URBD789

Public Realm

Public space and places, especially street space, are essential elements of the public realm in cities, towns, and villages. They are also the most valued spaces from a neighbourhood perspective. The design of urban, suburban, and rural places for meaningful public use and enjoyment is the focus of this urban design course.

The course will be highly interactive, mixing presentations with discussions and exercises, so that you can develop effective ways to approach the design or redesign of the public realm. You’ll develop the fundamental urban design skills of observation, analysis, documentation, idea generation, design development, and effective graphic presentation.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 2 Michael von Hausen
Frank Ducote
$650.00 39 Register

This course is available as part of the Urban Design Certificate (elective course) and on an individual basis.

Registration may close up to one week before the course begins. 

What will I learn?

In this course, you’ll do the following:

  • Increase your awareness of urban public spaces as “urban glue”
  • List the roles the public realm plays in building and sustaining a sense of place and community
  • Discuss the place development process and the importance of setting realistic goals, principles and targets
  • Review what makes a successful place in Europe and North America and how place-makers are unique to their location and time
  • Develop your ability to observe and analyze how people use urban public spaces and street spaces, and how these spaces meet the needs of intended user groups
  • Examine the interplay of land economics, adjoining land uses, and spatial definition in defining the success or failure of places
  • Develop team and collective learning skills that are beneficial for multi-disciplinary project work in public realm projects
  • Use key urban design principles to expand public interaction
  • Discuss the importance of ownership, programming and maintenance in creating and sustaining vibrant urban places
  • Refine your presentation skills

View a sample course agenda (PDF)

How will I learn?

  • Lecture
  • Case studies
  • Field trips
  • Small group discussions
  • Applied exercises
  • Group presentations
  • Assignments

Who should take this course?

  • Planners, architects, and landscape architects
  • Engineers, real estate developers, and building technicians
  • Elected officials and local government administrators
  • NGO staff, financiers, and lawyers
  • Community organizers and advocates

How will I be evaluated?

Your grade will be based on a take-home assignment.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Professional development credits

  • AIBC CES participants, PIBC members, and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.

Related program(s)

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