Design of the Urban Fabrics

Urban fabric refers to the physical urban environment (elements, materials, form, scales, density and networks), and to its psychological, socio-cultural, ecological, managerial and economic structures. The urban fabric theme studies the relations between tangible and intangible structures in different contexts, and is grounded in the Dutch tradition of urbanism. In general, the theme studies and promotes two design strategies: the application of design patterns and the use of scenarios.

The goal of the theme of design of the urban fabric is to understand through research how urbanism can contribute to making sustainable, attractive and vital urban design. The specific contribution of the theme is to strengthen urban design as a technical scientific discipline both in terms of our understanding of the increasing complexity of urban patterns and the development of tools for professional practice.

Research questions

  • How can (re)designing the urban fabric contribute to improving the sustainability and vitality of the urban environment for present  and future generations?
  • How do the physical environment and the intangible structures interact?
  • What are the dynamics of the urban fabrics and how does this relate to different design strategies?
  • How can patterns and scenarios support and structure design processes in a multi actor setting?
  • How can new knowledge responding to the above questions help us generate new or improve design tools, improving urban design & planning practice and education?

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Contact Birgit Hausleitner