Sustainable development requires change in who makes decisions as well as in their content. The field theory of behavioural
change is used here to structure a discussion of professionalism in urban design for sustainability. Sustainability
and professionalism (both concepts defined by their users) are channelled subjectively, there are barriers in cities,
designers act as gatekeepers, learning takes place. There follow sections on cities, designers, learning and research.
There is more wealth and more poverty. In addition the cultural diversity of the urban population is becoming ever more
evident. Sustainability depends on the interaction between designers and users, on new forms of practice and on new
forms of urban development. There needs to be more focus on the improvement of participatory decision-making, and
on new forms of communication, in design practice. This argues against a too narrow interpretation of academic standards
in schools of architecture and encourages the reevaluation and further development of pragmatic approaches
and the transmission of practical skills. Business School methods could be used. A good deal of previous research could
usefully be looked at again with the sustainability agenda in mind, including a better understanding of skills. In conclusion,
professionals need more multi-disciplinary practice and greater participation in it by lay citizens.
Keywords: Sustainability, Professionalism, Cities, Designers, Learning.
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