Esther Kurland Director of UDL says; ”We are offering access to technical expertise and experience that local authorities might not have in house and can not easily get in other ways at the moment. The idea is to support local officers as they assess, negotiate and decide on schemes, but we do not dictate or direct. We have an excellent panel of experts available to help authorities achieve the best possible schemes for their area. This is a pretty unique a model. It is relatively cheap and efficient, it is friendly and unintimidating and it pools expertise to offer great quality advice to a large number of authorities.
“Unlike more traditional models of Design Review, there is no formal written outcome and it is up to the officers present to decide how to use the advice given. Surgeries let local authority officers learn, gain confidence and hone their design appraisal skills. Trial Surgeries have proved useful not only in supporting negotiations on pre- planning application development proposals, but with public realm schemes, where Transport for London (TfL) is taking a lead by using them to consider the design validity of street improvement projects.”
Design Surgeries use leading design ‘surgeons’ who are experts in their field. A refreshed surgeons panel is being procured at the moment, but surgeons at trial sessions included;
Fred Manson whose planning experience includes the Tate Modern and GLA Headquarters;
Neil Deely Architect responsible for the design of Adamstown District Centre, Winner of the 2008 RTPI Sustainable Communities Award.
Bill Mount, lead officer at Kensington and Chelsea responsible for Kensington High Street and Exhibition Road schemes.
The Surgeries are a joint project with Design for London, HCA London, TfL and the North London Strategic Alliance. Around 10 trial sessions have been run to date. Partners involved with the surgeries include:
- Sunand Prasad – Past RIBA President and member of the Mayors’ Design Advisory Panel
- Mark Brearley – Head of Design for London
- Nina Webster – Coordinating the use of surgeries to support improvements to main roads in Transport for London.
- Julian Hart – Head of Design and Standards at HCA London
- David Rowe – Head of Borough Projects and Programmes Transport for London
Waltham Forest, Barnet and Enfield are amongst the London boroughs that have been involved in the trial of this new programme.
Design Surgeries complement other support, review and decision making processes, for example on going project help offered by Design for London. They are generally best suited to small schemes that are not supported in other ways. They take places twice a month. Each session focuses on either streets/public realm or mixed use/town centre or housing schemes. Each project reviewed in a session is given 1-2 hours depending on the complexity of the scheme.
Surgeries are free for boroughs who are members of UDL (27 out of London’s 33 authorities at present). They are not normally available for others.
For more information call +44 (0) 207 593 8379 or visit http://www.urbandesignlondon.com
Urban Design London (UDL) provides unique, independent insight through training and professional advice to built environment practitioners working in urban design, housing, streets and green space development. UDL runs high quality Continuing Professional Development training courses suitable for all levels of experience within the profession. It also runs networking events that provide an opportunity to get the inside track on policy and to meet with influential policy leaders and colleagues from other areas of urban design. It is one of the few training organizations to run site visits.
Caroline Corfield-Rose email@example.com
Tel 07979 706 553 Or Denise Pritchard firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel 07802 582 842