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Why Urban Design Today? Ep. 2

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 Vimolsiddhi, one of the most well-known, eminent and respected Professors of Thailand in this field. Alongside a long and proficient professional and Academic career, he is the Founder of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning of Thammasat University, former Dean, Distinguished Professor, initiator of the UDDI Program: he surely represent an important part of the history of Architecture of Thailand and an authoritative voice in our team. His precious contribute will help to understand the roots and the need of Urban Design (and Urban Designers!) today.

"As our world is facing more and more complicated issues (from the accelerating urbanization and the limitless mega cities to the global challenges of climate changes along with its devastating disasters in both natural and urban regions), we realize that we need more highly qualified professionals in urban and regional development.

We need not only urban designers to create a better 'place' to live in, but also those with leadership in livable and sustainable development.

The contributions of Urban Design, emerging discipline evolving through over half a century can be determining in the processes of urban transformations of many megacities, which will multiply along the continuous spread of “endless city”.

Urban Design and Development International (UDDI) Program at Thammasat University intends to initiate capacity building of multilayer disciplines dedicated to city design.

UDDI Program is providing an educational platform to gain expertise in the different urban developments, bringing innovation in solving entangled urban issues. By redefining the roles of urban designers in the strategic development process, the Master of Urban Design and Development Program in one and a half year provides students with opportunities to focus on their own interest. According to one's professional aspiration, it could be on cultural tourism - conservation of heritage, real estate and housing development, or more subtly on public - private partnership, innovative solution for urban design, sustainable city, etc.

As an international program in a changing world, students are expected to join various global activities in academic and professional programs with experiences and research. Joint efforts with other leading international institutions are one of the keys to do this.

In our view of the urban transformations, students are expected to go beyond the traditional practice in Urban Design towards more innovative and integrative approaches leading towards sustainable urban development".

Professor Vimolsiddhi Horayangkura, Ph.D.

Image credits: Seoul's Urban transformation of Cheonggyecheon, image wikicommons, Bilbao's new waterfront, Copyright Balmori Associates.

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