Welcome to the Urban Design Group

Founded in 1978, the Urban Design Group (UDG) is a campaigning membership organisation with over 1000 members who care about the quality of life in our cities, towns and villages, and believe that raising standards of urban design is central to its improvement.

The UDG website contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in urban design including details of urban design practices, university courses, publications and job vacancies, as well as future urban design events. Our regular email newsletter Urban Update is a one-stop-shop for urban design news, articles and blog posts.

Scroll down to read more about our key current initiatives:

  • Strategic Urban Design
  • Modernising Street Design Practice
  • Increasing Local Authority Skills




Conference 2019 - SAVE THE DATE

26-27 September 2019

Millenium Point, Birmingham

Making People Friendly Places

Share your concerns, ideas, vision, solutions, with colleagues at this year's Urban Design Conference.


Happy 40 Birthday UDG!

The UDG was formally constituted on 10 April 1979. 40 years on and we are very much still guided by the principles laid out in our original Manifesto:

"To provide a forum for those wo believe that planning should be more concerned with the improvement of the  design of the physical environment and the quality of places and to encourage all the professions to combine to this end. This is in the belief that society judges us primarily by the quality of the places we create..."

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Future High Streets

Presentations, key ideas and recommendations from the UDG half day conference  in February: Future High Streets Fund - inspiration for success.

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Thanks to: Historic England; Hosta Consulting; IBI; Levitt Bernstein; Living Streets; Metropolitan Workshop; Tibbalds and Turley


Awards 2019


Practice Project Award Winner:

Studio Partington, Andover Estate

Public Sector Award Winner:

South Cambridgeshire DC, Maramalade Lane

Student Award Winner:

Owen Reading, Oxford Brookes University


View the shortlisted entries



   Reports, Surveys and Initiatives


Strategic Urban design Initiative 2019

Achieving good urban form through the local plan process

The UDG is launching a service to advise local authorities on strategic urban design issues in the local plan process modelled on the design review process. The Strategic Urban Design Initiative will provide support at critical stages of the plan making process to ensure that there is a strong design input into shaping towns or city quarters.

Read more

Street Design in the UK

Pilot Survey 2018

Pilot survey reveals widespread failure to update highways standards

Following the UDG 2018 survey which showed that most highway authorities are still using 1960's street design standards, the UDG is to working to ensure that they adopt standards which reflect best practice, comply with professional codes of conduct and discharge statutory and common law duties.


Electric Vehicles: a threat to Cities?

Conference Report 2018

Are electric vehicles the solution to urban movement?

Following presentations from 12 leading speakers, delegates at the UDG - London Living Streets conference went away in grave doubt. 

Conference report.

Urban Design Skills in English Local Authorities

UCL - UDG - Place Alliance Report Sept 2017


Housing delivery under threat through a lack of design skills in planning departments

The UK Government, both in its manifesto and in the recent Housing Green Paper, committed itself to a step change in the delivery of high quality new homes across the country.  Research supported by the UDG puts those aspirations in doubt because of worsening design skills gaps in English local planning authorities.

Read more



   Latest on UrbanNous






   Urban Update

Urban Update is a regular free news service for people with an interest in the design of cities, towns and villages. It covers latest news, research, events and jobs. Sign up here.

Urban Update - Latest Research and International News

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Canada Sidewalk Labs unveils design for neighbourhood in Toronto "future city"   China Urban Design and Research of Nantou Old Town / URBANUS   France New public pissoirs in Paris...
URBAN UPDATE 17 August 2018   International News and Research Forthcoming Events Career Opportunities     Urban Update is a free service from the Urban Design...
Australia 'No regard for design and beauty': Why Bondi Junction is an eyesore Final vision for major inner Melbourne urban renewal precinct released Holistic landscape architecture...
Europe Skanderbeg Square project in Tirania Albania wins 2018 European prize for Urban Public Space   Australia Building boom: 'We have allowed far too much crap to be built'   New...
Urban Design Around the World Australia Australian cities are lagging behind in greening up their buildings Local government eyes social media for feedback Canada More Burnaby demovictions to be...