10 Tips for Developing a Plan for Urban Design

Part 1

During the development of a new plan for urban design, the architects have to devise the best ways and apply the practical tips and take into account every available piece of information when working on such a huge project for the reason that it is not about simply making a building but a community.

The ideas emerge as you advance in your work and you have to consider the interesting ones to discuss in the planning of an urban design to be implemented in the community or a city.

1 – You have to create a plan for tomorrow, not for yesterday or today.

The conversations that are made to decide on certain points of a plan can be neutralized if they focus from what seems possible to do for today or for what the community thinks is prepared. However, the experts clarify that when this happens in a plan that is for the future, it is not necessary to focus the whole conversation on the present or the past, because the following challenges, needs and opportunities must be prioritized according to the current as well as future context.

2 – Plan for results rather than deadlines

Most of the urban plans are designed to be implemented in a certain number of years, which can be 10, 20, 30 or more years, a period that is commonly justified according to the population estimates. However, these numbers are a projection and not the goals. This is why it recommends to plan a city or community in relation to a specific population level, regardless of the time it takes the city to reach this number of inhabitants. In this way, the nature of growth becomes more important than the speed of growth.

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3 – Speak and write but do not be boring!

This idea arises when realizing that many times the urban planners do not approach in the most appropriate way to the citizens because they tend to use a very bureaucratic and technical language that makes them more distant. Then, on this, it is proposed to generate an ‘attractive commitment’ through activities in which the inhabitants can participate and not simply listen to a presentation. You can get more info in this regard at cmplus.com.au.

4 – Recognize what part of your plan is a consolidation, adjustment, or reformulation.

When it is presented with a plan that their managers believe is quite good, but only needs consolidation or that it is necessary to replace the current plan with a new one without considering the initial one, it is considered that both are mistaken.

This is because it states that every decision regarding how a city is to be routed requires consolidation, adjustments and reformulations, since ‘art is in the organization’ of these three categories of work.

5 – Don’t get readers to find the ‘hidden treasures’ with the great ideas of your plan but put them clearly.

In each plan of urban design, it is possible that the most powerful ideas or statements tend to be hidden among other information. It almost seems like the urban design planners themselves would want to hide them when, often, they have the potential to significantly change a city.

In this regard, it is believed that it is necessary to change the approach with which they are presented, putting them clearly by leaving them as titles of each chapter

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10 Tips for Developing a Plan for Urban Design – Part 2

6 – Have confidence to design a plan with flexibility, clarity, wisdom and experience to know what to prioritize.

The dilemma between flexibility and clarity when building an urban design plan is that one should not choose one over another, since the two attributes are needed, only that the application of each will depend of the idea in question. This is because a plan throughout its gestation needs to include new ideas if they are a contribution and they must give clarity to the process.

7 – Emphasize to move forward at every step, policy and decision.

According to the urban planners, many urban plans give very little importance to the implementation and monitoring in relation to the maintenance and operation issues.

For this to change, it is necessary to make changes in the organizational culture to have the political will to apply the changes and, above all, that the plan has a section that indicates how to make it real to works, so that it has a self-regulation.

8 – Don’t be shy about putting forward the difficult needs and decisions of the city. Calculate the actual cost of things.

By involving citizen participation in a first urban plan, it is not necessary to start by indicating that the city has taken a decision or that it is beginning to work with a blank sheet because both the authorities and the inhabitants have the experience of the costs and results of the decisions that have already been made. For this reason, the plan should make clear what the costs of the changes are to implement when dealing with new issues about growth and development.


9 – Be bold and don’t fear the risk of competent failure but empower your team to be clear, creative and fast.

At the time of devising an urban design, decisions are likely to vary between betting on a safe option and taking a risk. According to experts, there is a big difference between competent risk and incompetent insufficiency. In this sense, it affirms that cities with successful urban plans take competent risks from the audacity regarding the changes that require a paradigm shift and action.

10 – Catalyze the power of your plan because you can change the game.

There are cities that see urban plans as an opportunity to improve, while there are others who think big and do not waste this instance. The experts say that these cities are those that seek a profound change from politics and addressing various issues to change the direction of how decisions are made in the creative culture, council, municipal staff and ways to reach the inhabitants. In short, it is not a time to waste.