There are two kinds of urban design: the kind that shapes skylines and the kind that shapes communities. For the past several decades, planners-who are trained to think about how communities function-have ceded their role in urban design to architects-who are trained to think about how buildings look. In Urban Design Reclaimed, Talen challenges planners to reengage in urban design to ensure that it supports diverse, sustainable, vibrant, and equitable communities. She shows planners how design influences their ability to reach social goals such as diversity, environmental sensitivity, sense of place, and quality of life-and how they can influence design. This how-to book provides some of the tools planners need to get back in the game. Through a set of 10 exercises, it provides an urban design vocabulary and corresponding set of applications that are specifically targeted to n-architects.
Emily Talen, AICP, is a professor in the Schools of Geographical Sciences, School of Sustainability, and School of Planning at Arizona State University.