by topics

Topic: Urban design and place making


1 point perspective

‘One-point perspective is a drawing method that shows how things appear to get smaller as they get further away, converging towards a single “vanishing point” on the horizon line. It is a way of drawing objects upon a flat piece of paper (or other drawing surface) so that they look three-dimensional and realistic. Drawing in one-point perspective is usually appropriate when the subject is viewed “front-on” (such as when looking directly at the face of a cube or the wall of building) or when looking directly down something long, like a road or railway track. It is popular drawing method with architects and illustrators, especially when drawing room interiors’ (Gale, 2019, para.2-3).


2 point perspective

‘Linear perspective in which parallel lines along the width and depth of an object are represented as meeting at two separate points on the horizon that are 90 degrees apart as measured from the common intersection of the lines of projection’ (Merriam-Webster, 2019a, para.1).


Axonometric projection

‘Axonometric projection creates a true plan set at 45º, which retains the original orthogonal geometry of the plan. Planning drawings can also be effective represented as axonometric projections, showing the relationships between buildings and topography’

(Drawing projections, Designing Buildings Wiki, 2018).



Circuits of capital
Circuits of capital refer to ‘the movement of capital as a circuit, which involves three forms that replace each other in turn: money capital, productive capital, and commodity capital’ (Otani, 2018, p.283). Money is turned into capital for production of commodities for buying and selling and from the capitalist perspective, with the aim minimising circulation costs and maximising profit.



‘Work constructed of assemblages of disparate fragments, e.g. a picture made from scraps of paper, newspaper cuttings, and oddments pasted onto a backing’ (Curl & Wilson, 2015, p.67).


Conceptual diagram

In architecture, conceptual diagram is an ‘abstract representa;on’ to ‘represent a conceptualiza;on of a poten;al problem solu;on’ ... ‘Conceptual diagrams are concise, yet powerful aids in problem solving in that they provide high-level commitments constraining solu;ons. In architecture, they embed the core of a design solu;on encapsula;ng its generic characteris;cs and constraints and conveying the form of possible specific solu;ons. Being not detailed prevents early commitment to a specific design solu;on and, thus, they facilitate exploratory reasoning’ (Dogan & Nersessian, 2002, p.353).


Human circulation

‘The mobility, exchange and communication of human among differentiated spaces through horizontal and vertical circulation (corridors, lobbies, stairs, ramps, elevators, etc.)’ (Scruton & Gowans, n.d.).



In architecture, montage is ‘a composite picture made by combining several separate pictures to show the design ideas’ (Merriam-Webster, 2019b, para.3).


Orthographic projection

It refers to 'projection of a single view of an object (such as a view of the front) onto a drawing surface in which the lines of projection are perpendicular to the surface’ (Merriam-Webster, 2019c, para.1). Plan and elevations are examples of orthographic project.



‘In many cases, the implementation outline and phasing schedule are major parts of a master plan, highlighting the timetable and phasing for the delivery of the site’s development. This will give the government and the community an indication of how development will be staged with infrastructure and services provision and will provide the reasoning for the chosen phasing order. The phasing of the development should be described, detailing which elements will be built first and which later, which decisions should be made early, and which should be allowed to evolve in response to future opportunities. The phasing should be planned around the potential to deliver infrastructure. It should also take into account any relocation of people, sale or rental of land, the property market, possible movement issues, land ownership patterns, funding availability, and relevant planning processes and legislation’ (World Bank, 2015).


Place vs Space

‘Jessop et al. (2008) claim that different approaches should be used simultaneously when investigating place – place should be viewed as specific location, as a wider territory, as consisting of networks and finally extending over different scales. Jauhiainen (2005) has similarly divided studies of urban space into four broad categories: space as materiality – space exists as a product of economic activity; space as distinctive character – space is seen as consisting of borders, the speciality of location is stressed; space as activity – the focus is given to socio-spatial relation in space; and space as contextuality – space exists only after it has been given a meaning through human consciousness as well as by the means of material resources.’ ... ‘Place for us is socially constructed and operating, including interaction between people and groups, institutionalized land uses, political and economic decisions, and the language of representation’ (Saar & Palang, 2009, pp.6-7).



‘Placemaking is a people-centred approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create a common vision for that place. The vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small-scale, do-able improvements that can immediately bring benefits to public spaces and the people who use them’ (Placemaking Chicago, 2008).


Public space

‘Property that is open to public use, including streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, malls, cafes, interior courtyards, and so forth. It can be privately or publicly owned’ (Mitchell & Staeheli, 2009, p.511).



‘In reference to architectural drawing, the term section typically describes a cut through of a building, perpendicular to the horizon line. A section drawing is one that shows a vertical cut transecting, typically along a primary axis of an object or building. The section reveals simultaneously its interior and exterior profiles, the interior space, and the material, membrane, or wall that separates interior from exterior, providing a view of the object that is not usually seen. This technique takes various forms and graphic conceits, each developed to illustrate different forms of architectural knowledge, from building sections that use solid fill or poché to emphasize the profile of the form, to construction details that depict materials through lines and graphic conventions. In an orthographic section the interior is also described through interior elevations of the primary architectural surfaces, while the combination of a section with a perspective describes in depth the interior as a space’ (LTL Architects, 2016, para.1).


Short term tenancy

'"Short Term Tenancy" is an arrangement where the government leases temporarily vacant government land to the private sector on a short-term basis.' ... 'Everyone has the right to rent those sites theoretically' (Liber Research Community, n.d.).


Site Plan

A site plan is ‘a graphic representation of the arrangement of buildings, parking, drives, landscaping and any other structure that is part of a development project. Site plans are often prepared by a design consultant who must be either a licensed engineer, architect, landscape architect or land survey’ (‘site plan’, n.d.).


SWOT Analysis

'A SWOT analysis is a high-level strategic planning model that helps organizations identify where they’re doing well and where they can improve, both from an internal and external perspective. It is an acronym for "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats"' (Jackson, n.d.).


The Place Diagram

‘In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that to be successful, they generally share the following four qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit. PPS developed The Place Diagram below as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad’ (Project for Public Spaces, n.d.).



‘Topology studies properties of spaces that are invariant under any continuous deformation. It is sometimes called “rubber-sheet geometry” because the objects can be stretched and contracted like rubber, but cannot be broken’ (University of Waterloo, n.d.).


Urban design

‘Encompassing the practices of architecture and planning, urban design is primarily concerned with place-making which has captured geographical imaginations’ (Street, 2009, p.32). Urban design is not a technical or value neutral process, but ‘is infused by ethical and moral standpoints about what the “good city” is or ought to be. The aesthetics of a place reveal much about social and political structure and process and, in turn, social and political structure and process are revealed, in part, through the form and texture of the built environment’ (Street, 2009, p.39).


Urban furniture

‘Urban furniture refers to pieces of furniture found in public spaces or in the urban environment, for example, park benches’ (Tosca, 2018).


Urban Renewal Fund (URF)

An independent organization in Hong Kong that was ‘incorporated on August 15, 2011 to act as the trustee and settlor of the Trust Fund. From November 10, 2011, the Trust Fund is also entitled to exemption under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) and is, therefore, exempt from all taxes payable under the Ordinance’ (Urban Renewal Fund, n.d.).


Vanishing point

‘In a linear perspective drawing, the vanishing point is the spot on the horizon line to which the receding parallel lines diminish. It is what allows us to create drawings, paintings, and photographs that have a three-dimensional perception. The easiest way to illustrate this in real life is to stand in the middle of a straight road. When you do this, you'll notice how the sides of the road and the lines painted on it meet in one spot on the horizon. The center line will go straight for it, and the lines on the side will angle in until all of them intersect. That point of intersection is the vanishing point’ (South, 2019, para.1-2).

Reference List

Curl, J., & Wilson, S. (2015). Collage. The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture [electronic Resource]. 67, retrieved from

Dogan, F., & Nersessian, N.J. (2002). Conceptual Diagrams: Representing Ideas in Design. Diagrams. Retrieved from

Drawing projections. (2018). Designing Buildings Wiki. Retrieved from

Gale, A. (2019). One Point Perspective Drawing: The Ultimate Guide. Retrieved from

Jackson, T. (n.d.). A Detailed SWOT Analysis Example (Applicable to All Industries). Retrieved from

Jauhiainen, J. S. (2005), Linnageograafia. Linnad ja linnauurimus modernismist postmodernismini, Tallinn (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia).

LTL Architects. (2016, August 5). In Contemporary Architecture, the Section Is the Generator. Metropolis. Retrieved from

Liber Research Community (n.d.). Short Term Tenancy Site Research. Retrieved from

Merriam-Webster. (2019a). Two-point perspective. Retrieved from perspective

Merriam-Webster. (2019b). Montage. Retrieved from

Merriam-Webster. (2019c). Orthographic projection. Retrieved from

Mitchell, D. & Staeheli, L. A. (2009). Public space. International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, p.511-516.

Otani, T. (2018). The circuit of capital. In A Guide to Marxian Political Economy: What Kind of a Social System Is Capitalism? Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 281-296. Retrieved from

Placemaking Chicago. (2008). What is placemaking? Retrieved from

Project for Public Spaces. (n.d.). What makes a successful place? Retrieved from

Saar, M., & Palang, H. (2009). The Dimensions of Place Meanings. Living Rev. Landscape Res.,(3). doi:10.12942/lrlr-2009-3

Scruton, R. & Gowans, A. (n.d.). Architecture. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved July 06 2019 from

Site plan. (n.d.). Retrieved from

South, H. (2019). What Is a Vanishing Point in Art? Retrieved from

Street, E. (2009). Urban Design. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier: Tokyo and Amsterdam, pp.32-39.

Tosca, K. (2018). What is urban furniture? Retrieved from

University of Waterloo. (n.d.). What is Topology? Retrieved from

Urban Renewal Fund. (n.d.). About Urban Renewal Fund. Retrieved from

World Bank. (2015). Project Phasing. Retrieved from