About Us

For thirty years the Institute for Urban Design has positioned itself as a central platform for debate over issues related to urban planning, development, and design. By creating a common territory for architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, academics, journalists, and urban enthusiasts, we acknowledge that to ensure quality in planning and urban design, a dialogue must emerge that represents the diversity of stakeholder voices affected by urban development.

In addition to organizing lectures and symposia, we produce publications that offer both analysis and criticism by some of the most relevant and influential voices of our time. Through these avenues, and through research and advocacy, we hope to create an environment where the various actors in the urban system may speak out to ensure a better, more vibrant and sustainable future for our cities.

Founded in 1979 by the journalist and editor of Urban Design Magazine Ann Ferebee, the Institute emerged in the aftermath of a pioneering conference that Ferebee organized in 1978, the First National Conference on Urban Design: Cities Can Be Designed. In the three decades since its founding, through many symposia, events and publications, the Institute has built a strong international network of people and institutions. Contributors have included Jane Jacobs, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Richard Sennett, Denise Scott Brown, Simon Schama, Adolfo Carrion, and Moshe Safdie.