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At The Bartlett urban design is a cross-disciplinary subject, taught, researched and practised across the faculty.

Urban Design at The Bartlett

As a subject, urban design is concerned with the physical form of the city, with the patterns of movement and social activities this enables, with the nurturing of distinct and liveable places for urban life, with the adaptability and sustainability of urban form, and with how all this is shaped across time and through local processes of design, development, governance and management. Urban design operates through processes of self-consciously designing the built environment so that it better meets a set of human and environmental needs, but also through multifarious ‘natural’ processes of urban adaptation and change in the city, and through ‘planned’ governance and development activities that continuously shape the physical and social public realm.

Through our teaching and research, The Bartlett offers perhaps the most comprehensive coverage of the subject found anywhere in the world. At The Bartlett urban design is taught through seven core and nine strongly related programmes, research in urban design crosses seven broad themes, we nurture a diverse range of partnerships with practice, and have approaching 50 staff engaged in urban design and urban design-related research and practice.


An interdisciplinary perspective

All this means that urban design is an interdisciplinary subject that spans across our seven academic sections, We celebrate this diversity and the rich and distinct cultures of academic enquiry it gives rise to, and we deliberately nurture it. We therefore address the topic with different global outlooks (from the global north and the global south); from design, physical science, social science, and critical humanities perspectives; from architectural, planning and real estate professional standpoints; as an analytical science, propositional force, and target of complex governance process; and as a focus for cutting edge research and practice and research and practice-led teaching.