The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Urban Design Coordinator, Associate Professor

Michael Larice is an Associate Professor of Urban Design and City Planning. Although he is an architect, city planner, and urban designer – he is primarily an urbanist. His professional and academic work focuses largely on the urban design of livable places – streets, housing, neighborhoods and cities. He takes a comparative approach in teaching and research to help better understand the various urban­isms and urban theories that operate con­currently across the country and around the world – how places overcome struggle, why they survive, and what makes them thrive. This pluralistic and pragmatic approach to design helps students to build skills, operationalize theory, and approxi­mate the type of challenges they will find in their professional lives after graduation.

In his teaching he stresses the importance of contextual response and inter-disciplinary collabora­tion for the success of projects and their sustainability over time. Many of his urban design studios are partnered with client cities trying to solve very real public realm and development problems; among these clients are the cities of Cottonwood Heights and Park City – Utah, Abu Dhabi – UAE, Oranjestad – Aruba, Philadelphia – Pennsylvania, and Vancouver – British Columbia. In 2014 Professor Larice launched the Utah Urban Design Monograph Series, which provides a means of delivering studio initiated ideas and visions to client cities.

After a very successful First Edition of The Urban Design Reader (2006), a second edition (with co-editor Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald of UC Berkeley) was published by Routledge in December 2012.  It provides a collection of important historical and contemporary writing that describes and defines the field of urban design.  Currently underway now are articles associated with livability theory, collaboration in urban design, and the social sustainability impacts on the physical design of cities. Professor Larice is currently working on research projects associated with quality of life and livability of urban arterials and new streetcar lines in the United States.  His previous research looked at dense urban neighborhoods, development approvals processes, and slum upgrading.

Professor Larice holds a PhD in City Plan­ning from the University of California, Berkeley, where his dissertation work in urban design focused on the form and liv­ability of high density neighborhoods in North America. He holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Design from UCLA. Professor Larice is a California native and licensed architect, who has worked, lectured, and traveled exten­sively. He has taught urban design, city planning, comparative housing, and inter­national development at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of British Columbia, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2009, Professor Larice was awarded the G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania.  At the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning he was named Professor of the Year in 2012. In 2014, he became the chair of the Utah Urban Design Awards program co-sponsored by the Utah AIA, APA. ASLA and CNU.