4007761: Urban Quality Assessment

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Semester:WS 15/16
Scheduled in semester:1-2
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:16.0 L / 12.0 h
Self-directed study time:48.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (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.

Learning Outcomes

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


Lectures Method

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

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree Program


Baudelaire, Charles. “Modernity,” in The Painter of Modern Life:" Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne" and Other Essays by Charles Baudelaire, trans. and ed. Jonathan Mayne.Phaidon Press, 1964 (1863): 12-15.
Sitte, Camillo. 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, Routledge, 1996 (1889): 413-423.
Walter Benjamin, “Baudelaire or the Streets of Paris,” in Paris: Capital of the 19th Century, The New Left Review I/48, March-April 1968 (1927-1940): 84-86.
Guy DeBord, “Theory of the Dérive,” ed. Ken Knabb in Situationist International Anthology. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006 (1958): 53-57.
Le Corbusier, “A Contemporary City,” in The City of To-morrow and Its Planning, trans. Frederick Etchells Dover Publications, 1987 (1925): 163-179.
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Modern Library, 1997 (1961).
Alexander, Christopher. „A City is Not a Tree“ in Architectural forum 122 (1), 1965: 58-62.
Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. “Commercial Values and Commercial Methods,” in Learning from Las Vegas. Vol. 102. MIT press, 1972: 3-70.
Rowe, Colin and Fred Koetter. Collage City. MIT Press, 1992 (1975): 118-181.
Whyte, William H. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Project for Public Spaces, 1980.
John Zeisel, “Research Methods,” in Inquiry by Design. Brookes/Cole, 1981: 89-156.
Rossi, Aldo. „The Structure of Urban Artifacts“ and „The Evolution of Urban Artifacts“ in The Architecture of the City. MIT Press, 1982 (1966): 28-61.
Lynch, Kevin. Good City Form. MIT Press, 1984.
Tschumi, Bernard. „The Pleasure of Architecture“ and „Spaces and Events“ in Architecture and Disjunction. MIT Press, 1996 (1975-1990): 81-96, 141-152.
Jacobs, Allan B. Great Streets. MIT Press, 1993.
Koolhaas, Rem and Bruce Mau. „The Generic City“ in SMLXL. Montacelli Press, 1995: 1248-1264.
Simon Sadler, “Making Sense of Psychogeography” in The Situationist City. MIT Press, 1998: 76-81.
Wall, Alex. „Programming the Urban Surface“ in Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Theory, ed. James Corner. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999: 233-274.
Holl, Steven. Urbanisms: Working with Doubt. Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.
Pier Vittorio Aureli, “Towards the Archipelago: Defining the Political and Formal in Architecture,” in The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. MIT press, 2011: 1-46.

Exam Modalities

Portfolio, exercises, minimum 75% mandatory presence


  • PAR MA 14_Urban Quality Assessment (WS 15/16, in Planung)