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Innovation in Urban Design: Does Research Help?

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In a world of design solutions, how important is research to innovation? This paper describes how innovation intersects with (1) urban design practice and (2) the work of research universities. When innovation is largely stylistic, design practice sensibilities may well be more useful than research skills. But when innovation requires new data or new analytical techniques, research is important. With their direct connections to tangible issues and their location within multiple professions, urban designers could well become exemplars of interdisciplinary research, serving as the human face of the research turn while expanding and deepening their own body of knowledge. Indeed, they could use this research turn to accelerate and disseminate inventive work in urban design, so that the urban design field experiences significant innovation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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