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Tue 18/01/22

Understanding the important role that streets play in supporting healthy, sustainable and successful communities. We will look at how to prioritize active travel and balance the demands from non travel activities, different modes of travel, servicing and freight. Including:

  • The importance of good street design
  • What makes a liveable neighbourhood?
  • Kerbside demand and its challenge


10.00 Welcome, Sue Vincent

10.05 Understanding the importance of streets and good design

  • The link and place principles, Prof. Peter Jones (UCL)
  • Tools for good street design, Rebecca Jones (PJA)
  • Designing & managing kerbside space, John Dales (Urban Movement)
  • Break

11.15 Case Studies

  • Sustainable urban drainage, Zac Tudor (Arup)
  • Improvements for walking & cycling, Amanda McDermott (2B Consultancy)
  • Tactical Urbanism – from temporary to permanent Public Realm Solutions, Darren Bray & Amanda Moore (StudioBad)

12.30 Importance of streets in placemaking, Rob Singleton (Active Travel England)

  • Discussion

13.00 Close

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Tue 22/02/22

Taking stock of viability, this vital session will separate fact from fiction and help us understand the essential elements of any viability assessment. We will investigate how to provide and support social value for your communities.

Agenda includes:

  • Viability: Fact v/s Fiction, Valerie Conway & Debbie Lloyd (David Lock Associates)
  • Social Value: Principles & Benefits
  • Importance of Social Value & Well-being: Valuing Architects
  • Capturing Land Value & Delivering Social Value: Case Studies, Tony Cahill & George Hazel (E-Rail) & David Rudlin (URBED)

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Tue 08/03/22

This session will look at how best to procure or partner with others to create codes and ensure they are being applied correctly. We will look at the Cambridge Compliance Tracker as well as understand how technology can help ensure code compliance and good local outcomes. Including:

  • Tracking compliance and working with partners
  • Commissioning design work
  • Using tech to help ensure code compliance

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Tue 22/03/22

Technology allows us to easily share data on planning tools and is driving a revolution on interactive planning and back office planning functions. This session will go through the basics of how authorities can get the best from technology, what is available and how it can be used and shared with others.

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Tue 12/04/22

This session looks at how to ensure our homes and neighbourhoods are well-designed and sustainable. It will set out design principles that support sustainability, health and well-being, and how homes can work well in their context, enabling communities to flourish. Including:

  • Why we need well-designed homes
  • Housing design principles
  • Understanding housing design
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Tue 26/04/22

This session will look at the importance and role of communities in developing and delivering codes that will create great places. Including:

  • How best to encourage pro-active communities
  • Helping communities guide design in their area
  • Co-developing a code

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Tue 10/05/22

This session will set out the components of a good code and what gives buildings identity. It will include how to set out key building design principles and standards, what they look like and how buildings should perform in the long term: including:

  • Building design principles
  • How buildings fit together
  • Understanding materials, detailing and architectural approaches
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Tue 24/05/22

There is much confusion on how to achieve zero carbon and where the milestones lie along the way. This session will look at a range of approaches and discuss the practical challenges.

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Thu 23/06/22

Looking at how codes and guides can set out settlement layout patterns, what types of streets, parking and open spaces should be provided where and how these should be designed and detailed. Including:

  • Layout and street pattern options
  • The importance of good master planning
  • Residential street codes

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Tue 05/07/22

This session will set out what a good code or guide needs to meet local objectives and requirements for green and blue infrastructure, flood risk and biodiversity, including understanding Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and the value of ‘parklets’. Including:

  • Climate responsive & biodiversity Masterplanning
  • Environmental codes to create great places
  • Codes for blue infrastructure
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Thu 21/07/22

High Streets are struggling. We will consider what makes a successful High Street and how planning, transport and public realm interventions can help create them, fit for the 21st century

Past Event

Wed 15/12/21

Building on how codes relate to zoning and plan-making, this session will look at how to understand your area and develop character appraisals and assessments to inform local codes and guides. Including:

How to develop character appraisals

  • In rural areas
  • In growth areas
  • In historic areas


10.00 Welcome, Sue Vincent (UDL)

10.05 Intro – lessons from Pilots, Stephen Barker (PAS)

10.10 What is character appraisal or study and how these link to design codes & guides

  • Jane Manning (Allies & Morrison) & Alice Strang (Allies & Morrison)
  • Robert Kerr (ADAM architecture)
  • Q&A

11.05 Communities and character appraisals

  • How communities can help define character and steer change, Samantha Banks (Herefordshire County Council)
  • Q&A

11.20 Break

11.25 Character appraisal to inform design codes from large scale schemes to conservation areas

  • How appraisals support large scale schemes, Amy Burbidge (Homes England) & Dan Roberts (Homes England)
  • Rural and suburban area character appraisals, Katja Stille (Tibbalds)
  • Conservation area: character appraisals, Robert Lloyd Sweet (Historic England)

12.30 Q&A, round up

12.45 Close

Past Event

Tue 30/11/21

Showing how to read a plan and the various ways in which schemes can be visually represented, assessing projects that use different drawing types and the common tricks used in applications.


09.55 Registration

10.00 Welcome & Quiz

10.30 The Good Place

10.45 Plans for Graphics

11.00 Plans for Planning

11.15 Break


11.30 Scale

12.00 Streets, Landscaping & Residential Layouts

12.45 Detailing

13.00 Close

Past Event

Tue 09/11/21

This session will explain these tools what you can expect them to achieve for your area, including how codes relate to zoning and plan-making and explain latest government policy updates. Including:

  • What are design codes and guides?
  • How these tools fit into the current planning system
  • Understanding current policy direction and latest updates


09.45 Registration

10.00 Welcome, Esther Kurland (UDL)

10.05 Introduction, Stephen Barker (Planning Advisory Service)

10.10 What are Design Codes and Guides – A History, Paul Dodd (UDL)

10.25 Introduction to the National Model Design Code, Vicky Payne (URBED)

10.40 Planning for the Future, Rory Stracey (Trowers & Hamlins LLP)

  • Break

11.10 Design at different scales, Lionel Eid (Allies & Morrison)

11.30 Pilot update, Henry Primarolo (Housing & Communities)

  • Q&A

12.00 Close

Past Event

Wed 13/10/21, 9.30am–4pm

Over the last 18 months, UDL has held a series of Urban Challenge events looking at fresh thinking on how urban areas are designed, planned and managed. The conversations have been amazingly rich, pointing to potential ways we can practically combat climate change, inequality, public health problems and biodiversity decline.

This session continues the series, building on concepts previously discussed whilst bringing in new voices.

Watch a short video here on 'Can we plan for local living? And should we?' by Esther Kurland, Head of UDL.

If you are not a member, please email to book your place.


9.30 Session 1: New ideas on cities

  • Introduction, Esther Kurland, UDL
  • Commentary, Examples & Tool, Yolande Barnes, UCL & Adam Scott, Freestate

10.15 Comfort Break

10.30 Session 2: New ideas on travel

  • Introduction – Are all journeys equal? Valuing movement properly, Esther Kurland
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Planning a mutli-time city, Sebastian Weise, Place Changers
    • The 1m city in Sweden, Dan Hill, Vinnova
    • Identifying neighbourhoods for intensification, Russell Curtis, RCKa Architects
    • Softhub mobility and access to local services with capacity to support a growing population, Ed Parham, Space Syntax
    • From macro high tech solutions to local low tech improvements, Scott Shepard, The Internet of Mobility

12.15 Lunch Break

13.00 Session 3 New ideas on buildings & activities

  • Introduction – Don’t control the use, control the impact, Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassell Studio
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Designing for intensity of activity, not building density & approaches to managing mixed use, Alexis Butterfield, Pollard Thomas Edward Architects
    • Supporting flexible, locally based work space, Grace O'Mara NearU
    • Ground floor masterplans in Oslo, Matthew Sandu, Leonard Design Architects

14.15 Comfort Break

14.30 Session 4 New Ideas on neighbourhoods

  • Introduction – Prioritise local solutions before city wide approaches, Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassell Studio
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Are suburbs automatically convertible to walkable neighbourhoods?, Eleanor Warwick, Clarion Housing
    • New ways of designing locally focused communities, Max Farrell, LDN Collective
    • Encouraging local verses global commerce, Ina von Turow, FNDR

16.00 Close

Evening Reception

17.30 - 19.30

We are inviting conference attendees to join us for an evening reception at Hassell, to continue the conversation about urban futures in person.

The address is: 6 – 14 Underwood Street, London N17JQ.

If you are travelling from afar, Hassell also has a few hot-desk spaces available for the day.

Please email Maanya Bali to sign up.

Past Event

Tue 12/10/21, 9.30am–12pm

This session provides an understanding of what makes a great neighbourhood; looking at the characteristics of well-designed places, how they help to achieve planning & policy objectives and the tools and processes for good outcomes Including:

  • Why we need good placemaking
  • Design tools and processes
  • Setting out the principles of good design


09:30 Welcome & Introduction

09:40 National placemaking drivers, Esther Kurland (UDL)

10:00 Why do we need good urban design, Prof Matthew Carmona (UCL)

Q&A and Comfort Break

10:30 Principles of placemaking and urban design, Hillary Satchwell (Tibbalds)

11:00 Design tools and processes, Kruti Patel (Metropolitan Workshop)

11:30 Q&A

12.00 Feedback and close

Past Event

Wed 16/06/21
Related Events: Code School

How to set up monitoring systems to tell if your Codes have met your objectives.

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