7 Main Urban Design Principles Everyone Should Know About

Regardless of whether you are an architect, a city planner, major or just a responsible citizen, understanding urban design principles can help you analyze the area you live in and make improvements to it. Urban design principles are meant to ensure attractiveness, accessibility and social inclusion of the city. This is the reason why several city districts can vary in terms of their visual appeal, and, consequently, have different commodity prices.

According to Wikipedia.org, the term ‘urban design’ ‘emerged in the 1900s as a consequence of the industrial revolution. Associated with city planning, it implies free public spaces, narrow streets, sidewalks, greenways, squares, apartments, etc. Simply put, urban design is a combination of architect ideas and landscape planning.  

In this article, we will discuss the main principles of urban design everybody should know about.

Each City Area Should Be Easily Accessible

To begin with, each city should have well-developed transit areas that provide its citizens with transportation and pedestrian connections. Replacing cars with bicycles and scooters exponentially decreases road traffic and significantly reduces CO2 emissions. A good example of successful inclusive city planning is Amsterdam. It is famous for having far more bicycles than cars. Thanks to that, the Netherlands has been considered a cycling nation since 1912.

Transportation System

A well-developed connection system ensures easy access to public transport within the city and fewer traffic jams. To ensure that, city planners need to provide pedestrians, car drivers, bikers and disabled people with wide roads. A normal circulation system is responsible for the stability of a city’s logistic system and promotes effective development of all its districts. It is also extremely important to develop hub connections and highways to keep trucks out of the city. Overall, diverse means of transport ensure efficient and healthy city life. For example, Los Angeles citizens take pride in their exceptionally diverse transportation scheme that allows them to avoid traffic jams.

Greening the Streets

Being part of urban design planning, planting trees is essential for cities of any size. Doing so allows for more efficient disposal of fuel emissions and ensures saturation of air with oxygen. Also, the abundance of a green color makes the streets become more eye-catching.  And let’s not forget about parks which allow urban dwellers to rest during a busy working day.

Public Open Space

Efficient urban design is impossible without ensuring free public spaces for citizens. This includes children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms, parks for running and gathering spaces. The said places provide city residents with communication and recreation opportunities, promote a healthy lifestyle and create an impression of sufficient living space.

Co-working places where you can work, study and have free access to the Internet are becoming extremely popular in the 21st century.  They are very convenient for students who need a comfortable working space where they can order their custom coursework writing.

HRemember History, Develop Future

New developments should visually and physically match historical sights. Historical buildings and places create a unique city charm that has a psychological and visual impact. Mentally, people are more likely to live in a city with a deep history that values its cultural heritage. Due to the presence of old buildings, people become subconsciously proud of their place of residence and form a strong bond with it. A combination of old and new building is always eye-catching. A good example of this is Riga, the capital of Latvia. Its  Old Town district is seamlessly incorporated into the high-tech infrastructure of the newer districts.

Social Equality

The principle of social equality is closely connected with social inclusion. This means that all city residents should have equal access to public transport, civic buildings, governmental bodies, and recreation zones. Moreover, it is important to ensure that all citizens get equal treatment, regardless of their mental and physical condition. Therefore, all districts should have an easy connection with one another and provide convenient access for disabled people (wheelchair lifts on metro stations, special buttons for people with physical disabilities to ask for help, etc.).

Thus, providing equal opportunities for all citizens ensures free movement of a labor force and a high-level of social inclusion. This, in turn, leads to lower unemployment rates and more rapid economic growth.

The Power of Local Sources

This principle implies encouraging local communities to participate in the production of energy. Put simply, a building’s design should provide its residents with an opportunity to save energy (e.g. use less water and electricity) and produce it as well (e.g. install solar panels and batteries on the roof). This can help not only to cut their energy bills but also get paid for extra electricity they generate.

The principle applies to local heating and energy production as well. A well-developed city should allow its citizens to control hot water and energy consumption by dividing buildings into districts. Such decentralization helps the government make budget savings and increase the comfort level of specific districts.



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