Designing by ear 

UDA is a Pittsburgh-born-and-based urban design firm with the time-tested experience and expertise to conceive the building, block, city or region for which your community, institution or company is calling. 

We’re a seasoned team of designers and architects – 18 strong in all. We’re partners in problem-solving. We’re portable practitioners. And all of our projects are Principal-led. (We’re also passionate Pittsburghers.)

From leading the way with our listening-based approach during the tumultuous 1960s, to tackling the public housing crisis at a crucial junction in our nation’s development, we have a storied history of inventing and reinventing where no playbook existed. We bring this same level of innovation to each and every design challenge we undertake – organizing strategic teams around projects to usher the right solution to the forefront. From Moscow to Seattle and London to Norfolk, our way of working employs the international language of excellent design.

As our essence, this is UDA. By putting listening, testing and deciding at the core of our process, we created a methodology that is customizable to any urban design project, a model for the urban design industry, and a true reflection of our values as a firm.


Because before you can build a meaningful place, you must first build meaningful consensus. That’s why we prioritize the involvement of all stakeholders – be they citizens, developers, institutions, or public officials – to discover and develop a superior, shared solution to the most complex challenges.

We value CONTEXT…

Because when you successfully create your desired place, you’ll find it steeped in relevance, authenticity, and joy. That’s why we invest deeply in learning your community’s history, challenges, priorities, and aspirations – so as to unearth designs that defend and celebrate its true identity.


Because nothing is more important than increasing the social, emotional, and economic vitality of a place. That’s why we are committed to inventing and reinventing places that are faithful to the true spirit and soul of their communities.

Let us introduce you to the STUDIO