The Urban Design Project [header images/logo]

About the Urban Design Project

A center for the study and practice of urban design.

The Urban Design Project is a university center devoted to service, teaching and research in the pursuit of a critical practice of urban design. It was founded in 1990 by Professor Robert G. Shibley, and is located in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York.

The Urban Design Project seeks to serve the communities of the Niagara-Buffalo city-region by bringing faculty and urban design students together with local governments, community based organizations and citizens in general, to engage the work of making better places and stronger communities.

Part of the mission of the Urban Design Project is to provide challenging situations in which students can learn their craft. Urban design is a practice which is best learned when students are able to confront specific and concrete problems and work to create real and practical solutions.

These student studios are integral part of a university curriculum which bridges the gap between architecture and planning. The University of Buffalo School of Architecture offers a concentration in urban design to both architecture and planning students as well as the opportunity to earn a dual degree in architecture and planning with a specialization in urban design.

The Urban Design Project also works to enrich the body of knowledge about the practice of urban design. Research conducted through the center is aimed at expanding our understanding, not only of the practice of urban design in general, but also about specific places, sites, neighborhoods, and districts in our city-region.

The work of the Urban Design Project has encompassed faculty consultations, student studio projects, and supervised thesis investigations dealing with sites from Niagara Falls to Buffalo to Jamestown and engaging institutional partners including Buffalo Place Inc., The City of Buffalo, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, The City of Niagara Falls, and Chautauqua County government.

Professor Shibley continues to serve as Director of Urban Design. Members of the Architecture and Planning faculty join in the project work of the center or contribute through coursework relevant to the Urban Design Project.