Toward a Definitional Framework for Urban Design

11 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017

Date Written: July 1, 2017


The term "urban design", and, indeed, the field or discipline of urban design at a much broader scale, tends to be characterized by vagueness and ambiguity. Responding to this observation, the following essay makes a plea for, and an initial step toward, a definitional framework that aims to identify and define key - heretofore vague - concepts, in order to more directly engage with the meaning and scope of urban design. Three definitions provide the foundations for the proposed framework, which seeks to improve and make consistent the communication between academicians, practitioners, policymakers, and, especially, students and other comparatively uninitiated participants in the urban design discourse.

Keywords: urban design, urban form, urban fabric, planning education

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Russell, Toward a Definitional Framework for Urban Design (July 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Russell Weaver (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Buffalo, NY 14203
United States


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