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Urban Design and Economics


The field of economics provides an essential analytical tool as well as a theoretical foundation for urban design, and the two cannot be divorced from one another. The fundamentals of urban economics must be understood and mastered by urban planners before they can effectively apply those ideas to urban planning in practise. In addition to this, they are necessary to continually analyse and summarise the tested experience of urban economics in the field of urban planning in order to fulfil their duties. This is done in order to provide citizens with a suitable environment in which to live, to encourage the growth of urban economies and urban construction, and to support the expansion of society in order to realise a number of economic, environmental, and social objectives. The demonstrated experience of urban economics in urban planning practise is something that urban planners are tasked with analysing and summarising on a regular basis.[1]

I. The significance of socio-economics in urban design

The discipline of urban design encompasses a great amount of information; therefore, in order for designers to achieve success in the industry, they need to investigate a diverse range of topics. Included in this category are fields such as economics, psychology, traffic engineering, environmental preservation, and a wide range of other topics. In this article, the use and further development of socioeconomics in urban design are the primary focuses of our attention. The objective of socioeconomics is to demonstrate, via the use of illustrative examples, how the myriad economic factors that go into the making of a city interact with one another over the course of time. When it comes to arranging the physical layout of the city, urban planners could gain a great amount of advantage by having access to this information.[2]

II. Application of socio-economics in urban design
2.1 Strategies related to the economics of urban design

Urban design methods that are cost-effective to deploy Due to the nature of urban design, which is characterised by huge scale, a long time span, and the involvement of a large number of stakeholders, urban design strategies are critical. Because of these traits, urban design has a large scale. In order to decide on a design approach, it is necessary to fully analyse the impact of economic and social factors. In addition, a set of management countermeasures must be developed in conjunction with the design objectives and design solutions. Following that, a choice on the design plan can be taken.[3] Before beginning the process of design, it is vital to have a general awareness of the economic climate of the site where the design will take place. This understanding is essential before beginning the design process. Consider the average annual income of city residents, the average cost of living, and the total amount of investment money that will go into the project. Each of these aspects will have an impact on the overall design of the project in their own unique way.

2.2 Enhancement of urban design brought by economics

The way economics is used in urban design affects a city’s ability to grow its market, and a new urban landscape should be a sign of a city’s infrastructure and economy getting a boost. How economics is used in urban planning has an effect on how a city’s market can grow.[4]For example, changes in land use and population and employment densities are largely market-driven, and economists are skilled at monitoring and explaining market movements. So it is argued that linking economics to urban design improves both city formation and subsequent economic development.[5] With the help of urban design that takes economics into account in a smart way, city dwellers’ daily lives can become more sensible and useful. Because of this, it could have a big effect on whole cities. Because of this, the value of a whole city or piece of land may go up. On the other hand, sound economic policies can also be good for the economy of a region.


[1] Chan, E.H.W. & Lee, G.K.L. (2008) ‘Contribution of urban design to economic sustainability of urban renewal projects in Hong Kong’, Sustainable development (Bradford, West Yorkshire, England), 16(6), pp. 353–364.

[2] Wufan. “A Brief Discussion on the Application of Urban Economics in Urban Planning.” Urban Architecture 17.4(2020):3.

[3] Wang, Yaowu, and Song Jusheng. “Economic and Social Factors Affecting Urban Design.” Academic Exchange 000.003 (2003): 115-117.

[4] Phil Hubbard, Urban design and local economic development: A case study in Birmingham, Cities, Volume 12, Issue 4, 1995, Pages 243-251, ISSN 0264-2751.

[5]Bertaud, A., (2018) Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities (The MIT Press)

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Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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