Urban designer

Urban designers are involved in the arrangement, appearance and functionality of public spaces. Urban design deals with the way public spaces are experienced and used by the general public (such as streets, plazas, parks and public infrastructure).

Urban designers combine architecture, and urban planning principles as well as other seemingly independent disciplines such as sociology, transport engineering, group and individual psychology and behavioral studies, with the aim of managing and transforming the interactions of different aspects of urban life to a physical and usable built form.

It should be noted that urban designers differ from urban planners in that they focus on the physical improvement of public space where as planners focus on management of built environments through planning policies and statutory development controls.

Urban designers may perform the following tasks:

  • Preparing designs that reflect best practice, provide high standard of urban design, and are compatible with land use development and that integrate effectively with existing future development strategies
  • Developing and presenting urban design proposals and information
  • Encouraging stakeholder and community views to be expressed and included, where appropriate, in project plans and land use designs to ensure public support for the project
  • Balancing competing needs and expectations of stakeholders given the range of different perspectives
  • Building and maintaining strong relationships with Government agencies, local councils, community interest groups and other stakeholders throughout the architectural and urban design phases
  • Working in a complex environment, requiring political astuteness in regards to social, environmental and economic issues
  • Managing and guiding consultants, specialist advisors and less experienced staff