Big urban design trends that are popular right now

Cities constantly change and we often see evolution at a pace that was not actually anticipated. While we cannot predict everything that will happen, we can highlight the trends that modern urban design architects promote. Those below are already cemented and seen around the world right now.

Creating Experiences

In the past, urban designers were focused on what was referred to as “place-making”. This is no longer something that is enough. Everything is now about the experience that is created. Architects think about the way in which buildings and spaces between buildings are treated as they relate to human-scale design. The developers rediscovered how important it is to leverage contextualism and authenticity. Experience is what brings people back, making it particularly important for commercial developments. At the same time, it is also important for residential properties as experience makes people see themselves living in a particular place.

Reinventing Retail

Retail upheaval was huge in 2017, with over 6,700 stores being closed just in the US alone. More will surely close their doors in 2018. This is because of the fact that people are moving online for many purchases. The retail analysts thus predict a huge shift for the regional malls. Many are now in danger and a quarter of those in the UScan actually close. With this in mind, the trend that we see is having malls and larger retail departments closed. Those that manage to reinvent the brick and mortar experience will succeed.

More Green Spaces

Urban design architects now work hard to create green spaces. We see them implemented in practically all new types of construction. Open spaces are particularly covered. Until now we saw these as being quite shallow in terms of greenery but this is definitely changing at quite a quick pace. Green areas are practically demanded by many that want to build something.


Because of suburban sprawl that lasted decades we ended up with so many developments that can only be considered as being boring and single-use. Downtowns end up empty. As a response, so many mixed-use projects take advantage of patterns that were initially used before WWII. Consumer expectations are not met though so new approaches may be needed.

Getting Ready For The Future

Every single developer tries to basically get all that is possible from the building that is constructed. However, this can lead to some problems. For instance, what will happen to the parking garages in the event that demand goes down? Right now we see traffic engineers saying that the USreached a peak parking level. On-demand and shared car ride services keep growing in popularity so car use may actually go down.

Food Halls

Food halls initially started to be popular in 2016. They have been around for quite longerthough but we now see that there is an increase in interest when looking at suburbs and cities. Food halls are now seen as must haveurban developments, which is not something that many expected. They are added to commercial developments and to living neighborhoods.