University of New Mexico
School of Architecture and Planning
Town Design Certificate
PDCERT Town Design
Cities and towns are among humanity's largest and most complex achievements. The buildings, public works, plazas and parks of even a small town embody substantial amounts of capital, energy, natural resources, history and aspirations. Cities are among our greatest creations, yet typically no single individual creates them. Rather they arise from the dialog between multiple designers, clients, regulators, critics and users. Sometimes the cities and towns that emerge are sublime places. Frequently they have only fragments of greatness or are soul-deadening and environmentally unhealthy. The Certificate in Town Design aims to give students the foundations to ask critical questions about, study examples of, and propose approaches to designing the emergence of districts, towns, and cities.
What does it take to create a great town, a place that in and of itself gives life dignity, joy and beauty? What aspects of physical design support the creation of vital public squares, plazas and other civic spaces? Can public art be an integral part of the urban design of these places? How do these commons reflect the character of the town? How does the form of a town's infrastructure work to configure and condition the architecture and character of the place? How does the relationship between design professionals and other building participants (e.g., owners, citizens) shape, constrain and inform design? If cities emerge from design and dialog over time, how should this influence the role of the designer, planner, or other urbanist? Can a constructive theory of how great districts and towns emerge be articulated, giving us a method to discuss and shape the interactions between multiple independent designers over time? What theories have been proposed and tested?
New Mexico offers a unique variety of settlement and district types for study.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Facts & Figures
Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive
Locale: Large City
Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999