About the National Urban Design Awards

About the Awards

The National Urban Design Awards were established in 2007 by UDG founder member and fellow John Billingham, with the objective of giving more recognition to urban design work, particularly at project stage.

The Francis Tibbalds Trust, established in 1992 in memory of Francis Tibbalds, founder of the eponymous practice in 1978, founding Chairman of the UDG 1979, President of the RTPI 1988, and author of  the seminal Making People Friendly Towns: Improving the Public Environment in Towns and Cities published porstumously1992, has been a stalwart partner, providing generously for the Awards and prizes to entries in the Practice Award and  Student Award.

The first prize inthe Practice Award was presented to Urban Practitioners at a low-key event in The Gallery at Cowcross Street in September 2008. A further Award for Students was subsequently introduced with a prize of £600.

Since these tentative beginnings the Awards have gone from strength to strength under John Billingham's guidance from 2007-2013, increasing in scale, profile and ambition. The UDG now runs an annual awards cycle which includes Private Practice, Public Sector, Student and Book Awards - plus a Lifetime Achievement, introduced in 2011, and an Outstanding Contribution recognition, introduced in 2017.

Entries are invited with a closing date in September each year.

The Awards ceremony in March is an evening dinner and presentations at a London venue, attracting a broad audience of built environment professionals, their clients, decision-makers and opinion-formers.

In 2017 the UDG welcomed Nidhi Bhargava, as successor to Noha Nasser (who was Chair of the Awards Working Group from 2013), to be the Convenor of the Urban Design Awards. 

With the continued support of the Francis Tibbalds Trust we remain true to our goals of celebrating the very best in urban design practice and encouraging collaboration, innovation and the sharing of ideas.

Previous winners:

UDG Lifetime Achievement Award

2018 John Thorp2017 Tim Pharoah

2016 Bill Hillier

2015 Sir Terry Farrell

2014 Prof John Punter

2013 Kelvin Campbell

2012 The Responsive Environments Team (Sue McGlynn, Graham Smith, Alan Alcock, Paul Murrain & Ian Bentley)

2011 Prof Christopher Alexander

Outstanding Contribution to Urban Design

2017 Alan Baxter

Practice Award



Altstadtquartier Buchel, Aachen

Chapman Taylort


NODE, Birmingham Knowledge Hub



Baca, Eiland veur Lent, Nijmegen, Netherlands

IBI, Barnsley Town Centre



URBED, Trent Basin, Nottingham

Issue 132, pp. 48-49


Urban Initiatives Studio, Middlehaven Development Framework

Issue 128, pp.40-41


Allies & Morrison, District//S, Lebanon

Issue 124, pp.34-35


URBED, Brentford Lock West

Studio REAL, Moat Lane Towcester

Issue 120, pp.44-48


Atkins, Oxford Circus Improvements 

Issue 116, p.34


Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, Dunsfold Park 

Issue 110, p.38


Urban Initiatives, Scotswood Expo, Newcastle upon Tyne 

Issue 106, p.38

Public Sector Award


City of London Corporation, Aldgate

2017 Croydon Borough Council, Connected Croydon



Stockton Borough Council, Stockton High Street Regeneration



Birmingham City Council, Birmingham MunicipalHousing Trust

Issue 133, pp.40-41


Bristol City Council, Know Your Place

Issue 129, pp. 40-41


City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, City Park

Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), SPUD 5x5: Youth Voices in South Hampshire

Issue 125, pp.42-45


Exeter City Council, Design Guidance for Residential  Development

Issue 121, p.38


North West Leicestershire DC, OURPLACETM

Issue 117, p.42

Book Award (previously the Publisher Award, 2010-2013)

2018 RIBA Publishing

The Art of Building a Garden City: Designing New Communities for the 21st Century

Kate Henderson, Katy Lock and Hugh Ellis

2017 Ruby Press, Berlin

Housing Cairo: the Informal Response

ISBN 978-3-944074-02-3
2016 Lars Muller Publishers

Young – Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society

Deane Simpson



W W Norton & Company

Smart Cities: Big data, civic hackers, and
the quest for a new utopia

Anthony M. Townsend

Issue 133, p.49



Masterplanning Future

Lucy Bullivant

Issue 128, p.47



The Temporary City

Peter Bishop & Lesley Williams

Issue 124, pp. 46-47



Ashgate Publishers

Learning from Delhi

Mitchell, Patwari & Bo Tang

Issue 120, p.49