Producing a graphical representation of an urban design, town planning or regeneration project is an essential aspect of the design process. How do practitioners use these graphics to best effect and how are created most effectively?
Graphics for Urban Design provides guidance on how to use graphic techniques to stimulate and communicate ideas through the urban design process. Now fully updated in this second edition, the book will showcase methods for producing hand-rendered and computer-generated visuals as well as delivering information on drawing maps, collecting data and understanding build perspectives.
The book will reveal the whole process and contains chapters that cover:
- an overview on the history and evolution of urban graphics
- characteristics of images
- producing drawings
- graphics in the urban design process
- showing technical expertise
- how to produce outputs
- managing all aspects of production.
Packed with case studies and examples of best practice, this practical, full colour guide will be an must-have purchase for students of graphic design as well as practitioners, commissioners, graphic designers, 3D artists, cartographers and project managers.
As one of my favourite urban design books, this new edition is just as visually stimulating, and reminds us how to use visual media to engage, excite and include in an intuitive way, whereas so many planning and technical documents are text-based and do none of the above.
The document is logically structured; the introductory section, Setting the Scene, provides a reminder of the importance of graphic techniques for the communication of ideas and of the history of graphics to convey urban aspirations. It puts into perspective our ability to produce visualisations of largescale proposals today, and is described as a guide to help urban design teams to select the most appropriate form of graphics for any particular project and at the right stage.
The second section, The Process, emphasises the role of graphics within urban design – context and site analysis and the different diagrams that can be used such as figure ground, landmarks, historic evolution etc. Tracing paper, pens, post-it notes and photos highlight the value of simple tools people can use and are essential for good participation and engagement. The design rationale, which underpins the later more detailed ideas, can be presented via a storyboard of diagrams, photos, sketches, images and cartoons or in more graphical expression that can be easily shared.
A third section of the document covers the practical creation of drawings. The stepby- step progression will be of particularly value to students and newly employed urban designers.
The final and longest section relates to Good Practice, useful for public and commercial design teams as they plan a project. It provides many good tips and useful examples of when and where to use different types of graphic representation such as photomontages and before and after images. It explains how graphical styles and techniques should become more definitive and measurable as the project moves towards final proposals.
The book is very legible and well presented with a full range of computer generated images (CGIs), 3D visuals, 2D plans and sketches. Pages are spaciously laid out and readable, practicing what it preaches – that breathing space is needed in final documents. Clutter and excess detail are to be avoided, a bit like in the built environment.
Tim Hagyard, freelance chartered town planner and urban designer