Jointly administered by the Department of Urban Planning and Design and the Department of Landscape Architecture, the program leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design (MLAUD) is intended for individuals who have completed a five-year undergraduate professional program in landscape architecture or its equivalent.
Students enrolled in the GSD’s professional programs in Landscape Architecture are also encouraged to apply for a concurrent Urban Design degree, for which an individual curriculum may be arranged.
Taking advantage of the remarkable international make-up of the student body, the Urban Design Program establishes a common intellectual ground among architects and landscape architects who intend to practice as urbanists. The program provides knowledge of urban theories, design techniques and procedures that challenge students to rethink design within the climate of economic speculation, political negotiation and democratic struggle that often characterizes urban development today. Included are courses in history, theory, law, planning, public policy, and real estate finance that provide students with a broad understanding of the forces that shape urbanization at both local and global scales. Particular emphasis is placed upon developing mastery in urban design through studio work and an elective thesis sequence in the second year of study.
Studio work in urban design covers a broad range of topics in both American and international settings. Topics include schemes and scenarios for existing urbanized areas including the analysis and restructuring of areas from the inner city to the metropolitan edge, the development of new territories from cities to towns, districts and neighborhoods, and the extension or transformation of historic and contemporary contexts. Importance is placed on exploring the interfaces between design and the broad phenomena that figure in the making of the built environment, including social, cultural and artistic trends (both emerging and historical), real estate markets and development trends, public policies and infrastructure. Experimentation with the visual, tactile, and programmatic qualities that lend distinction to urban environments is consciously emphasized, as a way to reform and enhance the approaches graduates bring to the professional realm.
Preparation for Admission
Individuals who have completed an accredited bachelor of landscape architecture degree, or persons who hold the degree master in landscape architecture, are eligible for admission to the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design degree program. Two to three years of experience in professional practice is recommended but not required.
For MLAUD curriculum requirements, see the Urban Design program.