What Does an Urban Designer Do?

What does an urban designer actually do? Who can become an urban designer, and how do you get into the role? Below, we’ll guide you through what you need to know about this professional role.

November 23, 2023

What does an urban designer do?

An urban designer plays a creative and problem-solving role in shaping and improving environments. This can range from creating new meeting places, planning green areas and public spaces, to managing traffic flows or developing socially sustainable neighborhoods.

Why become an urban designer?

Becoming an urban designer offers the opportunity to influence and enhance urban environments where people live and work. It’s an exciting career for those passionate about developing more sustainable cities while expressing their creativity and passion for design.

How do urban designers collaborate with other roles in urban planning?

Urban designers often collaborate with urban planners, architects, landscape architects, communicators, business developers, and other experts in urban planning. Choosing the right methods and tools while having strong facilitation skills are key to creating successfull collaboration projects and designing sustainable solutions in urban environments. Combining these skills with key stakeholders is essential for a successful urban designer.

How can you integrate sustainability effectively in urban planning?

Sustainability is a central component. Some ways to integrate sustainability include focusing on green areas, energy efficiency, mobility, recycling, and finding new ways to reduce climate impact. Equally important is social sustainability, involving people who live, work, and play in the area. Considering their needs and preferences is essential for creating a high quality of life.

Who is well-suited for the role of urban designer?

The urban designer role is a good fit if you’re curious, creative yet meticulous, with a keen interest in exploring and understanding how cities function and how they can be improved. The role combines creativity, analytical thinking, and practical experience. Urban design is rarely a solo task. The ability to communicate ideas and work effectively in teams is essential.

How can I become an urban designer?

You often need an education in architecture, urban planning, or a similar discipline. Studying at Berghs can be a starting point to build the necessary knowledge, or the Urban Designer program can be an extension of a previous degree. Berghs' full-time program is based on the human perspective throughout the problem-solving process, with industry teachers, real-world cases, and opportunities for internships to accelerate knowledge. 

Applications for Urban Designer open in January 2024, and the program begins in August 2024.

*Image by Daniel Rosquist