Master of Urban Design

Graduate Program
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

David Walters is the Director of the UNC-Charlotte's Master of Urban Design (MUD) program, housed in the School of Architecture's off-campus urban studio in Charlotte's SouthEnd design district. From the fall of 2011, the program will be a founding member of the university's new uptown center, with studios and classrooms on the 10th floor of the new building designed by Kieran Timberlake and Gantt Huberman.


Fundamentals of Urban Design

Graduate Program
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

This course focuses on fundamental concepts of urban design and space making, and teaches a wide range of technical and graphic skills and media in urban representation. It explores and tests issues focused around the making of public infrastructure, spatial definition by buildings, and the particular dynamics of civic and social spaces.


Planning, Law and Urban Design

Graduate Program
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

This course acquaints students with the complex pattern of laws, legal codes and other regulations that affect the form of cites. It examines the historical origins of European and American planning and design legislation and the role of legislation as a deliberate instrument of design policy. In terms of current practice, it investigates the origins, theory and practice of recent design-based codes in Europe and form-based zoning in the USA.


Third Year: Urban Housing

Undergraduate Program
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

This course examines the factors that influence the design of a building in a complex urban context. It uses precedent study as a generator of design concepts relevant to contemporary urban housing issues and designs. It helps students to appreciate the potential for building fašades to operate as the primary sites of architectural significance and meaning, and to understand the inter-relationships between the form of a building, its urban context and the influence of materiality and structure.



Urban Design and Development Economics
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

This seminar course relates the 3-D design concepts of urban designers with the financial constraints and opportunities of developers. Guest speakers include bankers, planners, developers, economic development professionals, urban designers and architects.


5th Year Studio

Comprehensive Architectural Project
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

As the culmination of the first professional degree, each student will select and develop a Comprehensive Architectural Project containing three related components -- a building program, a site, and an architectural topic or point of view. Projects will be developed through both a Project Design and a companion Project Document. This studio is intended to achieve “Comprehensive Architectural Design” as articulated by NAAB accreditation requirements; successful final project designs must represent a rigorous synthesis and resolution of design research, contextual, technical, programmatic, site, legal, conceptual and aesthetic criteria, and provide appropriate representation of the process and products of this design work.

Community Planning Workshop

Professors Ken Chilton (Geography) and David Walters (Architecture)

Fall 2005 - University of North Carolina at Charlotte

One of the most difficult tasks in contemporary planning and urban design is managing growth in communities on the suburban fringe of a metropolis so that they can retain some individual character and follow more sustainable principles and practices. Most suburban development is wasteful in its use of land and other natural resources, and sustainable development principles, by contrast, include more compact settlement patterns, with mixed uses, a walkable urban structure, and greater respect for the natural environment. Sustainable development also means re-embedding meaningful urban and natural public spaces as the setting for a renewed and reinvigorated public and communal life. Sustainability refers not only to ecologically sound practices but also to social factors of equal opportunity, diversity and social justice.

Green Architecture & Urbanism

A Real-Life Sustainable Community for the Carolinas

Professors David Walters and Chris Grech

Fall 2003 - University of North Carolina at Charlotte

We should all live lightly on the land. Our responsibilities as architects and urban designers are especially important in the pursuit of ecologically sustainable urban forms and building design. Our society consumes land and energy far faster than any other culture in the world’s history. When we’ve used the energy it’s gone. It’s non-renewable. When we’ve finished with the land, we often throw it away like some discarded commodity.

Architects have imagined eco-topias for generations. Very few have ever been built. This is different. This project looks to a brighter, energy efficient future, but it’s based in the real world of development economics, site constraints and local clients. This is an opportunity to design a model community that will transform the way our profession, developers, elected officials and the general public think about the way we build our cities and towns, and how we live in them. It will redefine your thinking about the connections between the urban world we create and the natural world we inherit.

Public universities ought to contribute to the public good, not just in terms of turning out skilled and educated graduates, but by contributing meaningfully to the conversations and concerns of the community through the sharing of the faculty’s expertise and the students’ youthful insight. These concerns are urgent, for the Charlotte region’s urban future hangs in the balance. As a counterpoint to placeles sprawl around the periphery this project can demonstrate higher and better goals and standards of design and development as an example to our expanding metropolis and the nation.

The role of all projects undertaken by the CCDS is to illuminate important issues like these, and to provide potential solutions to “real-life” urban design and town planning problems that can promote progress towards a sustainable urban future – a livable city.



Town Planning
About David Walters

Design First

Designing Community

Charrettes, Master Plans and Form-based Codes
David Walters
2007 Architecture Press

Design First

Design First

Design-based Planning for Communities
David Walters &
Linda Luise Brown
2004 Architecture Press

Design First

Future Office

Design, Practice & Applied Research
Christopher Grech & David Walters
2007 Spon Books

Design First

Southwestern Commission's Region A Toolbox

A Pilot of the Mountain Landscapes Initiative
2008 Mountain Landscapes Initiative of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

Copyright ©2007 David Walters. All Rights Reserved.