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What is urban studies?

Human and Nature

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Photo of a narrow street in an urban area for an urban studies paper

Have you ever wondered how cities are being designed? Who decides where roads and bus stops should be placed, or where will a park or alley will be built? If you are an urban studies student, you know that people like you decide on all these things. The course you have chosen is the key to building perfect cities that are able to exist for long and operate even under the most unpleasant conditions.

Graduates with proficiency in urban studies are people who are able to dream big, think logically, consider all important details, create comfortable spaces for others to live, and conduct well-organized urban planning research. They are responsible for the well-being of thousands of citizens who work, relax, do sports, and raise children in the areas they structure.

As you will have to learn a lot during the course of your studies, you will likely be assigned quite a few research papers to write. Therefore, we have created a small guide that will help you choose a perfect topic for your work and get a better understanding of the subject you will be exploring.

Urban studies definition

Urban studies is a subject which considers the urban development of cities. Economic and political changes, water supply, energy consumption, population growth, and numerous other factors that have to be considered and predicted create a lot of challenges for architects, engineers, and other experts involved in the city development. This subject comprises several disciplines, such as sociology, geography, economics, political science, anthropology, urban planning, architecture, and urban design.

Great urban planning research paper topics

The first and often most time-consuming thing you will have to do before writing is to search for urban studies research questions, issues, or prompts. As it is not the most popular subject, you may have a hard time finding something worthy and relevant. We are perfectly aware of this problem and have prepared an overview of a few broad urban planning research topics so that you can make a choice faster and craft an excellent urbanization essay.

Car-free cities

For years, cars have been the main type of transport used in cities; however, it does not mean the situation will remain the same in the future. Every person with at least primary education is aware of how much noise cars produce in cities and to what extent they pollute the air and the surrounding environment. Cars drive on gasoline, using scarce oil resources, and take a lot of space for movement and parking that could have been used to create numerous open spaces, public buildings, educational facilities, or houses. These problems, along with traffic jams, accidents, death rates, and health problems associated with car driving raise the need for alternative transport.

That is why the cars run on electricity are becoming very popular as no jams or accidents occur, no poisonous gases are released, and such transport can carry more people than cars. Unfortunately, ambulances, trucks, and some other types of cars are the ones we cannot yet replace with electric vehicles, and the increasing number of electric transportation will also increase energy consumption.

Demographics and housing

If you review statistical data for the past forty years, you will see how much more space houses are taking now. Yes, the population of our planet has increased significantly, but as engineers construct higher buildings like skyscrapers or apartments with multiple floors, trying to meet the demand, the question why housing is still such a big issue remains hot and troublesome. Some governments do not pay enough attention to urban problems and do not have enough qualified specialists to resolve them. So with years, these problems have accumulated, leading to the massive failures in the functioning of cities.

Green space

Housing is not the only sphere that has some serious issues due to the significant and rapid population growth of the past few decades. According to urban research, a large number of parks, forests, lakes, and hundreds of other types of green areas or natural environments are being destroyed every year and replaced with different kinds of buildings. Numerous real estate developers and tenant builders choose to sacrifice natural areas for houses, businesses, and various facilities that could have been placed elsewhere but can make or save their owners more money by being built in those exact spots.

Green zones are slowly disappearing from the maps of big cities, which leads to thousands of problems with mental, physical, and spiritual health of people who live there. They have no place to do sports, relax, have a nice walk, breathe fresh air, enjoy nature, and have some fun time with friends or family. Unfortunately, civil engineers cannot cope with this problem fast enough.

Resilient buildings

If you need a more advanced engineering-related topic for your urban design paper, this area is a great choice indeed. The issue of sustainability of buildings is currently among the most discussed ones due to its importance. If you watch or read news frequently, you realize how many countries and islands suffer from natural disasters each year, and know how many lives such catastrophes take.

Unfortunately, we cannot control or prevent hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other events of such kind. However, engineering specialists can save thousands of people from dying and losing their families and property by creating stable buildings, resilient to natural or human disturbances. As the climate and natural catastrophes vary from region to region, sustainability experts have to come up with new techniques and design buildings specifically for a certain area, considering all of its features in terms of weather, most common natural occurrences, and other factors.

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