Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice in the Urban Design Process: Towards a Multi-disciplinary Approach

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Urban Design Process
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Asaad, M., Khalifa, M., & Abd Elrahman, A. S. (2019). Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice in the Urban Design Process: Towards a Multi-disciplinary Approach. The Academic Research Community Publication, 3(1), 115–135.


The city is a complex living organism mostly affected by decisions taken whether they are political, organizational, or design decisions. Such decisions vary in scale starting with planning, urban design, and architectural scales. Urban design has been commonly agreed to occupy a hypothetical intersection between planning and architecture. It emerged to bridge the disciplinary gap between architecture and planning. Since 1960s urban design literature attempted to define what good urban design and good city form is, and the process to achieve it; yet in practice the end product doesn’t always achieve high quality in terms of urban design initial objectives. Over the last decades, the gap between disciplinary dreams in theory and real outcomes translated as urban design product of different practices has been growing in the field of urban planning and urban design. Since the urban design product does not meet its expected objectives in theory then something must be wrong with it, and a thorough investigation must come in order to perceive such gap. The Research aims to answer two main questions regarding urban design through examining the Urban Design Process; the first is whether the urban design process is capable to bridge the multidisciplinary gap? And the second question is with the little knowledge and lack of success criteria for the urban design process; how can the success of urban design be measured?


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