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.