The UDL team

We could not do what we do without the UDL team.

They are:

Esther Kurland is a planner and urban designer by background.  She worked for 10 years in local authorities in policy, development control and design and conservation planning posts.  Esther then moved to the GLA where she worked on the built environment aspects of the first London Plan before moving to CABE to lead on planning issues in 2003.

Esther has been Director of UDL since 2006.  Since that time she has worked to develop and improve UDL’s programme, working closely with core partners TfL, the GLA, London boroughs and many others to support and encourage good design in the capital.

Esther has been part of a wide range of Design Review panels, steering groups and advisory committees.  Through these she has learnt from, and hopefully helped improve, all sorts of projects including Crossrail stations, Thames Tunnel’s new riverside mini parks, council housing estate renewal projects, historic garden improvements, major town centre improvements and street redesigns.


Sue Vincent is former deputy leader and lead cabinet member for community engagement for the London Borough of Camden and a member of the development control committee.  Since 1989 she has been working in the field of urban design training, partnership building and planning; successfully giving evidence at a Planning Enquiry to preserve a street of late 17c houses within the historic Seven Dials Conservation Area.

Sue has contributed to the design and delivery of urban design programmes for local authorities, is a seasoned event organiser and a member of the Consortium currently developing the CABE urban design summer school.

Sue has also designed and implemented successful management strategies for companies and community organisations; she had nationwide experience of fieldwork management, survey development and analysis in transportation research, before spending 5 years in Africa, where amongst other things she learnt to fly, drive ex-army trucks and pole a dug-out canoe.  Sue settled in Botswana, leading fishing and photographic safaris in the remote Okavango Delta.

Sue is the Programme Manager at Urban Design London and the Director of Dragon Hall, an urban oasis for diversionary youth activities in Covent Garden and the Mary Ward Adult Education Centre in Holborn.

Paul Dodd
is an urban designer and Chartered Landscape Architect with over 20 years experience within private practice and local government. He has prepared design driven masterplans, strategic planning studies and planning applications for projects in the UK and Ireland in places subject to contrasting development pressures.  He is also an accomplished public space designer and has prepared public realm strategies for several UK cities.

Paul is a member of the Design Council / CABE Built Environment Expert Panel and sits on a number of design review panels including Urban Design London, advising on streetscape and development schemes.

Paul established Outdesign in 2011 to provide planning frameworks, masterplans, development briefs, and neighbourhood development plans for the public and private sector. Outdesign also prepares public realm strategies, streetscape and civic space design schemes informed by public engagement. Paul is currently working with community groups in  London  to produce, putting in place a vision and policies for future development. Paul has also contributed to best practice guidance including ‘Start with the Park’ and is currently preparing the ‘Slow Streets Source Book’ with Urban Design London.

Katherine Donaghy manages Urban Design London’s housing design and development economics training programmes on a part-time basis and contributes wherever else her competencies prove useful. Currently investigating how to best deliver training and other materials on housing for our members, she would be happy to hear from you.

Katherine is an urban planner, she obtained her Master degree with Merit in Town and Regional planning from the University of Sheffield. Katherine was raised in France, obtained her Bachelor degree in Sociology in the Netherlands she then returned to the UK for her Master degree. Prior to joining the team at Urban Design London, Katherine delivered consulting on urban regeneration projects in France. She also researched housing in the Netherlands with a focus on vacant housing strategies.