Urban design is both a specialised and an integrating profession. Urban designers are specially trained in the discipline, usually after qualifying as architects and sometimes as planners or landscape architects.
The unique focus of urban design lies in the understanding of three-dimensional form and space in cities and settlements, and the relationship of this form to land, context, society, and history. This understanding is firmly rooted in an awareness of nature, landscape, and urbanism and consideration of the needs and dynamics of society, economy, and space.
Urban design is as much process as product and the implementation of urban design proposals requires knowledge and skill in decision-making techniques and structures. The art of urban design lies in shaping the interaction between people and places, environment and urban form, nature, and built fabric and influencing processes that lead to the development of successful cities, towns, and villages.
Integration with the complementary fields of city planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and civil engineering is essential for the practice of urban design.