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Why Urban Design Today? Ep. 1

Updated: May 5, 2021

Here at UDDI we consider our topics as a practice and a discipline aimed to improve the quality of the life of the people in the built environment.

In this column we intend to orient, to inform and to say why we need Urban Design today - from different point of view.

Today’s contribution is written by Professor Jaturong, a well-known Professor of our Faculty. His wide range of expertise and his knowledge in Urban Conservation, Regeneration and Heritage will help us to add an important piece in our general view of Urban Design, and to understand why we need Urban Design (and Urban Designers!) today.

“Interpreting the multi-dimensional values of a place has proved to be a challenge for urban designers.

Words could describe a decent plan to a town or community’s future development but still not as powerful as visualization which is an increasingly demanding skill for participatory design in today’s global society.

A fact that a professional specializing in urban design recently served as a Secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization keeps me reminding the students of how important a place, either historic or contemporary, needs to go through a systematic thinking process linking the natural and built-environment to other non-physical elements and forming relationships for a much-needed sustainable development scheme.

The successful practicality of a tourism development planning, in this scenario, requires each professional to be equipped with both technical and social skills, ready to work with all development stakeholders at international and local scales ranging from government agencies to investors and communities.

Urban design at a higher education level could benefit tremendously in a learning environment integrated with relevant knowledge such as architecture and urban planning, as well as surrounded by the real practitioners and experts who have experienced engaging with both global and local development partnerships which become a normality and standard of professional work ethics and lifestyles. Of course, there will always be a harder situation in the future, and sustainable development goals seem to be difficult to achieve, but at least we are ready to face them as some true enlightened warriors with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to drive this world into a desirable direction”

Assistant Professor Jaturong Pokharatsiri, Ph.D.

International cultural tourism expert,

Professional practitioner in urban design and planning, UDDI instructor

Image credit by our UD429 Studio, 2018; snapshots of the projects realized by Laksika Dejpreechachai (section), Pichanun Wattanalertpong (plan), Pranpat Patipat (rendering).

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