The Shaping of Urban Design

Subject ABPL90316 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 9 wks x 2 hour lecture & 1 hour seminar (per week) plus 3 wks x 3hrs class presentations/seminar
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

A background knowledge of architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning is highly recommended.

Graphic skills are essential.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

The subject provides a critical introduction to the main theoretical concepts, urban models and design approaches that have shaped the practice of urban design through modern times.

It focuses primarily on those which have appeared as key published works and been generated by architects, landscape architects and planners to influence practice.

It emphasises links between eras (continuities and change), between ideas and practice, and between urban design and the wider landscape of ideas: special attention is paid to the influence of culture, the role and techniques of urban morphology, and the graphic representation/interpretation of concepts, models and places.


Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • a critical understanding of key urban design concepts, models and approaches, and their sources and applications.
  • an ability to analyse and interpret urban form for design purposes.
  • an ability to recognise major structures and patterns, and key building and spatial types in the urban environment.
  • investigative and interpretive skills appropriate to the subject.
  • presentation (graphic, written and oral) skills appropriate to the subject.
  • Preliminary paper/annotated bibliography, 20%, (equivalent 1,000 words), due week 6
  • Digital presentation (20%), (equivalent 1,000 words) presented weeks 10-12 which is a preparatory component of a
  • Final illustrated report (60%) (equivalent 3,000 words), due end of semester.
Prescribed Texts:

Recommended Texts:

Broadbent, Geoffrey. Emerging Concepts in Urban Space Design, 1990.

Carmona, Matthew et al. Public places - Urban Spaces: the dimensions of urban design, 2003.

Watson, Donald (ed). Time-Saver Standards for Urban Design, 2003.

Larice, Michael & Elisabeth Macdonald (eds). The Urban Design Reader, 2007.

Carmona, Matthew (ed). Urban Design Reader, 2007.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Master of Urban Design
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects (without prerequisites)

Download PDF version.