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Code School

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Design codes are critical for creating good urban environments. Tailored to local authorities, our Code School offers the complete package to clarify the processes behind creating and implementing successful design codes. 

Every delegate comes away with the practical skills and applied knowledge from leading industry professionals across the country. Sessions are held in real time online and sizes kept small, so challenges and solutions can be tackled in the moment.

Read which module suits your experience below.

1a. Design Codes and Guides Explained

Date: 7 May 2021
Time: 9:30-12:30

Explaining what design codes and guides are and what you can expect them to achieve for your area.

Delegates will understand what these tools are, what has changed in terms of government guidance and requirements for them and how this might relate to their own work and priorities.

Agenda

  • What are design codes and design guides?
  • How these tools fit into the current planning system
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Coding Wish List: create a list of what you would want codes and guides to achieve for your area – what problems they might help you overcome.

Speakers

  • Paul Dodd, UDL
  • Matthew White, Herbert Smith
  • Andy Von Bradsky, MHCLG
  • Trovine Monteiro, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service
  • Louisa Facchino-Stack, Public Practice
  • Andrew Taylor, Countryside Properties
  • Matthew White, Herbert Smith
  • Vicky Payne, Urbed
  • David Rudlin, Urbed
  • Jane Dann, Tibbalds
  • Lionel Eid, Allies and Morrison

1b. Codes, Guides and Communities

Date: 10 May 2021
Time: 9.30-12.30

Looking at the importance and role of communities in delivering well designed and beautiful places.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the importance of working with and supporting communities to deliver good design in their neighbourhood.

Agenda

  • Understanding what communities like, don’t like and why
  • How best to engage, supporting communities to be proactive and guide design in their area
  • What co-developing a code means in practice
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Using on line tools to support communities

Speakers

  • Nicholas Boys Smith, Create Streets
  • Sophia de Sousa, Glass-House Community Led Design
  • Sue Cooke, LB Hackney
  • Jo Clark, Countryside Properties
  • Ben Castell, Aecom
  • Chris Standish, Homes England
  • Charles Campion, JTP


1c. Design Coding Processes

Date: 14 May 2021
Time: likely 9.30-12.30

Looking at what needs to happen before, during and after Codes and Guides are written and who is responsible for what.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the practical side of creating good codes and guides, likely time-line and the resources/skills/staff capacity required to deliver.

Agenda

  • The code and guide production timeline – an end-to-end process
  • Who will use a design code?
  • Skills and staff capacity needed
  • Lessons from the front line – tips and trips encountered
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Process Jigsaw

Speakers

  • Trovine Monteiro, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service
  • Laura Alvarez, Nottingham City Council
  • Louisa Facchino-Stack, Public Practice
  • Andrew Taylor, Countryside Properties
  • Vicky Payne, Urbed
  • David Rudlin, Urbed
  • Nicholas Choy, Allies and Morrison

1d. How Codes Fit In

Date: 17 May 2021
Time: likely 9.30-12.30

How Codes and Guides fit in with other design quality tools

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the usefulness and role of different tools – including their local plan policies, Site allocations and briefs, masterplans, pre-app discussions, design review etc – and the potentially overlap and influence of codes and guides on other work.

Agenda

  • The different tools explained
  • Design quality management processes
  • Working practices for code success
  • Practice examples
  • Q & A
  • Exercise

Speakers

  • Louisa Fachino-Stack, Public Practice
  • Joanna Preston, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service
  • Steve Price, Countryside Properties
  • Jane Dann, Tibbalds
  • Katja Still, Tibbalds

2a. Design at Different Scales

Date: 20 May 2021
Time: a.m.

How to work up site, local and area wide codes and guides and prioritise where to code first

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand how codes and guides can work at different spatial scales, and how best to decide which areas to focus on first.

Agenda

  • An introduction to design at different spatial scales
  • How to prioritise your work
  • Potential pitfalls in practice
  • Q & A
  • Exercise

Speakers

  • Lionel Eid, Allies and Morrison
  • Andrew Taylor, Countryside Properties
  • Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council
  • Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council
  • Vicky Payne, Urbed
  • David Rudlin, Urbed

2b. Character Appraisals

Date: 25 May 2021
Time: a.m.

How to understand your area and use this information to create codes and guides.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the type of work that needs to be done to understand an area, create, map and describe area types and consider how these should change in the future.

Agenda

  • What is Character Appraisal and latest methods for doing them
  • Appraisals in rural areas
  • Community led appraisals
  • Appraisals for growth areas
  • Examples from Swindon
  • Q & A
  • Exercise

Speakers

  • Jane Manning, Allies and Morrison
  • Alice Strang, Allies and Morrison
  • Dan Roberts, Homes England
  • Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council
  • Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council
  • Jeff Bishop, Place Studio

2c. Producing, Procuring & Partnering Codes

Date: 8 June 2021
Time: a.m.

Looking at who might work on codes and how local authorities can get best provision.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand how to approach the development of codes, the different players in the process and how to ensure the process delivers codes which will provide well designed and beautiful places.

Agenda

  • Options for funding and partnerships - communities, local authorities, developers and landowners, bringing codes and volume homebuilder approaches together
  • Tech resources you will need
  • Best Practice in brief writing and procurement
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Ways to work in partnership

Speakers

  • Leigh Johnson, Homes England
  • Selina Mason, Lendlease
  • Daniel Mohamad, Urban Intelligence
  • Vicky Payne, Urbed
  • David Rudlin, Urbed
  • Mark Leitner-Murphy, Allies and Morrison

2d. Assessing Code Compliance

Date: 11 June 2021
Time: a.m.

How to tell if a code is being applied correctly and what to do when it is not.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors consider how they check individual scheme proposals against their code or guide and what to do if they do, or do not, match.

Agenda

  • How boroughs can check if schemes meet codes – officers advice
  • Using tech to help ensure code compliance
  • Example – Manchester
  • Q & A
  • Exercise

Speakers

  • Louise Mansfield, Allies & Morrison
  • Joanne Preston, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service
  • Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council
  • Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council
  • Fabrizio Matillana, LB Enfield

2e. Evaluating Code Success

Date: 16 June 2021
Time: a.m.

How to tell if your code is leading to the types of places you want being created and maintained.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors set up a system alongside their new code that ensures they collect the right information to understand the impact it is having.

Agenda

  • How to tell if a code is any good
  • An opportunity to evaluate what gets built
  • How to your code is working
  • Example – Tadpole Garden Village Code Evaluation
  • Q & A
  • Exercise

Speakers

  • Robert Evans, Argent
  • Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council
  • Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council
  • Leigh Johnson, Homes England
  • Kathy MacEwen, Kathy MacEwen Planning and Design Advice
  • Katja Stille, Tibbalds

2f. Codes and Planning Permissions – Looking Ahead

Date: 22 June 2021
Time: a.m.

Exploring how codes work with both automatic and express planning permissions and other possible changes to the planning system.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors consider plan for the future by discussing possible ways the planning system might change and how their design coding and guide work might help them manage change.

Agenda

  • What might the future look like according to the planning white paper
  • Other systems explained
  • Panel discussion – what does all this mean for local authorities?

Speakers

  • Rory Stracey, Trowers and Hamlins LLP
  • Matthew Carmona, UCL
  • Kosma Nykiel, LB Hounslow
  • Laura Alvarez, Nottingham City Council
  • Selina Mason, Lendlease
  • Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council
  • Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council

3a. Fundamentals for Creating Local Identity

Date: 24 June 2021
Time: a.m.

How to consider existing context, and set requirements for an areas future identity, sense of place and character as created through its buildings, materials, detailing, wayfinding and the structure of the area.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the importance of an area’s identity and how to identify it to use in coding, looking at how it brings many design requirements together.

Agenda

  • Architect expert group: approach to design characteristics, the use of masterplans in developing a basis for design codes and looking at identity and context
  • Elements of Codes relating to identity and character. Relating to different scales.
  • Case study examples
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – What would you include in your code/guide to steer future identity?

Speakers

  • Graeme Phillips, JTP Architects
  • Stephen Proctor, Proctor & Matthews Architects
  • James Turner, Mikhail Riches Architects
  • Dan Roberts, Homes England
  • Vicky Payne, URBED

3b. Residential Streets and Parking

Date: 5 July 2021
Time: a.m.

Setting requirements for different movement facilities and connections for different modes, street typologies and their various design specifications and how parking bin spaces and servicing should be accommodated.

This session will help delegates understand the importance of good street design and how this fits into an overall code or guide for an area.

Agenda

  • Planning a Network of connected streets
  • Movement for all / Link and Place and Duty of Care
  • Street types, building interfaces and code contents
  • Codes for Parking Principles
  • Exercise – Which car parking option works best?


3c. Landscape Design and Nature

Date: 7 July 2021
Time: a.m.

Setting down requirements and objectives for green infrastructure, water management, flood risk and biodiversity. Also looking at how to consider networks and different types and uses of public spaces.

This session will help delegates understand what they can and should require through codes and guides to ensure their areas are of high ecological value, work well and are loved as quality green environments.

Agenda

  • Planning for public realm and amenity space
  • Understanding habitat, ecology and water
  • Standards to ensure good provision
  • Green Codes, SuDs and Living Roofs
  • Exercise - Thinking through adoption and maintenance

Speakers

  • Paul Cutler, Urban & Civic
  • Emmanuel Rohinton, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Dinah Foley-Norman, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

3d. Use, Activity and Supporting Community Life

Date: 8 July 2021
Time: a.m.

Explaining how to ensure efficient land use, mix of activities, community facilities and vitality including explaining requirements for housing types and tenures.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors understand the full range of factors to consider and how use, activity, facilities and housing work together within a high-quality code, learning from best practice examples.

Agenda

  • Guiding the efficient use of land and appropriate densities for activity, facilities and housing including case studies
  • Explaining requirements for housing types and tenures
  • Outside spaces
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Checking if examples have a good mix of uses, types and tenures. If not why not?

Speakers

  • Leigh Johnson, Homes England
  • Dhruv Sookhoo, Metropolitan Workshop
  • Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassells Studio


3e. Built Form, Layouts and Blocks

Date: 12 July 2021
Time: a.m.

Including requirements for different building forms, how to consider height, ways to set area densities, explain important building lines and how elements fit together to form blocks and layouts.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors develop in depth understanding of the importance of good coding of building form and how this supports a vibrant community.

Agenda

  • Explaining different building types, their elements, proportions, special qualities and the pros and cons of their use
  • How buildings fit together to create layouts, blocks and building lines
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Looking at pros and cons of different building types and layouts

Speakers

  • Ben Rogers, Homes England
  • Robbie Kerr, Adam Architecture
  • Hugh Petter, Adam Architecture

3f. Buildings

Date: 15 July 2021
Time: a.m.

Explaining what gives buildings identity, how to set out what they should look like, required space standards and how buildings should perform long term, their resource efficiency and how they should visually fit with their surroundings.

This session will help local authority officers/councillors learn about the range of tools and methods for ensuring buildings are durable, efficient, healthy and attractive, and how this links with the wider community.

Agenda

  • Overview of building design principles and standards and how they fit together
  • How to steer building identity through specifying materials, detailing and architectural approach
  • Q & A
  • Exercise – Do people feel the examples fit with the desired character

Speakers

  • James Turner, Mikhail Riches Architects

Speakers, panellists and exercise leads include:

Andy Von Bradsky, MHCLG

Andrew Taylor, Countryside Properties

Ben Castell, AECOM

Ben Rogers, Homes England

Carol Bristow, Swindon Borough Council

Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassells Studio

Charles Campion, JTP

David Rudlin, URBED

Daniel Mohamed, Urban Intelligence

Dan Roberts, Homes England

Dinah Foley-Norman, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Dhruv Sookhoo, Metropolitan Workshop

Emmanuel Rohinton, Glasgow Caledonian University

Graeme Phillips, JTP Architects

Georgina Bignold, Proctor & Matthews Architects

Hana Loftus, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Hugh Petter, Adam Architecture

Jane Dann, Tibbalds

Jane Manning, Allies and Morrison

Jeff Bishop, Place Studio

Jo Clark, Countryside Properties

Joanne Preston, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Katja Stille, Tibbalds

Kosma Nykiel, LB Hounslow

Laura Alvarez, Nottingham City Council

Leigh Johnson, Homes England

Lionel Eid, Allies and Morrison

Louise Mansfield, Allies and Morrison

Louisa Facchino-Stack, Public Practice

Ludo Pittie, WSP

Matthew Carmona, UCL

Mike Saunders, Commonplace

Mariana Schiller, Public Practice

Marcus Wilshere, The Collaborative City

Matthew White, Herbert Smith

Nicholas Boys Smith, Create Streets

Paul Cutler, Urban & Civic

Peter Garitsis, Swindon Borough Council

Robert Evans, Argent

Robert Kerr, Adam Architecture

Rory Stracey, Trowers & Hamlins

Selina Mason, Lendlease

Sophia de Sousa, Glass-House Community Led Design

Steve Price, Countryside Properties

Stephen Proctor, Proctor & Matthews Architects

Sue Cooke, LB Hackney

Tamara Kahn, Public Practice

Trovine Monteiro, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service

Vicky Payne, URBED

Others to be confirmed soon.

Speakers

One Code School session £75
All Code School sessions (1 place per event) £1,000  
All Code School sessions (3 places per event) £2,500


The Code School is now fully booked. Please contact us to be added to the waiting list for individual sessions info@urbandesignlondon.com

For any enquiries regarding the Code School please contact: info@urbandesignlondon.com

Q. How much experience with Design Codes do I need before attending these events?

A. Our Code School aims to help people understand and use design codes and guides. It will be most useful for people who are already aware of the principles of good place design and understand how to apply these. If you would like further advice on the sessions most relevant to the sector you work in and your experience level one of our team would be happy to help. Get in touch.

Q. Do I need to complete Module 1 before attending events in Module 2 or 3?

A. No, you can select sessions from any of the Modules or focus on one Module. If you would like further advice on the sessions most relevant to the sector you work in and your experience level, one of our team members would be happy to help. Please get in touch.

Q. Can I download the presentations and recordings after the event?

A. Recordings of sessions will be available for delegates to use as refreshers for a short time after the event. They will not be available to non-delegates.

Q. If I purchase access to the full programme can different members of my team attend each event?

A. Access to the full programme gives one member of your team access at each of the 16 events. One person can attend all of the events or/and different members of the team can attend the individual events. If the latter, we will need confirmation of who is attending each event in advance.

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