Module Catalogues, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University   
Module Code: BNV401
Module Title: Fundamentals of Urban Design
Module Level: Level 4
Module Credits: 5.00
Academic Year: 2021/22
Semester: SEM1
Originating Department: Urban Planning and Design
Pre-requisites: N/A
Heir to a long tradition of town planning and city-making, urban design (re-) emerged as a discipline in the late 1950s to bridge the growing gap between the normative approach of planning and the exclusive focus of architecture on buildings. Essentially aimed at “giving practical shape and coherence to the built environment”, urban design has since then broadened its scope and applications.

The module introduces students to 1) the fundamental elements, 2) the key theories and 3) the various applications of urban design. Through lectures, seminars and interpretative exercises, the module aims to familiarise students with urban design as a contextualized discipline and to develop their critical understanding of its main theoretical concepts and operational techniques. This module provides a base of knowledge and practical skills necessary for the successful completion of parallel and further courses and studios of the programme in Urban Design.
Learning outcomes 
A Synthesise and relate the key theories that support urban design concepts and practice, and their influence on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of urban design.

B Present an advanced understanding of the main urban challenges related to existing and transforming urban fabrics and the application of key theories to address those challenges.

C Demonstrate a capacity to compose a multi-criteria set of indicators to analyse and evaluate urban design projects, through a reflective and critical approach.

D Critically explain the similarities and differences between the practices of urban design in Western Countries and in China.

E Manage a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to communicate and articulate their own views and develop clear evidenced-based arguments.

Method of teaching and learning 
The method of the module combines lectures (based on one or more reference texts) with practical seminar sessions reflecting on the content of the lecture. The seminars include group discussions, practical exercises and presentations prepared by the students.
The weekly thematic lectures are related to practical assignments subject to an oral, written and/or illustrated report:

The lectures cover 3 main aspects:

1) “Elements of urban design” identifies, defines and illustrates fundamental notions like typologies, urban fabric, site, infrastructure, their associated challenges and indicators.

2) “Key theories of urban design and their application to the city” gives an overview, based on key reference texts and exemplary case-studies, of the evolution of urban design concepts and tools and on the way they’ve influenced the making of the city (origin and precedents of urban design, the question of place, environmental challenges, contemporary issues …).

3) “Contemporary urban design in China” reflects on how the principles of urban design apply (or not) to the specific context of contemporary urban China.

Delivery Hours  
Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab/Prcaticals Fieldwork / Placement Other(Private study) Total
Hours/Semester 13  20  6      111  150 


Sequence Method % of Final Mark
1 Poster And Oral Presentation 35.00
2 Essay And Oral Presentation 30.00
3 Essay And Oral Presentation 35.00

Module Catalogue generated from SITS CUT-OFF: 8/10/2020 4:19:54 AM