National Urban Design Conference 2019

Millenium Point, Curzon Street, B4 7AP, Birmingham
Thu, 26/09/2019 - 2:30pm - Sat, 28/09/2019 - 12:30pm

Making People Friendly Places

  • Job-essential conference theme 
  • 40 presenters -  latest ideas, best practice, commercial viability
  • Ultra low-cost tickets for Local Authorites and Public Bodies 

Made posiible with the continuing and generous support of our sponsors


Thursday 26 September

  • Design Quality Summit - £20
  • Urban DesignFest - £15

Main Conference Friday 27 September

  • UDG members - £95
  • Non-members early bird (until 25 August)  - £95 
  • Non-members Standard - £145 
  • Local Authorities - £35

Tickets available on Eventbrite





Why Making People Friendly Places? We have a climate change emergency, grave concern over collapsing ecosystems and security of food supplies to support the rapidly increasing urban population, and worries over human health ranging from anxiety and depression through to obesity, diabetes, and faltering increases in life expectancy. We are seeing changes to the urban economy, with high streets locked in a downward spiral in the face of competition from low-tax gig-economy internet retail, and robotization progressively eliminating jobs. As the Baby Boom generation enters old-age and care, generation X, Y, and Z face an uncertain future.

We very much look forward to a stimulating conference as we tackle these knotty issues. Join us in a state of the art venue and take the opportunity to share your concerns, ideas, visions, solutions with colleagues at this year's National Urban Design Conference.

What have we got planned?


  THURSDAY 26 September

Design Quality Summit: an afternoon workshop chaired by Luke Hillson of Barton Wilmore. This will begin with presentations on current leading Design Guidance, Codes and Assessment Systems; followed by workshop discussion on their effectiveness and impact, concluding with the steps that need to be undertaken to improve design quality.

  • Convenor  Luke Hillson, Barton Wilmore; West Midlands Urban Design Forum
  • The Ladder of Place Quality  Valentina Giordano, UCL; Place Alliance
  • Nottingham Design Quality Framework  Laura Alvarez & Nigel Turpin, Nottingham City Council
  • Redrow 8  Kevin Parker, Redrow Homes
  • West MIdland Design Charter  Louise Wyman, West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Great Places  Nigel Longstaff, Group Urban design Director, Barratt PLC

Urban DesignFest: our traditional warm up to conference. Spend the evening with colleagues from all disciplines, in this fun and fast moving event with presentations ranging from solutions to current problems, through to visionary and potentially wild ideas to improve towns and cities, plus a unique urban quiz, street food, and drinks.

The evening will be kindly hosted by Glenn Howell's Architects


  FRIDAY 27 September

We are very excited to hold main conference this year at the state of the art Millenium Point. Over twenty presenters drawn from across the sector will present latest ideas, and practical and profitable ways to make people friendly places.

Topics include:

  • Making People Friendly Towns and Cities;
  • Frameworks and Strategies for People Friendly Places;
  • Designing with and for People: Human Need and Behaviour;
  • Towards Urban Environments that Work;
  • Paying for and Profiting from People Friendly Places

There are also Masterclasses in inclusive design & drawing. Download Friday's Programme here.

Conference Dinner will be held at the Old Library at Zellig near the Custard Factory


  FREE Guided Walks and Tours

Friday 5.30pm: Guided Walk - Millennium Point to Digbeth with Joe Holyoak

Saturday 10am: Guided Walk - Central Birmingham with Joe Holyoak

Saturday 10am: Guided Walk and Sketching with Mark Kelly


 Tickets available on Eventbrite