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Our virtual National Programme provides flexible and accessible training for practitioners and decision makers across England: from the experienced who want up-to-date policy briefings to newcomers who wish to learn how to deliver great neighbourhoods. It will cover the latest national policy, funding and practice changes, showing best practice from across the country and further afield while helping you draw out locally relevant lessons.

For information on subscription costs please click here. To confirm your subscription or for more information please get in touch.

Subscribing organisations have access to events that cover topical issues and challenges.

Wed 04/11/20, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

We will introduce and explain important tools to help deliver health through placemaking, including Building for a Healthy Life and Healthy Streets. We will guide you through the type of things to consider at different scales to ensure successful, healthy outcomes. 

Speakers Include:

  • Penelope Tollitt, Making Places Together
  • David Birkbeck, Director, Design For Homes
  • Sophie Thompson, Director, LDA Design
  • Annabel Keegan, Associate, PJA
  • Paul de Zylva, Friends of the Earth 
  • Michael Chang, Programme Manager Planning and Health, PHE 
  • Henry Smith, Senior Programme Manager for Housing, Kings Fund

Tue 15/12/20, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

Considering the best ways for local authorities to deal with these processes, how to consider relevant prior notification considerations and how best to deliver design quality under this system.

Wed 13/01/21, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

This session will be particularly useful for those with their own home building programmes or looking to start one.  We will consider best practice, pit falls and trends across this important area of local authority work.

Wed 17/03/21, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

We will look at some of the most important ways we can deliver well designed places, including Design Codes and Design Review.  We will provide an update on the Governments Design Code work.

Thu 15/04/21
Related Events: National

We will consider what makes a complete neighbourhood and how planning, transport and public realm interventions can help create them. We will look at ideas past delegates have had to improve their own areas.

Tue 04/05/21, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

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 policy changes and funding streams and examine how these can support social value for your communities.


Tue 08/06/21, Time: Morning
Related Events: National

The government commissioned production of a new version of this very important document during 2020. We will look at progress so far in its production and discuss how best to ensure highway teams learn about and use it to help create better streets and public places.

Tue 06/07/21, Time: Morning
Related Events: site visit National

This might be in person, or virtual, depending on safety concerns. But either way we will see and learn about some of the most innovative and well-designed recent schemes around.

Past Event

Wed 30/09/20, Half Day AM
Related Events: National

Considering the new emergency active travel fund and the national Cycling and Walking Plan and unpacking the revised national guidance on designing infrastructure for cyclists. This training should benefit all those involved in delivering active travel. 


09.40 National Cycling and Walking Plan  – Dr Kevin Golding-Williams, DfT

10.00 Inclusive Cycling in Cities and Towns – Hayley Al Siaidi & Susan Claris, Arup

10.30 LTN1/20 Unpacked – Phil Jones, PJA

11.15 Tea Break

11.20 LTN 1/20 as leverage for progress – Lucy Marstrand, Project Centre

12.00 Close

Past Event

Wed 30/09/20, 2–4.30pm
Related Events: Planning

An opportunity to discuss the implications of the White Paper: Planning for the Future


14.00 Welcome

14.10 Introducing the White Paper’s design & placemaking approach - Jennifer Thomas, MHCLG

14.30 Responses

  • Nicholas Boys Smith, Create Streets
  • Matthew Carmona, UCL
  • Samuel Hughes, Policy Exchange
  • Heather Cheesbrough – LB Croydon
  • Deborah Denner, Frame Projects

15.15 Comfort break

15.30 A new Design Body – Panel Discussions

  • Sue Morgan, Design Council
  • Christopher Martin, Urban Design Group
  • Julie Tanner, Design Network
  • Matthew Carmona, Place Alliance

If you are not a member, please email us to reserve a place.

We have three ready-to-go foundation level virtual training days that you can use for your team, project group or even whole authority. Each day introduces you to the topic, and includes lectures, discussion, local assignments undertaken where you are based, along with personal support and mentoring. 

Introduction to Urban Design

This day provides an understanding of what makes a great neighbourhood; looking at the characteristics of well-designed places, understanding how these can help achieve planning and policy objectives and what tools and processes we need to get a good outcome.  It includes talks, discussions and exercises on the following:

  • The value of good urban design
  • The development of urban design ideas
  • Setting out the principles of good urban design
  • The structure of places
  • Design tools and processes
  • Design and involving the community
  • Understanding drawings and graphics
  • How to draw and explain concepts and ideas

Introduction to Street Design 

Understanding the important role that streets play in supporting healthy communities. We will consider street design that prioritises active travel and balances the demands from different modes of travel, servicing and freight and will include talks, discussions and exercises on the following: 

  • The value of good street design
  • Streets for movement and living
  • What makes a good liveable neighbourhood?
  • Understanding a low-traffic neighbourhood
  • Designing for slow speed streets
  • Designing streets for people who cycle
  • Designing streets for people who walk
  • Kerbside demand and its challenges

Introduction to Housing Design

This day looks at how to ensure our homes are well-designed and sustainable.  It will set out design principles that support health and well-being, how homes can successfully blend within your neighbourhood, enabling communities to flourish, and will include talks, discussions and exercise on the following:

  • Why we need well-designed homes
  • Housing design principles – including Building for a Healthy Life tool
  • Understanding different housing typologies 
  • Housing viability and scheme deliverability
  • Understanding housing drawings
  • Looking at construction methods and materials
  • A focus on details: bins, bikes and car parking
  • Design, inequity and inclusion

Subscribing members will also have access to our advanced level training sessions which focus on how urban design, planning, housing, landscape, public realm, streets and transport issues are dealt with in the capital. 

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Urban Design London events are free to attend for all of our subscribing members. Please use your organisation email to proceed.

If you are interested in learning more about our membership options, or if you experience any problems with this booking form, please contact


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