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Firstly, the first impression I had of the Principles and Practice of Urban Design class was that it was guiding us to think about responding to questions about what urban design is. As a matter of fact, the first class, it did guide us on how to observe the city, extract the important elements of the city, and then present them in groups. Moreover, when I was observing the traces of the city, it made me consider what Italo Calvino (1997) describes in Invisible Cities, where even a scratch on a building can be the identity of a city, which is one of the books that caused me to become interested in urban design. 

As for why I chose this major, it was due to the fact that I was born in a period of rapid development. Consequently, I have grown up with the constant renewal and expansion of the city, seeing the creation of various steel and concrete landmarks; however, I also regret that traditional historical buildings have been destroyed, as their presence was considered by the planners of the time to be an obstacle to the development of the modern city. However, in my personal opinion, traditional historical buildings are also one of the witnesses of the city and they deserve to be preserved. This is because the fact that historic buildings are not only a collection of experiences from the past, but they also hold the fond memories of generations of people. Thus, I wanted to explore ways of dealing with the relationship between modern cities and traditional architecture.

In terms of the relevance of my major, I studied landscape design before this, and in my observation, both majors are aimed at creating a better living environment and improving the quality of cities. The difference between them is that landscape design is more concerned with the modification of green space in local urban areas, while urban design focuses on the whole city’s layout, thus it may be considered that landscape design is a part of urban design.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Telephone: 0191 208 6509