The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary for Urban Design Associates (UDA). When David Lewis and Ray Gindroz started a practice focused on urban design in Pittsburgh in 1964, there was a big gap in the profession between designing buildings and designing cities. Architecture, land planning, and zoning were often separated from both the social and physical context of city building and had little connection to place-making.
The practice of urban design as a collaborative service to citizens, businesses, institutions, developers, and elected officials has become an essential process to help forge a common vision for how particular places may evolve over time. We are keenly interested in the remarkable diversity we find in each city and town. We continue to strive for creative and effective ways to work with clients and communities to build great places for the next generation rooted in the aspirations and traditions of the people who live there.
Now there is a new generation of urbanists - from policy planners, to transportation engineers, to elected officials, architects, landscape architects, as well as citizens - who have a deep appreciation of good city building based on socially responsible and environmentally sound principles and practices.
As we look forward to the next chapter, it is fun to open the archives and take stock of efforts that changed the way we were thinking and working. We have put together a short reflection of our work across five decades to gain perspective for the future: UDA @ 50 Viewbook.