Master of Urban Design

Unit of study descriptions

Certificate, Diploma and Master of Urban Design

Core units

ARCH9100 Introduction to Urban Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Roderick Simpson Session: Semester 1a,Semester 2a Classes: Intensive delivery for total of 38 hours Assessment: (60%) Formative assessment, (40%) summative assessment Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Students may be granted advanced standing based on portfolio.
This introductory unit of study will provide students with the necessary skills to participate effectively in the urban design studios and will include site, spatial and public domain analysis, map and plan reading, visual, verbal and written communication techniques, and basic computer-based 3 dimensional modelling and numerical analysis. This unit will introduce students to the objectives and principles of urban design by analysing a number of public spaces, the spaces between buildings and the public domain and urban conditions in Sydney.
ARCH9080 Urban Ecology, Design and Planning

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Roderick Simpson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 3hr lectures/tutorials/week Prohibitions: PLAN9048 Assessment: (50%) Formative assessment, (50%) summative assessment Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit will introduce the conceptual bases for sustainable development and explore how principles of sustainability can be introduced into land use planning and urban design, including environmental management and multi-criteria evaluation methodologies in three modules:
Module 1 will examine the evolution of urban areas in relation to their biophysical setting using the Sydney metropolitan area as a case study. This will lead to an understanding and appreciation of the urban ecology of the city in terms of the flows of materials, resources and energy, and the challenges presented by climate change and peak oil.
Module 2 will introduce principles of sustainability and the history and development of concepts of urban sustainability.
Module 3 will introduce methods and frameworks for evaluating and measuring sustainability.
ARCH9063 Urban Morphology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Roderick Simpson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 3hr lectures/alternate weeks, 2hr tutorials/alternate week Prohibitions: ARCH9021 Assumed knowledge: Some prior study of architectural, urban or planning history. Assessment: Scoping Report (20%), Class Presentation (20%) and Final Report (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The unit outlines the nature of urban morphology, and its rise as an area of study, and explores the evolution of city forms with an emphasis upon urban structure and typology. Most designed components of our cities conform in their general characteristics to identifiable types; they reflect the functions of cities, cultural values and the technological, economic and social circumstances of their times. These have been laid down over particular landforms and previous built forms and landscapes to result in usually complex, and often distinct, local characteristics.
The ability to recognize, investigate and respond to these forms and relationships lies at the heart of good urban design. The development of an historical knowledge, and of sensibilities and skills in the recording and interpretation of urban pattern and form for design purposes is the unit's primary aim. It will develop abilities to make more informed 'readings' of the urban landscape, and judgments about structure and form in contemporary urban design: retention, modification, replacement, etc. On completion, a student will be better able to: recognize structures and patterns, and key building and spatial typologies that contribute to overall city morphology; record and describe these, investigate and explain their origins, and discuss informatively their place in urban change and contemporary design.
It complements the Urban Design - Ideas and Methods unit (ARCH9062) which emphasises the theories and models underpinning the forms that are covered in this unit. It is a core unit that supports the Urban Design Studios in the Urban Design programs and an informative elective for students enrolled in or intending to enrol in the Urban Architecture Research Studio.
PLAN9068 History and Theory of Planning and Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc/Prof Paul Jones Session: Semester 1 Classes: Lecture 2 hrs/wk Prohibitions: PLAN9031 or ARCH9062 or ARCH9031 Assessment: Assignment 1 short questions (35%); group work local area analysis (30%); analytical essay (25%); attendance and class participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is in two overlapping modules, each of which is assessed.

Module one enables students to understand how the main concepts and practices of urban planning and development have evolved; appreciate different perspectives about the roles and purposes of planning; undertake basic historical research about Australian urban planning and development issues, and prepare basic stories and arguments about practical planning issues and current theories. There is a strong emphasis on enriching the ability of students to better appreciate urban form, structure and planning practice generally by analysing such form, structure and process through the lens of history (as 'snapshots' in time), and the understanding planning drivers that shape and express such urban change. Interpreting planning practice and what this means and reflects (such as underlying values, norms attitudes, public interest, etc) is a key element of this module.

Concurrent with module one, module two familiarises students with the main ideas and methods that have influenced urban design practice from the late nineteenth century to the present. It covers the dominant urban design theories, principles, conceptual and physical models, analytical methods and drawings from key contributing authors over the period, and explores critically how and why these arose, their interrelationships, spheres of influence, and continuing validity. In this module, key urban design 'classics' are discussed critically as history, design sources and tools.
Students will be able to: critically review and interpret key planning and urban design texts, construct and present basic arguments, orally and in documents; access and engage with key literature and other sources of knowledge; and use basic conceptual frameworks about planning arguments and stories for both the overlapping fields of urban planning and urban design.
This is an introductory core unit for both the Urban Planning and Urban Design degrees.
ARCH9001 Urban Design Studio A

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Roderick Simpson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Lecture 1 hr/wk; tutorial 4 hrs/wk . Weeks 3-8, tutorial 5hrs/week weeks 9-13. Prerequisites: ARCH9100 Assessment: Group assignments x 3 (10%, 20%, 40%); individual assignment (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
These studios are the heart of the urban design program. Values, knowledge and skills acquired in other units and from previous experience are supplemented and enhanced, and applied creatively to both the investigation and development phases of design projects at an urban scale. These may be concerned with the generation of strategies, frameworks, concepts, master plans, public space improvements, or other urban design purposes. They are chosen carefully to expose students to a range of contexts (central city, suburban, institutional campuses, etc) and contemporary issues concerning urban form, activity, transport and the implementation of projects.
Students are expected to extend their presentation methods by developing illustrative, writing and verbal skills appropriate to urban design. It is usual for the backgrounds of those enrolled in the studios to span at least architecture, planning and landscape architecture, with inter-disciplinary group work an essential part. Visionary and innovative approaches are encouraged.
Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate (professional-level) problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative, design and presentation skills and abilities on projects of an urban scale. Assessment may also embrace abilities to prepare and interpret project briefs, program proposals and work in groups.
The central aim of this unit is to develop abilities and skills (investigation, analysis and interpretation, design development and presentation) which will enable students to carry out urban design projects such as the preparation of strategies, frameworks, concepts and master plans in a professional and visionary manner.
ARCH9002 Urban Design Studio B

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Roderick Simpson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Lecture 1 hr/wk; tutorial 4 hrs/wk . Weeks 3-8, tutorial 5hrs/week weeks 9-13. Prerequisites: ARCH9001 Assessment: Groups assignments x 3 (10%), (20%), (40%); individual assignment (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate (professional-level) problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative, design and presentation skills and abilities on projects of an urban scale. Assessment may also embrace abilities to prepare and interpret project briefs, program proposals and work in groups. These studios are the heart of the urban design program. Values, knowledge and skills acquired in other units and from previous experience are supplemented and enhanced, and applied creatively to both the investigation and development phases of design projects at an urban scale. These may be concerned with the generation of strategies, frameworks, concepts, master plans, public space improvements, or other urban design purposes. They are chosen carefully to expose students to a range of contexts (central city, suburban, institutional campuses, etc) and contemporary issues concerning urban form, activity, transport and the implementation of projects. Students are expected to extend their presentation methods by developing illustrative, writing and verbal skills appropriate to urban design. It is usual for the backgrounds of those enrolled in the studios to span at least architecture, planning and landscape architecture, with inter-disciplinary group work and essential part. Visionary and innovative approaches are encouraged. The central aim of this unit is to develop abilities and skills (investigation, analysis and interpretation, design development and presentation) which will enable students to carry out urban design projects such as the preparation of strategies, frameworks, concepts and master plans in a professional and visionary manner.
ARCH9060 Urban Design Report

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Rod Simpson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Individual supervision (approx. 1 hr/wk) Prerequisites: 48 credit points including ARCH9001 Prohibitions: ARCH9031 or ARCH9045 or ARCH9046 or PLAN9010 or PLAN9011 or PLAN9018 Assessment: Urban design report (approx. 10,000 to 15,000 words) (90%); presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Departmental Permission will be required to enrol in this unit.. This unit is for Masters students in an Urban Design Stream only.
The Urban Design Report is a substantial project involving research conducted over one semester. It will usually take the form of an illustrated report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved urban design subject of the student's choice. The subject may be of a practical bent (e.g. review or preparation of an urban design project) or more theoretical (e.g. review of a conceptual viewpoint), or it may occupy the middle ground (e.g. exploration of a contemporary issue or review/testing of a method). If of a more practical nature, its theoretical underpinning should be explicit. If more theoretical, it should refer to its practical implications. The report is an opportunity to advance knowledge and skills in a particular area of urban design and so develop a "professional edge". The aim of the Report is to enhance abilities and knowledge essential to the practice of urban design. These include the abilities to: define and address a practical or theoretical urban design problem; conduct such a project in an acceptable investigatory manner; think critically about the subject; identify, access and use appropriate and up-to-date information sources, including relevant theory and methods; and present the report, including appropriate illustrations, in a manner that shows both academic and professional competence. The report must demonstrate these features. Permission to continue the Urban Design Report is subject to the approval of a satisfactory research proposal by week 3 of the semester in which the student is enrolled. The Urban Design report is to be submitted by the end of the first week of the formal examination period for the semester in which the student is enrolled.