More than 50% of the global population lives in urban areas, and in the U.S. that number jumps to more than 80%. For so many people, city designs help determine how they live their lives, which is why Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is one of two schools in the U.S. offering a Bachelor of Urban Design (BUD) to teach students about this important area of study.
An Urgent Need for Urban Design
According to Urban Gateway, urban design and planning helps with “balancing demands for growth with the need to protect the environment.” With climate change affecting coastal cities and large populations of people moving to urban centers, sustainable urban design will be a critical part of managing a growing world population.
To meet that need, Urban Design brings together architecture, landscape architecture and urban & regional planning to teach students about designing built environments that are sustainable at a neighborhood, community and city scale.
Local Experience, Global Outlooks
FAU is situated a short drive from the urban center of Miami, and the program utilizes the South Florida Metropolitan Region as an “urban living laboratory.” Students will also have the opportunity to learn from private design and consulting firms in the area.
While students learn locally, the issues they research and work to solve affect urban centers across the globe. These challenges include the following:
- Guiding higher density infill developments in traditional urban centers
- Retrofitting obsolescent suburban developments
- Suggesting sustainable development at sprawling metropolitan fringes
- Designing basic transportation and mobility infrastructure to promote local economic development and support social justice
Some of the exciting courses that are helping prepare students to meet these challenges include:
- Site Planning and Engineering
- Environmental Planning Methods
- Urban Geography
- Principles of Real Estate
- Transportation and Spatial Organization
Designing a Successful Career at FAU
The Bachelor of Urban Design at FAU offers an interdisciplinary approach for students who plan to pursue a professional career in urban & regional planning, real estate development and law, as well as design disciplines including architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level.
Graduates are tackling the challenges of urban design at private companies and public agencies at all levels of government, as well as within non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of the career paths include:
- Architectural Historian
- Building Contractor
- Construction Project Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Urban Planner
Accelerated Graduate Program
Qualified undergraduate students who are looking to complete a master’s degree can apply for the accelerated Master of Urban and Regional Planning program while completing the bachelor’s at FAU. This program allows undergraduates to complete graduate courses during their Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Urban Design or Bachelor of Urban and Regional planning programs.
Whether you’re looking to jump into a career or continue on to graduate school, the Bachelor of Urban Design program can help put you on the right path. Learn more about the BUD and see if FAU is the right fit for you by visiting its website here.