The Substantive Urban Design Considerations: Priorities for Creating Successful Places

Main Article Content

Wanarat Konisranukul


Although urban design, as opposed to urban design theories, is an ancient profession, that has
shaped towns and cities over the centuries in many different cultures and continents, the agenda of urban
design is new and different relative to other more established theories of late-twentieth-century town
planning [1]. Whilst urban design theory as well as its practice still faces a number of challenges, in recent
years many urban designers and planners seemingly agree that there is no single traditional urban design
approach which could offer an absolute answer to successful urban design. Indeed, ‘successful urban
design’ should not be employed as a fixed theoretical model but as the principles that underlie those
successes, have value in empirical settings, and draw its intellectual roots from the past. In light of this
concern, this paper is devoted to a discussion of the principles underlining successful urban design.
Based on a review of both academic and professional works, five main substantive urban design
considerations are proposed in this paper. These include physical function, visual perception, urban
environment, heritage conservation, and social demand and development. Through the discussion, this
paper shows that these substantive considerations play their important roles in urban design and help
to generate successful urban design.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Greed, C. (1998). Definitions and perceptions of urban design. In C. Greed & M. Roberts (Eds.),

Introducing urban design (pp. 3-14). London: Longman.

Montgomery, J. (1998). Making a city: Urbanity vitality and urban design. Journal of Urban Design, 3(1), 93-116.

Brown, D. (1982). Between three stools: A personal view of urban design and pedagogy. In A. Ferebee (Ed.), Education for urban design (pp. 132-172). New York: Institute for Urban Design.

Lang, J. (1994). Urban design: The American experience. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Sternberg, E. (2000). An integrative theory of urban design. Journal of the American Planning Association, 66(3), 265-277.

Carmona, M., et al. (2003). Public place urban space. London: Architecture Press.

Bertolini, L., & Dijst, M. (2003). Mobility environments and network cities. Journal of Urban Design, 8(1), 27-43.

Mitchell, W. J. (2000). Designing the digital city. In T. Ishida & K. Isbister (Eds.), Digital cities (pp. 1-6). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Brown, D. M. (1997). Understanding urban interactions: Summary of a research workshop. Washington D.C.: The National Science Foundation.

Mitchell, W. J. (2003). Me++. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Webber, M. M. (1964). The urban place and the nonplace urban realm. In M. M. Webber, et al., Explorations in urban structure. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Whyte, W. H. (1988). City: Rediscovering the centre. New York: Doubleday.

Bentley, I., et al. (1985). Responsive environments. London: Architecture Press.

Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of great American cities. New York: Random House.

Neal, P. (Ed.). (2003). Urban villages. London: Spon Press.

Cullen, G. (1961). Townscape. London: Architectural Press.

Bacon, E. (1975). The design of cities. New York: Penguin.

Olsen, J. D. (1986). The city as a work of art. London: Yale University Press.

Mumford, 1940. cf. Madanipour, A. (1996). Design of urban space. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Madanipour, A. (1996). Design of urban space. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Rowley, A. (1994). Definitions of urban design: The nature and concern of urban design. Planning Practice and Research, 9(3), 179-197.

Lynch, K. (1960, 1979). The image of the city. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Nasar, J. (1988). Perception and evaluation of residential street Scenes. In J. Nasar (Ed.), Environmental aesthetics. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hubbard, P. (1994). Professional versus lay tastes in design control—An empirical investigation. Planning Practice and Research, 9(3), 271-278.

Greed, C. (1998). Design and designers revisited. In C. Greed & M. Roberts (Eds.), Introduction to urban design. Singapore: Longman Singapore Publishers.

Sitte, C. (1889). City planning according to artistic principles (G. R. Collins & C. C. Collins, Trans.) London: Phaidon Press.

Bentley, I., et al. (1985). Responsive environments. London: Architectural Press.

Chapman, D. (Ed). (1996). Creating neighbourhoods and places in the built environment. New York, London: E & FN Spon.

Rasmussen, S. E. (1959). Experiencing architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Cantacuzino, S. (1994). What make a good building?. London: The Royal Fine Arts Commission.

Moudon, A. V. (1992). The evaluation of twentieth-century residential gorms; An American case study. In J. W. R. & P. J. Larkham (Eds.), Urban landscapes: International perspectives (pp. 170-206). London: Routledge.

Ellin, N. (1996). Postmodern urbanism. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

McHarg, I. (1969). Design with nature. New York: National History Press.

Partridge, E. (1985). Are we ready for an ecological morality? In M. Wachs (Ed.), Ethics in planning (pp. 175-190). NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Van der Ryn, S., & Calthorpe, P. (1986). Sustainable communities: A new design synthesis for cities, suburbs, and towns. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Cook, R. (1980). Zoning for downtown urban design. New York: Lexington Books.

Hough, M. (1984). City form and natural process: Towards a new urban vernacular. London: Routledge.

Spirn, A. W. (1984). Granite garden: Urban nature and human design. New York: Basic Books.

Moughtin, C. (1996). Urban design: Green dimensions. Oxford: Butterworth Architecture.

Larkham, P. J. (1996). Conservation and the city. London: Routledge.

Borsano, G., & Ferlenga, A. (Eds.). (1984). Rossi. Milan, Italy: n.p.

Conzen, M. R. G. (1960). Alnwick, Northumberland: A study in town plan analysis. Institute of British Geographers, No. 27.

Orbasli, A. (2000). Tourists in historic towns. London and New York: E & FN Spon.

Cohen, N. (2001). Urban planning conservation and preservation. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Punter, J., & Carmona, M. (1997). The design dimension of planning. London: E & FN Spon.

Barnett, J. (1982). Introduction to urban design. New York: Harper & Row.

Pressman, N. (1981). Priorities for planning livable cities. Creating Livable Cities, 13(2/3).

Gehl, J. (1987). Life between buildings. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Webster, H. (1997). Modernism without rhetoric. Singapore: Academy Editions.

Lefaivre, L., & Tzonis, A. (1999). Aldo Van Eyck: Humanist rebel. Rotterdam, Netherland: OIO Publishers.

Beall, J. (Ed.). (1997). City for all. London and New Jersey: Zed Books.

Jones, D., & Payne, A. (1997). Disability and diversity in the city. In J. Beall (Ed.), City for all. London and New Jersey: Zed Books.

Parfect, M., & Power, G. (1997). Planning for urban quality. London: Routledge.

Kostof, S. (1992). The city assembled: The element of urban form through history. London: Thames & Hudson.

Evans, G. (2001). Cultural planning. London and New York: Routledge.

Manley, S. (1998). Creating accessible environment. In C. Greed & M. Roberts (Eds.), Introducing urban design (pp. 153-167). London: Longman.

Hillman, J. (1990). Planning for beauty: The case for design guidelines. Royal Fine Art Commission, HMSO.

Nelissen, N. (1999). Preliminary conclusions: Ten megatrends in aesthetic control in Europe. Urban Design International, 4(1), 77-78.

Nasar, J. (1988). Perception and evaluation of residential street scenes. In J. Nasar (Ed.), Environmental Aesthetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Porteous, J. D. (1977). Environment and behaviour: Planning and everyday urban life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Abbott, J. (1996). Sharing the city. London: Earthscan Publications.

Sanoff, H. (2000). Community participation method in design and planning. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Hamdi, N. (1991). Housing without houses. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Cowan, R. (2000). Beyond the myths on urban design. The Planner, 1395(24).