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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.

Past Event

Thu 14/10/21, 3–4pm

A virtual showcasing of the most well-designed recent housing schemes around, with the renowned Design for Homes annual Housing Design Awards 2021. If restrictions allow we will set up a visit to one of the best national schemes.

Past Event

Thu 07/10/21, 3–4pm

A virtual showcasing of the most well-designed recent housing schemes around, with the renowned Design for Homes annual Housing Design Awards 2021. If restrictions allow we will set up a visit to one of the best national schemes.

Past Event

Tue 08/06/21

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.

Past Event

Tue 04/05/21, 10am–1pm

Collaboration is key to bring in vital skills in housing delivery, so how can partnerships help to provide great places? An in-depth look at all aspects of partnership working in the housing sector.

Past Event

Thu 15/04/21

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.

Past Event

Wed 17/03/21, Time: Morning

We will look at some of the most important ways we can deliver well designed places, including Design Codes, Design Review and Building for a Healthy Life.  We will discuss the latest news on the Governments National Model Design Code roll-out and consider its implementation.

Speakers include:

  • David Birkbeck, Design for Homes
  • David Rudlin, URBED
  • Ian Hingley, Urban Movement
  • Steve Tilbury, Winchester CC
  • Louisa Facchino-Stack, LB Hounslow
  • Sue McGlynn, Urban Design Ltd

Past Event

Wed 13/01/21, Time: Morning, 9.30am–12.45pm

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.

Speakers include:

  • Janice Morphet, Visiting Professor, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
  • Julian Brooks, Programme Director, Good Homes Alliance
  • Beth Boorman Campaigns and Business Development Manager at the National Community Land Trust Network
  • Jane Trethewey, Assistant Director Homes and Communities, Shropshire Council
  • Chris Blundell, Consultant advising on the delivery of large-scale housing developments
  • Clare Slaney, Resident at Wornington Green/Portobello Square
  • Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council
Past Event

Tue 15/12/20, Time: Morning, 9.30am–12.30pm

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.

Speakers include: 

  • Alastair Nicholson, Development Manager, (Wycombe) Buckinghamshire Council
  • Sara Whelan, Head of Development Management, Dacorum District Council
  • Pete Forest, Process, System and Culture Change Engineer
  • Amy Lindford, Senior Urban Designer, Thurrock District Council

Past Event

Wed 04/11/20, Time: Morning

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
Past Event

Wed 30/09/20, Half Day AM

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. 

Speakers Include:

  • Dr Kevin Golding-Williams, DfT
  • Hayley Al Siaidi & Susan Claris, Arup
    Phil Jones, PJA
  • Lucy Marstrand, Project Centre

Past Event

Wed 30/09/20, 2–4.30pm

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

Speakers Include:

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