Urbanism is the study of how inhabitants of urban areas, such as towns and cities, interact with the built environment. It is a direct component of disciplines such as urban planning, which is the profession focusing on the physical design and management of urban structures and urban sociology which is the academic field the study of urban life and culture. Many architects, planners, geographers, and sociologists investigate the way people live in densely populated urban areas. There is a wide variety of different theories and approaches to the study of urbanism. However, in some contexts internationally, urbanism is synonymous with urban planning, and urbanist refers to an urban planner. The term urbanism originated in the late nineteenth century with the Spanish engineer-architect Ildefons Cerda, whose intent was to create an autonomous activity focused on the spatial organization of the city. Urbanism's emergence in the early 20th century was associated with the rise of centralized manufacturing, mixed-use neighborhoods, social organizations and networks, and what has been described as the convergence between political, social and economic citizenship. Urbanism can be understood as placemaking and the creation of place identity at a citywide level, however as early as 1938 Louis Wirth wrote that it is necessary to stop 'identify[ing] urbanism with the physical entity of the city', go 'beyond an arbitrary boundary line' and consider how 'technological developments in transportation and communication have enormously extended the urban mode of living beyond the confines of the city itself.'
El urbanismo es el conjunto de disciplinas que se encarga del estudio de los asentamientos humanos para su diagnóstico, comprensión e intervención. El urbanismo utiliza a la geografía urbana como herramienta fundamental, e intenta comprender los procesos urbanos a fin de planificar las intervenciones para la cualificación del espacio.