About the Urban Design Group

Contact us:

  • By phone: 020 7250 0892
  • By email: admin@udg.org.uk
  • By post: 70 Cowcross Street, London,  EC1M 6EJ.

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Working together to make life better in our cities, towns and villages

The Urban Design Group (UDG) is a campaigning membership organisation open to all 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 believesthat good urban design depends upon successful collaboration between all those who shape the built environment, whatever their professional background.

Since our foundation in 1978, we have played a major role in putting urban design on professional and political agendas.  There have been some major successes and a transformation in the quality of existing and new development.

However a great deal of development is still badly designed. More than three quarters of all planning applications in the UK are prepared by someone with no design training. Much development is designed or planned by people with little idea of how to work in an urban context. Our mission is to gear up the urban design movement to meet the challenge of overcoming these shortcomings. 

The Urban Design Group is committed to:

  • Improving the professional status of urban design and urban designers.
  • Giving urban design an effective voice in government and the professions.
  • Promoting collaboration within the urban design process and between the professions.
  • Raising standards in urban design practice.
  • Developing a network of urban designers both nationally and internationally
  • Showing decision-makers the value of good urban design.

We work to support urban designers and foster an increased appreciation of the value of quality in the public realm through our events programme, newsletter and our acclaimed journal Urban Design - widely acknowledged as the leader in its field.

The UDG believes that urban design is not the job of any single profession so we welcome members from a broad range of backgrounds who share our principles. There are a number of different categories of membership -  if you are interested in joining please click here.

In 2009 the UDG launched a new initiative, Recognised Practitioner in Urban Design, demonstarting its commitment to the best of urban design skills. This new category of membership gives professionals working in urban design the opportunity to attain greater recognition for their skills and experience as well as a stronger sense of common purpose and identity.

How is the Urban Design Group run?

The Urban Design Group is run by an Executive Committee, led by a chairperson with the support two vice chairs. The Executive Committee meet regularly throughout the year and are responsible for all major decisions relating to policy, new initiatives and the management of the Group. For a full list of current Executive Committee members, please see below.

There are also a number of smaller sub-committees including members of the Executive Committee and others; these committees deal with specifc areas of the Group's activity such as events, education, links with other organisations and the editorial board of Urban Design. We're always looking for new recruits for these committees; please contact admin@udg.org.uk if you are interested in becoming more involved.

The day to day management and administration of the UDG is carried out by its Director Robert Huxford and Development Manager Louise Ingledow based in London.

Urban Design Group Board of Patrons

The UDG has an active board of patrons who help to promote the Group's goals to a wide audience nationally and internationally. Our current patrons are:

Alan Baxter

Irena Bauman

Sir Richard MacCormac

Dickon Robinson

Helle Soholt

Lindsey Whitelaw

John Worthington

Fellows of the Urban Design Group

In 2013 a special UDG fellowship was initiated giving recognition for outstanding service to to the Urban Design Group and urban design more widely.  Current fellows include:

John Billingham