Urban Design; History of Urban Form; Streets and Public Spaces; Urban Design & Sustainability.
- Ph.D. City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
- M.C.P. City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
- M.L.A. Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
- A.B. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Elizabeth Macdonald is an urban designer. Her research focuses on street design and the history of urban form. Particular interests include: the impacts of engineering street standards on the pedestrian realm; context sensitive street design; North American waterfront promenades and their impacts on physical activity; the interface between buildings and the public realm; post occupancy evaluation of urban design plans and projects; the sustainability dimensions of urban design; urban design graphic communication; and methods for urban design knowledge-building.
Professor Macdonald is a registered architect and a partner in the urban design firm Cityworks. Recent professional design projects include the design for Octavia Boulevard in San Francisco (to replace the earthquake damaged Central Freeway), and redesigns for Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver, British Columbia, International Boulevard in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, and C.G. Road in Ahmedabad, India. Professional planning projects include consulting on streetscape design for Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, San Francisco’s Better Streets Plan, and San Francisco’s Market/Octavia Neighborhood Plan. Recent charette workshops led by Cityworks include those for central Broadway in Vancouver, British Columbia; three central area streets in Rotterdam; Pine Tree Drive and Clarke Drive in Coquitlam, British Columbia; and Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco; and projects in association with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ciudad Real, Spain.
A hands-on teacher of urban design, Professor Macdonald’s courses include a focus on learning empirical observation skills, and graphic and oral communication skills for presenting design research and proposals in ways that are readily accessible to community members, political decision-makers, and fellow professionals.
The Circle of Memory: a public space that inspires visitors to recall and commemorate children who are missing or have died. This is an art installation project done in collaboration with Eleanor Coppola, Richard Beggs, Robilee Frederick, Jean McMann, and Alexander Nichols. Venues to date:
Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011
Hangar 7, Salzburg, Austria, 2008
Musée Fabré, Montpellier, France, 2007
Santa Fe Art Institute, 2005
San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, 2004
Oakland Art Gallery, 2003
- Courses Taught
- CY PLAN 140 Urban Design: City-Building and Place-Making
- CY PLAN 208 Plan Preparation Studio
- CY PLAN 248 Advanced Urban Design Studio
- CY PLAN 242 Urban Design Research Seminar
- CY PLAN 249 Urban Design Practice
- Selected Publications
Larice, M. and E. Macdonald. The Urban Design Reader, Second Edition (Routledge, 2013).
Macdonald, E. Pleasure Drives and Promenades: A History of Frederick Law Olmsted's Brooklyn Parkways (Center for American Places, 2012).
Larice, M. and E. Macdonald. The Urban Design Reader, First Edition (Routledge, 2007).
Jacobs, A. B., E. Macdonald and Y. Rofe. The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards (MIT Press, 2002).
Macdonald, E., R. Sanders and A. Anderson. Performance Measures for Complete, Green Streets: A Proposal for Urban Arterials in California, Berkeley, CA: University of California Transportation Center (2009).
Macdonald, E. “The Efficacy of Long-Range Physical Planning: The Case of Vancouver,” Journal of Planning History 7:3 (August, 2008): 175-213. (Received an Honorable Mention for the Journal of Planning History Prize, 2009.)
Macdonald, E. “The Intersection of Street Trees and Safety,” Landscape Architecture (May, 2008): 2-11.
Macdonald, E., R. Sanders and P. Supawanich. The Effects of Transportation Corridors’ Roadside Design Features on User Behavior and Safety, and their Contributions to Health, Environmental Quality, and Community Economic Vitality: A Literature Review, Berkeley, CA: University of California Transportation Center (2008).
Macdonald, E. “Urban Waterfront Promenades and Physical Activity by Older Adults: The Case of Vancouver,” Journal of Architecture and Planning Research 24:3 (Autumn, 2007): 181-198.
Macdonald, E. “The Intersection of Street Trees and Safety,” Access #33 (Fall, 2007): 20-26.
Macdonald, E. “Wasted Space/Potential Place: Reconsidering Urban Streets,” Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm 19:1 (2007): 22-27.
Macdonald, E. Street Trees and Intersection Safety (Working Paper 2006-11), Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development (2006).
Macdonald, E. “Building a Boulevard,” Access 28 (Spring, 2006): 2-9.
Macdonald, E. “Suburban Vision to Urban Reality: The Evolution of Olmsted and Vaux’s Brooklyn Parkway Neighborhoods,” Journal of Planning History 4:4 (2005): 295-321.
Macdonald, E. “Street-Facing Dwelling Units and Livability: The Impacts of Emerging Building Types in Vancouver’s New High-Density Residential Neighborhoods,” Journal of Urban Design 10:1 (2005): 13-38.
Macdonald, E. “The Multiway Boulevard,” Time Savers Standards for Urban Design (McGraw Hill, 2003).
Macdonald, E. “Structuring a Landscape/Structuring a Sense of Place: The Enduring Complexity of Olmsted and Vaux’s Brooklyn Parkways,” Journal of Urban Design, 7:2 (2002): 117-143.
Macdonald, E. “Brooklyn’s Boulevards,” Access 17 (Fall, 2000): 2-8.
Bosselmann, P. and E. Macdonald. “Livable Streets Revisited,” Journal of the American Planning Association 65:2 (1999): 168-180.
Urena, J., A.B. Jacobs and E. Macdonald. “Usos y Seguridad en Bulevares de Varias Calzadas,” OP: Revista del Colegio de Ingenieros de Caminos 39:1 (1997).
Jacobs, A. B., Y. Rofe and E. Macdonald. “Guidelines for the Design of Multiple Roadway Boulevards,” Places: A Forum of Environmental Design, 11:2 (1997): 40-47.
Bosselmann, P. and E. Macdonald. “Boulevard Livability Study,” Places: A Forum of Environmental Design 11:2 (1997):66-69.
Jacobs, A.B., E. Macdonald, D. Marsh and C. Wilson. The Uses and Re-Uses of Major Urban Arterials: A Study of Recycling, Revitalizing, and Restructuring “Gray Area” Transportation Corridors (Working Paper 695), Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development (1997): 129 pages.
Bosselmann, P. and E. Macdonald. Environmental Quality of Multiple Roadway Boulevards (Monograph 53), Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development (1997): 140 pages.
Jacobs, A. B., Y. Rofe and E. Macdonald. “Another Look at Boulevards,” Places: A Forum of Environmental Design 10:1 (1995): 72-77.
Jacobs, A.B., Y. Rofe and E. Macdonald. Multiple Roadway Boulevards: Case Studies, Designs, Design Guidelines (Working Paper 652), Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development (1995): 142 pages.
Jacobs, A.B., Y. Rofe and E. Macdonald. Boulevards: A Study of Safety, Behavior, and Usefulness (Working Paper 625), Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development (1994): 128 pages.