3702231: Urban Quality: Assessment and Design 2

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Semester:SS 14
Type:Lecture / Exercise
Scheduled in semester:2
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:24.0 L / 18.0 h
Self-directed study time:27.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2008)


This course focuses on developing a conceptual and practical Framework for approaches to urban design through critical theory, Evaluation of urban spaces, and design Guidelines. It seeks to foster an understanding of the interdependencies relevant to design processes in urban Settings and public Environments, principles of cooperation and organization, and developing an informed personal Framework for addressing comtemporary discourse, urban conditions and design potentials in cities and towns.

Lecture Goals

The course aims at providing a good foundation to critically understand postmodern urban design perspectives and principles, design Guidelines, scale and density of the urban built form, Evaluation and programming incorporating aspects of sustainable urban design, and outlining approaches to fostering cooperation in participatory design processes.
It describes the following dimensions of urban design Quality Management (Peter Droege):
Inquiring: how to collect Information, Interpret results, form design objectives
Briefing: how to communicate in the urban design process
Guiding: how to positively influence complex processes and their outcomes
Designing: how to intelligently respond to design briefs

The course Format consists of lectures, reading, in-class exercises, on-site inquiry, discussions, assignments and presentations.
Submission of assignments for grading is required.
On-site Evaluation of urban spaces is part of the course.
2D and 3D design Tools are required (photographic, graphic, models or CAD).
Critical thinking and active Student participation in class discussions are both expected.

Learning Outcomes

> A broad knowledge of contemporary critical perspectives in postmodern urbanism, their design principles, Guidelines and Impacts on the built Environment.
> The ability to examine, discuss, evaluate and employ theoretical concepts to Frame discourse and apply to an individual design approach
> The ability to analyze and evaluate urban spaces and relate typology, scale, program, use, experience and drawing
> A knowledge of skills used to inform the urban design process that are sensitive to stakeholders and relevant to public urban Environments and cooperation
> Demonstrate the ability to work with other students and effectively use communication, representation, and presentation skills for assignments


Lectures Method

Lecture, seminar.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree-Program


Literature as assigned:

Postmodern Urbanism Primary Literature Reference List

Theory Overview
Ellin, Nan. 1999. Postmodern Urbanism. Princeton Architectural Press.
Engels, Frederich. 1845/1996. The Great Towns in LeGates, Richard T. & Stout, Frederic, eds. The City Reader. Routledge, pp.58-66.
Harvey, David. 1997. Social Process and Spatial Form in LeGates, Richard T. & Stout, Frederic, eds. The City Reader. Routledge, pp.227-234.

A Perspectives on Historicism, Typology, Language and Form
Jacobs, Jane. 1961/1997. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Modern Library.
Alexander, Christopher. 1965. A City is Not a Tree in Architectural forum 122 (1), 58-62.
Rowe, Colin and Fred Koetter. 1978/1992. Collage City. MIT Press, pp.188-181.
Rossi, Aldo. 1966/1982. The Structure of Urban Artifacts and The Evolution of Urban Artifacts in The Architecture of the City. MIT Press, pp. 28-61.
Lynch, Kevin. 1984. Good City Form. MIT Press.
Jacobs, Allan and Donald Appleyard. 1987/2003. Toward an Urban Design Manifesto in LeGates, Richard T. & Stout, Frederic, eds. The City Reader. Routledge, pp.436-447.
Duany and Plater-Zyberk. 1994. The Neighborhood, the District and the Corridor in The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community Peter Katz et.al, McGraw Hill.
Marot, Sébastien. 2003. Sub-urbanism and the Art of Memory. Vol. 8. AA Publishing.

B Perspectives on Identity, Program, Event and Hybrids
Tschumi, Bernard. 1990/1994. The Pleasure of Architecture and Spaces and Events in Architecture and Disjunction. MIT Press, pp. 81-96, 141-152.
Koolhaas, Rem and Bruce Mau. 1995. The Generic City in SMLXL. Montacelli Press, pp. 1248-1264.
Wall, Alex. 1999. Programming the Urban Surface in Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Theory, ed. James Corner. Princeton Architectural Press, pp. 233-274.
Holl, Steven. 2009. Urbanisms: Working with Doubt. Princeton Architectural Press.

C Urban Evaluation Criteria- public space, streets and neighborhoods
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.
Jacobs, Jane. 1961/1997. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Modern Library.
Whyte, William H. 1980. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Project for Public Spaces.
Stanford Anderson. 1986. On Streets. MIT Press.
Gehl, Jan. 1987. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space. Jo Koch trans. Van Nostrand.
Whyte, William H. 1988. City: Rediscovering the City Center. Doubleday.
Jacobs, Allan B. 1995. Great Streets. MIT Press.
Film on DVD available in library
Gehl, Jan. 2010. Cities for People. Island Press.

D Development Guidelines and Studies
Congress for the New Urbanism (http://www.cnu.org/)
CNU Charter (http://www.cnu.org/charter)
Lexicon of the New Urbanism (http://www.dpz.com/Technique/Books)
SmartCode v9.2 (http://www.smartcodecentral.com/)
Transects (http://www.transect.org/codes.html)
Transect Collection (http://transect-collection.org/)
CNU NextGen- Tactical Urbanism (http://issuu.com/streetplanscollaborative/docs/tactical_urbanism_vol_2_final/1?e=0)
Alexander, Christopher, et al. 1977. A Pattern Language. Oxford University Press.
Mozas, Javier, and Aurora Fernandez. 2004. Density: New Collective Housing. a+t ediciones.
Mehr als Wohnen, 2007. Stadt Zürich. gta.

* On hold in library or as digital excerpts on the server


A reference list is provided to choose from for assignments and as a lecture bibliography.

Additional Reference: Basic Urban Design Reader Volumes 1 and 2 available digitally:
G:AR/SS14/02_Master/02_Courses_Electives/Urban Quality 2

Exam Modalities

1) Development of Maximum 4 page working papers in Groups of two students on postmodern urbanism theory. Compare two texts from references Part A and Part B. Presentation of papers in the Seminar.
2) Development of street cross sections and a 3D density study using formal and functional design Guidelines. Use references from Part C and Part D and on-site Evaluations for designing sections and volumetric massing based on differenct programs. Presentation of street sections and 3D density study in the final session of the Seminar.


The course has to be passed with a sufficient grade (minimum grade of 4.0).
The module grade will be determined from the weighted average of the single course grades.


17.02.201408:30 - 11:45H2
24.02.201408:30 - 11:45H2
03.03.201408:30 - 11:45H2
10.03.201408:30 - 11:45H2
26.03.201411:00 - 15:00Extern
31.03.201408:30 - 11:45H2
07.04.201408:30 - 11:45H2


  • PAR_MA Urban Quality: Assessment and Design 2 (SS 14, bewertet)