Urban Update 30 September 2019





30 September 2019

·       Climate Change Crisis – Greta Thunberg’s Empty Words speech in full  

+ The law on climate change (England)

·       Urban Design Lessons from Nantes  2nd October – Next UDG London Event

·       11 plus career opportunities

·       September – October – November events list:

14-15 October -  Making Places - Strategies for Managing Major Traffic Routes through Historic Towns and Villages

16 October - City Resilience – plus an introduction to the new British Standard BS 67000:2019

16 October - Towards a Humanising Urbanism


Climate Change Crisis

Greta Thunberg condemns the empty words and inaction of world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

You say you “hear” us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Maybe 50% is acceptable to you. But those numbers don’t include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of justice and equity. They also rely on my and my children’s generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5C global temperature rise – the best odds given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the world had 420 gigatons of carbon dioxide left to emit back on 1 January 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons. How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone in less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Greta’s “Empty Words” speech is an opportunity for everyone involved in the built environment sector to consider whether we are part of the problem, or part of the solution.  The evidence is clear that most of what is currently being built is adding to the problems, not easing them, and that so many claims to sustainability are just marketing and PR spin.  Nature cannot be fooled.

Climate Change Law (England)

If you undertake work in England  – take 2 minutes to read through this key legislation:

Climate Change Act 2008 – Section 1 – Target

1The target for 2050

1 It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 100% lower than the 1990 baseline.

The Act also covers measurement of carbon, carbon trading etc.

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 – Section 19

as amended by the Planning Act 2008 and the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017

19 Preparation of local development documents

(1) Development plan documents must be prepared in accordance with the local development scheme.

1(A) Development plan documents must (taken as a whole) include policies designed to secure that the development and use of land in the local planning authority's area contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

(because of the Target under the Climate Change Act 2008 – mitigation means 100 percent lower than the 1990 baseline by 2050 – this duty is not discharged by tokenistic gestures, local authorities who don’t respond will be sued)

1(B) Each local planning authority must identify the strategic priorities for the development and use of land in the authority’s area.

1(C) Policies to address those priorities must be set out in the local planning authority’s development plan documents (taken as a whole).


Planning and Energy Act 2008

1 Energy policies

(1)A local planning authority in England may in their development plan documents, a strategic planning panel may in their strategic development plan, and a local planning authority in Wales may in their local development plan, include policies imposing reasonable requirements for—


(a)a proportion of energy used in development in their area to be energy from renewable sources in the locality of the development;


(b)a proportion of energy used in development in their area to be low carbon energy from sources in the locality of the development;


(c)development in their area to comply with energy efficiency standards that exceed the energy requirements of building regulations. 
 (NB the meaning of  “energy efficiency standards” is given in the subsection that follows – it is not a power to set any energy efficiency standards, but only those that have been set out or endorsed in national policies or regulations)

Next UDG London Event

Urban Design Lessons from this year's UDG Study Tour to Nantes

2nd October

6.15-8.00 @ The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ

Nantes? Why Nantes?

The UDG visit to Nantes and the adjacent St Nazaire in April this year, showed that there are many reasons to travel to the Loire estuary.

Previously an industrial city and an important port, Nantes has reinvented itself as a green city, a cultural hub and a growing employment centre. Meanwhile Saint-Nazaire, massively destroyed during the war and rebuilt in the 50s,  is reassessing its connection with the Atlantic and thriving on dockyard industries.

Public transport, affordable housing and the environment are at the core of these two cities policies.

Sebastian Loew will present some of the key lessons learnt during the visit.

Book your free place

Forward Diary

Making Places - Strategies for Managing Major Traffic Routes through Historic Towns and Villages

Monday 14th &Tuesday 15th October, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford SG13 8DP

A two-day event with presentations from the UK’s leading authorities with workshops to cover how an urban area blighted by heavy road infrastructure and car dominated design can be transformed into a people-friendly place that will stand a better chance of meeting the 2050 Zero Carbon deadline.

Speakers include:

Learning from Elsewhere – Making Radical Changes to Traffic Networks

Stephen O’Malley, Civic Engineers

Ring Roads and Bypasses: Managing Traffic Speed and Volume in Urban Centres

Phil Jones, Phil Jones Associates

Guided Busways – Cambridgeshire’s Success Story

Graham Hughes, Executive Director, Cambridgeshire County Council

Making Connections and Restoring Links in Historic Towns

Duncan Berntsen, Medway Council

The Opportunities to Make Better Places from Spaces

Tim Hagyard, former Planning Team Leader and Urban Designer, East Hertfordshire District Council

Streets for People - Why Making Better Places For People Matters

Nicholas Boys Smith, David Milner, Robert Kwolek, Create Streets

Managing Traffic Networks and Encouraging Other Forms of Transport

Lynda Addison, independent transport consultant and past chair of the Transport Planning Society

The Climate Change Imperative

John Duncan, Extinction Rebellion East Herts

Further information:


City Resilience

16 Oct 2019 - 6:15pm - 8:15pm

@ Perkins Will, 2 10, Whitechapel High St, London E1 8QS

Nearest tube – Aldgate/Aldgate East – or 8 mins walk from Liverpool Street

An evening event to discuss the concept of resilience, the new British Standard BS 67000:2019 City resilience (guide), and how urban design and engineering needs to evolve to meet the challenges to come.

It is a common belief in business that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  A problem not unknown to urban designers and built environment professionals working to demonstrate qualities of placemaking. In changing climate, social, and economic times it is increasingly critical to both weave considerations of resilience into built environment projects, but also to measure the impacts and effects.

BS67000 City Resilience Guide was published in March by the British Standards institute. The standard recognises the problem of measuring resilience and proposes a robust and scalable methodology for towns and cities. This allows a detailed understanding of the built environment as a complex web of interactions and how even minor failures can cascade through the system.

The event will include interactive exploration of shocks and stressors impacting London, explanation of the methodology for measuring resilience, and identification of the role of policy support. Panel discussion will also cover techniques for the integration of data at different scales, implementation of resilient design solutions, and engagement strategy for adoption by communities.

This event is kindly hosted by Perkins and Will.

Tickets £5/£7


Towards a Humanising Urbanism

Dr Rasem Badran

16t November

Award-winning Palestinian architect Dr Rasem Badran joins the Academy in London to discuss positive, distinctive buildings and places that stand in marked contrast to self-conscious, anywhere-architecture.

Drawing upon a portfolio of hundreds of built projects across the Middle East, Dr Badran’s talk will focus on the importance of an architecture that combines a place-specific environmental response with meeting the key social and cultural requirements of a building’s users.

Humanising living space and designing ethical buildings are a core part of Badran’s work. His projects seek to honour principles that benefit wider society, the environment and the people and such values can be seen in projects like the King Abdul Aziz Historic Center in Riyadh (1996-1999) and the Al-Bujeiri Development in Riyadh (2000-2015), among many others.

Dr Badran has long been considered a pioneer of modern Islamic architecture and his influence is rapidly spreading throughout the developing world. His work involves the full spectrum of the built environment, from urban planning to individual residences. The renowned architect has recently been announced as the 2019 recipient of Tamayouz Excellence Award’s highest honour, winning the Lifetime Achievement Award.


17:15 – Registration + Networking

18:00 – Introduction by Charles Campion (JTP) and Husam AlWaer (AoU+UDG)

18:20 – Towards a Humanising Urbanism by Dr Rasem Badran

19:20 – Q&A

19:45 – Drinks Reception

20:30 – Close


Young Urbanist Members / Students (with ID) – £10+VAT

Academicians / Members / UDG Members – £15+VAT

General Admission – £20+VAT



Kevin Lynch Memorial Lecture

Urban Design and Neuroscience

Professor Kate Jeffery

14 November 2019 – 6.15-8.00 @ UCL

Learn how to create distinctive developments, why people get lost in DB32 style housing estates, how to create easy to navigate environments, the importance of landmarks, and the confusing effect of rotational symmetry.

Central Walking Networks

28 November – ½ day Conference – Diary Date

How to put substance into commitments to improve public health and carbon emissions reduction.

With London Living Streets

Urban Nous videos


The Buildings of London Bridge


Improving the Process used to identify land for development

Paul Reynolds, Urben


Why are well conceived urban design masterplans so rarely realised?

Katja Stille, Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design


Scores of recorded urban design lectures kindly provided by Fergus Carnegie

2019 Events


City Resilience  & BS67000

16 October 


Kevin Lynch Memorial Lecture

Professor Kate Jeffery, UCL

14 November


Transport for New Homes



Historic Towns and Villages Forum


Autumn School: Making Places

Strategies for Managing Major Traffic Routes through Historic Towns and Villages

Monday 14th &Tuesday 15th October,

County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford SG13 8DP


Booking on….


Buxton: Resilient Cultural Heritage & the Role of the Visitor Economy

Thursday 17th October 2019

York: Keyhole Surgery - Increasing the Capacity and Performance of Historic Centres

Thursday 21st November 2019





From Bauhaus to Brutalism and Beyond:
Conserving Post-War Buildings and Places’,

Wednesday 2 Oct - London



Urban Design London


Bringing Active Travel to Life

1 October

Safe Streets and Good Placemaking

15 October

Delivering Density in a Landscape Setting  - Thamesmead Visit

18 October

The Circular Economy and Design

24 October

Understanding Good Design and How it can Help

30 October



Academy of Urbanism

Design for Living conference – Watch online


Masterplanning in the Middle East

Dr Rasem Badram

16 October @ JTP

4x4 Manchester

29 October

Urbanism Awards

27 November



Centre for Cities


Fringe events at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, and the Conservative Party conference in Manchester


Civic Voice



Book Launch – David Rudlin


Nottingham Urban Room

Tuesday 1 October

University of Manchester

Wednesday 2 October

Manchester School of Architecture
Thursday 3 October

RIBA Portland Place London
Tuesday 8 October

York Design week
Tuesday 29 October



Future of London


Embedding Social Value: half-day conference

7 October, 1 to 5 pm

Designing With Water workshop

17 October, 9 to 11:30 am


Good Homes Alliance


Delivering Net Zero and Future Homes

19 November – London


Kent Design



Achieving Better Design – Councillors Network

30 September

Development Briefing

11 October

Knowledge Exchange Network – Major Sites

18 October

Introduction to Urban Design

29 October



Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire Berkshire Milton Keynes


Visit to Stratford, London Spotlight on key developments

15 October 2019


Landscape Institute


Empowering parks for the 21st Century

26th September – Birmingham


attend this and follow on with the National Urban Design Conference UrbanDesign Fest in the evening!


London Living Streets


Museum of Walking


Walks continue through September


Nottingham Urban Room


David Rudlin Book Launch

1 October 5.30-8.00

Understanding the Planning Process in Nottingham

14 November


The Developer and the Planning System

25 November


Association of Regional Urban Design Officers

Empty shops: What happens in Nottingham?

9 October  10am-3pm



Place Alliance



Transport Planning Society

From Best to Better: Planning for Transport and Better Places in London

26th Sep


Transport Planning Camp 2019


Thursday 7 November 09:00 to 17:00


Transport Planning Network Annual Conference


Monday 18 November 2019   10:00 to 17:00


Transport Planning Day

20 November


International Healthy Streets Summit


9-10 October



Healthy City Design 2019

Designing for utopia or dystopia?

People and planetary health at a crossroads

Royal College of Physicians, London, UK,

14–15 October 2019




Urban Designer - JTP


Senior Urban Designer and Urban Designer - PRP


Principal Urban Designer - Enfield Council


Senior Urban Designer / Associate - Tibbalds


Urban Designer - North West Leicestershire District Council


Planning Officer, Design - The City of London


Urban Designer or Architect - DAP Architecture Ltd


Graduate Urban Designer - Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames


Urban Design Professional - Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames


Experienced Layout/Urban Designers - Pegasus Group

Cambridge - Birmingham - Leeds

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