How To Come Up With A Great Urban Design Dissertation Topic


As a graduate student, you’ll need to write a dissertation. This is a very important paper because it’s your chance to demonstrate your professional knowledge or present your own project. Finding the right topic can be the most challenging part of the writing process. Here are some suggestions on how to choose something worthy of writing about.

  • Think about the topics you were interested in during your studies.
  • Recall the disciplines you’ve practiced, and reread your lecture and seminar notes, and term and research papers. You’ll probably find among them one or several particular subjects that you would like to scrutinize more closely. However, check whether the chosen theme fits in with the scientific trends or paradigms in your field.

  • Be aware of topical issues.
  • The first person you should ask about the current issues concerning urban design is your professor or advisor. It may turn out that your scientific interests coincide, and then you’ll get an excellent supervisor for your future work. Some of your lecturers might have once given you a list of undeveloped questions in your field. Look through them, and maybe you will find the one for you. Also, follow the problems discussed during conferences; they are always of high topicality.

  • Work further on an old concept.
  • Maybe you wrote some really good papers but they need to be improved or disputed in the framework of modern life.

  • Narrow your interest.
  • The scale of the issue you’re passionate about is probably too broad, and it could take years to write a solid and thorough dissertation on it. Try to single out something vital and precise. For example, if your topic concerns contemporary design for historical cities, take a particular city as a basis for your paper.

  • Mind your career.
  • Your dissertation should be of practical value both for your further scientific work and your future job, so choose a project where you can combine theory and practice. This will give you more opportunities later.

Consider the following topics that could interest you:

  1. Modern and historical landscapes.
  2. Urban aesthetics and new trends in urban design.
  3. Eco-friendly development.
  4. New design methodologies.
  5. Preservation methods of architectural heritage.
  6. Urban property and regeneration.
  7. Building multicultural cities.
  8. Urban design and health.
  9. Spatial changes in big cities.
  10. The role of technology in changing how a city works.
  11. Environmental change and urban equity.
  12. Urban ecology.
  13. Spatial planning policy.
  14. The future shape of cities.
  15. Communities and engagement.