4207761: Urban Quality Assessment

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Semester:WS 16/17
Lektionen / Semester:16.0 L / 12.0 h
Selbststudium:48.0 h



Masterstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)



This module focuses on developing a conceptual and practical framework for approaches to urban design. Critical theory on the city and their design principles form the basis for analysis, mapping and evaluation of public urban spaces. It seeks to foster an informed personal approach for addressing contemporary discourse, urban conditions and design potentials for intervention.
Some areas explored in the framework of analysis and evaluation of urban spaces include: modernist and postmodernist urbanism theory; urban form and public space- streets, plazas, monuments; mapping and use analysis; hybrid programming and the urban landscape.


Professional competence

  • Analyze and evaluate urban spaces based on a selection of appropriate criteria and assessment methods specific to the place.
  • Use knowledge about an urban setting to influence and develop design work.
  • Explain competently, discuss and critique own work through oral presentations, writing and visual communication to members from inside and outside the architectural profession

Methodological competence
  • Identify key elements of complex problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • Apply techniques of environmental behavior observation, formal urban analysis and mapping

Social competence
  • Discuss and articulate ideas and information effectively
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with other students for assignments, exercises, presentations
Personal competence
  • Critically assess own work and put it into a historical, theoretical, cultural and social context
  • Seek and make use of feedback



Lecture and seminar: discourse, writing, drawing, documenting, visualising, modelling

Voraussetzungen (inhaltlich)

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree Program


Urban Milieu:
Augé, Marc. 1992/1995. "From Places to Non-Places" in Non-Places, trans. John Howe. 75-115.
Baudelaire, Charles. 1863/1964. "Modernity" in The Painter of Modern Life: "Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne" and Other Essays by Charles Baudelaire, trans. and ed. Jonathan Mayne, 12-15. Phaidon Press.
Benjamin, Walter. 1927-1940/1968. "Baudelaire or the Streets of Paris" in Paris: Capital of the 19th Century, 84-86. The New Left Review I/48 (March-April 1968).
DeBord, Guy. 1958 /2006. "Theory of the Dérive" ed. Ken Knabb in Situationist International Anthology, 53-57. (published in Internationale Situationniste 2 in 1958; Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006).
Florida, Richard. 2002. "Creativity and Place" in The Rise of the Creative Class, 223-234. Basic Books.
Jacobs, Jane. 1961/1994. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage
Koolhaas, Rem and Bruce Mau. 1995. "The Generic City" in SMLXL, 1248-1264. Montacelli Press.
Sadler, Simon. 1998. "Defending Urban Mix" in The Situationist City, 55-66. MIT Press.
Tschumi, Bernard. 1990/1994. "Spaces and Events" in Architecture and Disjunction, 81-96, 141-152. MIT Press.
Urban Form:
Alexander, Christopher. 1965. "A City is Not a Tree" in Architectural forum 122 (1), 58-62.
Le Corbusier. 1925/1987. "A Contemporary City" in The City of To-morrow and Its Planning: "Urbanisme" trans. Frederick Etchells, 163-179. Dover Publications.
Lehnerer, Alex. 2014. "Grand urban rules". Second edition: Nai Publ.
Lynch, Kevin. 1960. "City Form" in The Image of the City. Vol. 11, 91-117. MIT press.
Rowe, Colin and Fred Koetter. 1978/1992. "Collage City and the Reconquest of Time" in Collage City, 118-181. MIT Press.
Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown & Steven Izenour. 1972. "Commercial Values and Commercial Methods" in Learning from Las Vegas. 3-70. MIT Press.
Inquiry Techiniques:
Cooper Marcus, Clare and Carolyn Francis. 1998. "Post-Occupancy Evaluation" in People Places. 345-356. Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Gehl, Jan. 1987. "Senses, Communication and Dimensions", "To Assemble or Disperse: City and Site Planning" and "Spaces for Walking-Places for Staying, Walking, Standing, Sitting" in Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space trans. Jo Koch. 65-73, 83-129, 130-164. Van Nostrand.
Whyte, William H. 1980. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Project for Public Spaces.
Zeisel, John. 1981. "Observing Physical Traces" and "Observing Environmental Behavior" in Inquiry by Design, 89-136. Brookes/Cole.
Public Space Typologies:
Jacobs, Allan B. 1995. "Requirements for Great Streets" and "Qualitities tha Contribute" in Great Streets. 270-308. MIT Press.
Sitte, Camillo. 1889/1996. "The Relationship Between Buildings, Monuments, and Public Squares" and "The Enclosed Character of Public Space" in The City Reader, eds. LeGates, Richard T. and Frederic Stout, 413-423. Routledge.
Smart Code 9.2 "Transect" and "Civic Space". http://www.smartcodecentral.com/Wall, Alex. 1999. "Programming the Urban Surface" in Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Theory, ed. James Corner, 233-274. Princeton Architectural Press.


Portfolio, exercises, minimum 75% mandatory presence


  • PAR MA 14_Urban Quality Assessment (Lecture) (WS 16/17, in Planung)