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BYG130 Urban Design

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

According to current Norwegian national policies on coordinating land use and transport planning, and national policies on densifying in existing urban areas, there is a need to educate land use planners who can deal with planning and transforming exisitng urban areas to vibrant urban areas with high density as well as high quality on urban oudoor space. The challenge is to use exisitng planning tools to transform poorly used urban areas to new urban centres with dwellings, shops, offices, service and good outdoor spaces. Likewise, the street strucutre and street profiles has to be designed in such a way that it promotes sustainable transportation modes, so that people choose walking, bicycling and using public transport rather than using the private car.

The main focus is on densification and optimal land use in central urban areas. The couse focuses on how to transform urban areas so that they can develop to vital and good urban areas. The emphasize will be on how to make suitable street profiles for urban areas, seen together with making good guidelines for new buildings in relationship to the street network. Lectures on urban planning history and how cities has transformed through history, and on estethical challenges for existing and new buildings will be given. Likewise, lectures will be given on the dependancy between spatial aspect of the built environment, accessibility and various sustainable transportation modes (the private car versus pedestrian/public transport).

The students will learn to carry out morphological analyses of building volumes/form and the structure of the street and road network. The results from these analyses will be applied in the project assignment.

Learning Outcome

At the end the students will have the following learning outcomes:


- Students have knowledge on the spatial conditions generating sustainable transportating modes

- Students have knowledge on urban theories on the relationship between buildings and streets that shapes safe and good urban space

- Students have knowledge on street profiles in urban areas.


- Students can analyse and to read a plan, and to make spatial analyses in an urban area

- Students can use the existing planning tools to regulate urban area.

- Students can make solutions and make proposals for solutions on streets and land use for making well-function urban areas and a lively urban centre

- Students know how to make a land use plan with directives in urban areas.

General competance

- Students know how to communicate, in written and oral form, about problems, results from analyses and making conclusions within the field land use planning in urban areas

- Students can use the existing planning tools to make land use plans with purpose to transform urban areas to well-fucntion urban areas

- Students know how to apply exisitng urban theories to promote good solutions for a spesific case

Entry requirements

Basic knowledge of mathematics and road- and area planning.

Teaching methods

First the students make a overall plan/ land use plan. The work is carried out in small groups. The focus is on the built environment, where the task is to densify and to facilitate the transformation of an old industrial area to an urban area. The challenges is to take into account the existing buildings, and to densify and to create good urban qualities. The students have to deliver a report with plans, analyses and a description of their transformation proposal.

Compulsory learning activities

Requirements for attendance at the midway presentation and end presentation.

2 mandatory assignments.

Valid mandatory assignments are valid in 3 semesters following approval.


Letter grade based on:

- the report (40%) with the result of the group work

- home exam (60%) over 2 days

Both parts must be passed to get a grade in the course. The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Examination support material

Report: All support material is permitted.

Home exam: All support material is permitted.

More about examination support material