Short courses


Urban Graphics 4: The City in 3D

  • 10 to 20 hours
  • No start date. Work at your own pace.


The full power of urban graphics for analysis, design and communication is only released with the sort of three-dimensional imagery that accompanies a 3D understanding of the city.

In this short online course you'll learn how key 3D drawings communicate complex urban proposals for urban propositions and street improvements.

The course has been developed by planning experts. It provides step-by-step instructions and is suitable for beginners.

Course content

Urban Graphics 4 - city in 3D logo

Your first exercise will be to make a street elevation from photographs. This involves combining images and removing some of the distortions that photography can create, so as to produce a usable image. You'll even add a blue sky to hold the image together.

You'll be introduced to Sketch-up - an easy-to-use, open-source 3D graphics package that can be used alongside Adobe Illustrator (or Inkscape) and effects generated in Adobe Photoshop or GIMP to generate a full range of 3D visuals.

You'll learn to produce a 3D urban proposition and street improvements using photographic elevations, sections, 3D modelling and visual effects.

As well as becoming familiar with Sketch-up, you'll further develop yours skills in Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, and Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, as they relate to urban graphics.

Structure and teaching

You'll be given:

  • video-based introductions and tutorials
  • step-by-step written instructions on how to carry out each exercise
  • baseline material required for the exercise
  • a worked example

Who this course is for

This course is for students seeking a career in the built environment.

It covers some of the essential skills you'll need before starting a course that involves design and planning.


You don't need any design, graphics or urban analytical experience, thought it will be beneficial to have completed:

Some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, and Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, will also be useful.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you'll have learnt to produce a 3D urban proposition and street improvements using:

  • photographic elevations
  • sections
  • 3D modelling
  • visual effects

Course team

Professor Matthew Carmona

Professor Matthew Carmona

Matthew is Professor of Planning & Urban Design at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning. His research has focused on processes of design governance and on the design and management of public space. Matthew was educated at the University of Nottingham and is a chartered architect and planner. He has published widely in the areas of urban design, design policy and governance, housing design and development, measuring quality and performance in planning, the management of public space, and on design and planning processes in London.

David Chapman

David Chapman

David is a director of the planning and urban design consultancy UDS. He is an urban design trainer and masterplanner, with specialisms in public realm and street design guidance, and negotiating planning and development projects. He is a teaching fellow at UCL and has been an external examiner at the University of Greenwich. His publications include (as co-author) From Design Policy to Design Quality.

Course information last modified: 23 Oct 2019, 12:03