Ever wonder why all the buildings of a city look alike? Why are the cities so densely populated? And why even is there all this traffic? All these can be a result of failed and outdated urban design strategies of these cities.
A strong urban design offers significant community benefits, better quality of life, safer and more secure cities and a greater ability to function as a society. It also provides each city with a unique sense of identity and establishes the framework for it to be more responsive to differing climatic, economic or social variables. But how can this be achieved? By keeping many factors of urban design in mind simultaneously, according to landscape architect Gerdo P. Aquino, an internationally recognised landscape architect and urban designer, who served as the keynote speaker at the City Design and Sustainability Symposium at Northeastern University.
He explained that building successful cities of the future depends on whether many factors at play in urban design—business, science, politics, culture, just to name a few—are flowing in unison and supplementing each other. This approach, he said, allows cities to develop multifaceted infrastructure that addresses current objectives and can adapt over time to meet the needs of an evolving populace. “When that occurs, great design happens, and great planning happens.” It leads to outcomes that holistically make for better-built environments and in turn, way of living.
Simply put, urban design is the discipline that plans the public spaces of the city to make sure they’re attractive, safe, and efficient. To enable successful design for the future, design thinkers of the new generations must bring their individual expertise to forums like this one to develop interdisciplinary solutions for sustainable urban landscapes. Faced with many issues such as climate change rising temperatures and sea levels, air quality, the ability for a city to positively evolve relies solely on the effectiveness of the plan behind it.