (transect zone) for each area; determine what kinds of units would be appropriate in each location; and create a Sketchup model with varying density layers.

Urban Design for Planners 6: Streetscape Design

Learn how to identify thoroughfares where traffic calming is a high priority, identify desired thoroughfare dimensions based on urban context, and create a redesigned thoroughfare. 

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