Urban Design Dissertations

How To Select Powerful Dissertation Topics On Urban Design

A dissertation on urban design gives you a chance to explore a wide range of issues affecting the urban environment. When selecting a topic, you need to consider a few issues so that the topic is captivating and interesting to read.


A dissertation is supposed to add to the existing knowledge bank. This demands that your topic or area of study reflect present day realities and concerns. To get a current topic search in the following areas

Media reports

- media coverage of international symposiums on urban design will give you an idea of the present day concerns to guide you through research.

Research recommendations

- researchers recommend areas that they think should be given more attention in future papers. These recommendations are contained at the end of their academic works. This is a great starting point for your topic on urban design.

Consult your supervisor

- your supervisor and the department have areas they are focusing on from time to time. They will provide guidance and support in terms of materials to make your work easier and more successful. Examples:-
  • When is a design labeled as intrusive?
  • Is architecture about creativity or economy?
  • Should heights correspond with surrounding buildings?


Select a dissertation topic in urban design that addresses specific issues as opposed to generalization. It A specific topic will adequately address the issues of concern without leaving out other important factors due to length limitations.

  • Is the idea of harmony with the surrounding limiting architectural development?
  • What is the place of enclosures in present day architecture?
  • Is local influence on materials and design killing creativity?


Dissertations require perusal of academic material in a particular field. Ensure that your desired topic addresses issues that are central to urban design instead of peripheral concerns.

  • Too many signs are becoming irrelevant
  • Are there natural alternatives to lighting signage?
  • How to identify utility facilities in an eco friendly manner


The phrasing and issues covered in your dissertation topic on urban design should be interesting to read. Keep away from areas that have been studied time and again because they add little value to the world of academics.

  • Who owns the street, pedestrians or cars?
  • Sky scrappers the wrong solution to density concerns
  • Ensuring a flexible urban future

Construct different sections of your dissertation on urban design in an academically acceptable manner. Be consistent in formatting as well as referencing. Proofread the work before handing it over to your supervisor for final approval.

Past Dissertations & Theses


2014 Graduates

Changjie Chen: Parallelizing the Execution of ArcGIS Geoprocessing Tools to Improve the Performance of Computing and Processing Massive Geographic Datasets: A Heuristic Research on Big Data Processing in the Planning Field

Yingfei Huang: Impact of Accessibility to Rail Transit on Commercial Property Values: A Case Study of the Miami Metrorail

Yehan Xu: Adaptation Strategies for Sea Level Rise: Case Studies and Application to Coastal Town of Cedar Key, Florida

Jingru Zhang: A Parcel-Level Analysis of Coastal Hazard Impact on Manatee County’s Residential Lands: An Integrated Application of GIS, Hazus-MH and Land Use Plan

Scott Rothberg: Evaluating Community Design for the Conservation of Fire Dependent Ecosystems and Regional Processes

Kevin Szatmary: The Impact of Bicycle Facilities on Single Family Residential Property Values: Evidence from Alachua County, Florida

David Wasserman: Evaluating Carsharing Potential: Developing Transportation Options for the Future

Ruoying Xu: How the Built Environment Affects Elderly Travel Behavior: An Activity-Based Approach for Southeast Florida

Rong Zeng: Integrated Natural and Built Environment Strategies for Adapting to Sea Level Rise: Case Studies, Evaluation Framework, and Application to Coastal Small Towns in Florida

Leilei Duan: Exploring the Use of Three-Dimensional Urban Simulation to Model Form-Based Codes Regulations

Benjamin Lytle: The Anticipatory Effects of Commuter Rail on Economic Development in Orange County, Florida

Sean Reiss: Using the Landscape to Identify Tipping Points and Thresholds to Assess Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise for Informing Adaptation Planning in Levy County, Florida

2013 Graduates

Briana Ozor: Playing Games: Building Capacity for Coastal Adaptation through Role-Play

Amy Cavaretta: Examining the Viability of Transportation Development to Reduce Urban Poverty in the Developing World through Accessibility: The Case of Kibera – Nairobi, Kenya

Caitlin Cerame: Agriculture of the Middle: A Feasibility Assessment for A Local Food Distributor in North Central Florida

Angela Coullias: Barriers and Facilitators of Walkability: Analysis of Street Networks and Urban Design Characteristics Around Central Florida Elementary Schools

Taehoon Ha: Comparative CPTED Analysis of Residential Communities in Pangyo and Yatap Towns in South Korea

Ashley McGehee: A Case Study of Redevelopment Strategies: Creative Revitalization of the South 8th Street Corridor in Fernandina Beach, Florida

Elizabeth Nocheck: Connecting Site Safety, Design, and Management: Exploring and Applying CPTED Principles in Planning Policies and Practices for Green Township, Ohio

Brittaney Ross: The Role of Community Schools in Family Friendly Communities: Case Study of the Qutzkyallee Educational Mile in Berlin, Germany

Josette Severyn: Accessing Transit in the Tower Road Triangle: An Evaluation of the Built Environment and Bus Stop Accessibility

Caitlin White: Creating Bicycle Friendly Universities: An Analysis with Recommendations for the University of Florida

Amanda Douglas: Evaluating Transportation Access to Healthy Food Sources: A Rapid Health Impact Assessment in Alachua County, Florida

Shayna Gershman: An Evaluation of Public Participation Techniques Using Arnstein’s Ladder: The Portland Plan

Russell Provost: A Statewide Analysis of the Interaction between the Built Environment and Travel Behavior Using Geographically Weighted Regression

2012 Graduates

Kenwyn Harrilal: Using Hazus-MH and ArcGIS for A Parcel-Based Case Study of the Effects of Sea Level Rise In the Tampa Bay Region With A Detailed Analysis of Residential Parcels In Pinellas County, Florida

Douglas McDuffie: Evaluating the Factors of Developing Gainesville’s Innovation Economy

Hannah Rogers: Bo Diddley Community Plaza: An Evaluation and Suggestions for Redesign

Hongtao Xie: An Indicator System to Evaluate Built Environment Performance for Waterfront Regeneration

Sarah Benton: (Un)safe and (In)secure at Home: Variations in Residential Security in Brazil

Brian Caper: Big Changes in A small County: A Case Study of Economic Development in Wyandotte County, Kansas

Forrest Eddleton: Communication of Past Adaptation: Using Local History in Rural Planning for Sea Level Rise

Daniel Greenberg: Corridor Revitalization in Sarasota: A CPTED Catalyst Proposal

Gareth Hanley: Local Economic Impacts of Airport Operations: An Economic Impact Assessment for the West Orange Airport Authority

Lara Holimon: Did School Concurrency Affect the Location of Residential Development?: An Analysis of School Concurrency in Alachua County, Florida

Kevin Ice: Vampire Analysis of Hillsborough County: A Spatial Representation of Oil and Mortgage Vulnerability

Angeline Jacobs: Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities in Developing Cohousing: An Investigation Into Small, Medium and Large Counties in Florida

Ivelisse Justiniano: Downtown Revitalization in Caguas, Puerto Rico Case Studies, Best Practices and Recommendations

Robert Narvaez: Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Integrating Agricultural Urbanism into Communities

Allison Schutes: Green Space: A Catalyst for Economic Development?

Max Shmaltsuyev: Cruising for Parking in Downtown Miami

Nicole Anderson: Creating Efficiency: An Examination of the Allocation of School Facilities Resources in the Chicago Public Schools

Shivani Aserkar: Use of GIS Modeling for Creating Alternate Future Scenario Focusing on Integrating Urban and Transportation Decisions for Polk and Highlands County, Florida

Brenden Baitch: Assessing the Power of Sunshine: A Multicase Qualitative Study of Solar Energy

Michele Janiszewski: Industry Cluster Analysis in Order to Promote Productive Business Development in Western Orange County, Florida

Brett Lackey: Brain Drain to Brain Gain: A Comparative Local Economic Development Analysis of the Creative Class in Gainesville, Florida Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

2011 Graduates

James Beeler: Security Planning for Public Spaces: Testing a Proposed CPTED Rating Instrument in Berlin, Germany

Lidiane Behlau: Construction Waste and Self-Help as an Alternative to Enhance Housing Affordability: a Case Study of a Housing Project Implemented in Ibipora, State of Parana, Brazil

Kevin Biegler: Examining Successful Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Implementation Models to Develop a Pre-Implementation Criterion (PIEC): An Application to Ft. Collins, Colorado and Gainesville, Florida

Christina D’Auria: A Sustainable Approach to the Urban Design and Development of Innovation Square, Gainesville, Florida

Curtis Dubberly: Determining the Effects of Jacksonville’s Enterprise Zone

Laura Erdely: Suburban Retrofit: Simulated Application of Sprawl Repair on Orlando’s Most Promising Edge City

Charles Gibbons: Sub-Prime to Suboptimal: Realized Effects of the Foreclosure Crisis on Neighborhood Quality in Hillsborough County, Florida

Blake Harvey: Modeling Infill and Urban Growth to Evaluate Agricultural Conversion in Lake County, Florida

Joshua Hoffman: Public Perceptions of Rail Transit in the Community of Winter Park, Florida: Sunrail Comes to Town

Christen Hutton: Transit-Oriented Development Case Study Policy Analysis: A Comparative Study of Programs and Policies across the United States

Taehwan Hyeon: A Study on the Characters of the New Town Project in the Context of the Compact City: The Case Study of Wangsimni New Town Project in Seoul

Jacob Kain: Light Rail Transit in a Shrinking City: Defining Success for Detroit’s Woodward Avenue Light Rail

Shane Laakso: A Comparison of Sustainability in Greenfield Development under Form-Based Codes and Euclidean Zoning Regulations: A Case Study of St. Lucie County, Florida

Dixue Li: Effects of Street Pattern on Frequency of Traffic Crash: A Case Study of Gainesville, Florida

William Lisska: The Effectiveness of Psychological Traffic Calming: A Comparative Case Study of Two Neighborhoods in Alachua County, Florida

Amy Long: Life Cycle Assessment Analysis of Coal versus Nuclear Power in Levy County, Florida

Xing Ma: The Implementation of Urban Growth Boundary and its Effects on Local Housing Affordability: Portland, Oregon, As a Case Study

Jessica Mackey: A Comparison of Parking Policies: A Cast Study of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tanner Martin: Economic Growth in Pensacola, FL – A GIS Based Assessment of Redevelopment Policy, 1996 – 2010

Jay McLeod: Residential Future Land Use Planning in South Florida: Regional Analysis of Nine Counties

Brittany McMullen: The Economic Impact of Parks on Residential Property Values: Evidence from Gainesville, Florida

Robert Murphy: Virtues Unfulfilled: The Effects of Land Value Taxation in Three Pennsylvania Cities

Myles O’Keefe: Affordable Housing and Transit-Oriented Development: A Comparison of Observed Policy Findings with Those of the City of Tampa

Sarah Perch: Community Garden Barriers: A Grounded Theory Study of Gainesville, Florida

Reginald Pierre-Jean: A Methodology for Exploring the Relationship between Intersection Form Factors and Traffic Crashes using Geographically Weighted Regression

Tamashbeen Rahman: Bus Rapid Transit and Heavy Rail: A Comparison for Transit-Oriented Developments in South Florida

Lindsay Rizzo: Urban Design and Marketing: How Cities Can Use Spatial Qualities to Attract Baby Boomers

Anelkis Royce: Urban Legalization: The Effects of Legalization on Land Value in Southern Areas of Bogota, Colombia

Crystal Torres: Evaluating the Potential Effectiveness of Community Redevelopment Agencies to Improve Socio-Economic Conditions within the Redevelopment Area: A Cast Study in Gainesville, Florida

Justin Willits: Bus Rapid Transit in Montgomery, County, Maryland: Determining Stop and Station Locations in Specified Corridors

Kristina Wright Bowen: Participation and Predictability: A Comparative Analysis of Processes and Outcomes of the Form-Based Codes and Previous Conventional Zoning Codes of Miami, Florida and Denver, Colorado

Wencui Yang: Analysis on Correlation between Urban Form Factors and Children’s Walkability to School

Sulhee Yoon: Finding Food Deserts Based on Food Access Index and Transportation Modes: Case Study of Sarasota County, FL

Yuyang Zou: GIS-Based Future Land Use Hurricane Storm Surge Hazard Analysis: A Case Study for Volusia County, Florida




2015 Graduates

Soowoong Noh: Examining the Relationships between Fbcs and Active Built Environment

Ruoniu Wang: Tracking Choice in the Housing Choice Voucher Program The Role of Residential Preference in Locational Outcome

Seungil Yum: The Effect of Creativity on Urban Economy in the U.S. a New Creativity Index: 3Ci (Creative Class, Creative Infrastructure, and Culture)

Dan Zhu: Policy on River Pollution Management: an Analysis of China’s Huai River Pollution Reduction

2014 Graduates

Iris Patten: Measuring Regional and Local Innovative Opportunities

Shanty Yulianti Rachmat: The Relationship of Time-of-Day Travel and Built Environment in Southeast Florida: Incorporating Parking Characteristics in Downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale

Laurel Harbin: The Etawah Pilot Project: a Case Study of Albert Mayer’s Normative Regionalism in Post-Independent India

Yiqiang Ouyang: Examining the Influence of Built Environment on Traffic Crashes: A Spatio-Temporal Data Mining Approach

Suwan Shen: An Integrated Approach to Coastal Community’s Vulnerability Analysis: Case Study in Tampa Bay Region

Fei Yang: Employ Cost-Benefit Analysis to Evaluate the Cost Efficiency of Major Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies

2013 Graduates

Hee Deok Cho: The Factors That Affect Long Distance Travel Model Choice Decisions and Their Implications for Transportation Policy

Juna Papajorgji: Exploring the Benefits of an Open Systems Paradigm for Building Permit Technologies in Local Governments of Florida

Hyung-Chul Chung: Stain or sustain? Equitable Neighborhood Revitalization of Distressed Communities through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Young Sun Kwon:The effects of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure on Residential Income Segregation

2012 Graduates

Yong Hong Guo: Using Remote Sensing and GIS to Monitor and Predict Urban Growth- Case Study in Alachua County, Florida

Jeongseob Kim: Promoting Sustainable Communities through Infill: the Effect of Infill Housing on Neighborhood Income Diversity

2011 Graduates

Abdulnaser Amin Arafat: Evaluating Accessibility and Travel Cost as Suitability Components in the Allocation of Land Use, a Case Study of Identifying Land for Affordable Housing in Three Counties in Florida

Ridwan Sutriadi: Mobile Technology and the Challenge to Promote a Communicative City in Indonesia. Case Study Bandung Metropolitan Area, Indonesia

Jun Zhao: Zoning Variance Administration in Practice: Influencing Factors and Trends


UF Library Archive of Dissertations and Theses

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