Thirty Years of the Urban Design Group

The foundation of the UDG is dated to 22 November 1978, when Francis Tibbalds, Keith Ingham, Percy Johnson-Marshall, Kevin Eastham and others convened a meeting at the RIBA under the title 'Architects in Planning'. Arnold Linden, an early member of the UDG, recalls: 'They did so knowing full well that the institutes of architecture and of planning no longer recognised each other's legitimate role in the creation of the urban scene. The public realm had become, by default, largely the consequences of mechanistic decisions by highways, traffic and municipal engineers.'

The name Urban Design Group was soon coined, with the subtitle: 'a forum for architects, landscape architects and designers in planning'. Arnold Linden notes: 'The group held from its inception that everyone acting in the environment was an urban designer, whether they were performing positively, negatively or just passively, because the decisions they make (or disregard) affect the quality of urban spaces.'

The Name:

Architects in Planning (November 1978)

Designers in Planning Group (January 1979)

Urban Design Group (since February 1979)

Kevin Lynch Memorial Lecture:

1986 Leon Krier
1987 Norman St John Stevas
1988 Sir Roy Strong – Rus in Urbe: Green thoughts for the City
1989 Sir Philip Dowson – Paternoster Retrospective
1990 Tony Coombes – City Ventures
1992 Peter Hall – Shaping Cities
1993 Patrick Hodgkinson
1994 Sir Peter Shepheard
1995 Sherban Cantacuzino
1996 Cedric Price
1997 Charles Jencks – New Urban Design & the Fractal City
1998 Ricky Burdett – Contemporary Urban Design: Towards a new pragmatism?
1999 Rem Koolhaas – Waterfront Development in Rotterdam
2000 Stefan Schroth – Images of the City & Ideas of Society: The Heritage of Modern Times
2001 Dickon Robinson
2002 Adriaan Gueze (West 8)
2003 David Lunts – Our Cities: Image Rhetoric & Reality
2004 Alfonso Vegara – Sustainable Urbanism for the 21st Century
2005 Hank Dittmar – Can design coding work here?
2006 Peter Bishop – A Vision of Cities of the Future
2007 Philip Singleton and Kelvin Campbell – Birmingham: Can we configure a whole city centre?
2008 Peter Heath – World Squares for All
2009 John Thorp – Leeds Civic Architect
2010 Sir Richard MacCormac
2011 Christopher Alexander
2012 The Responsive Environments Team (Graham Smith, Sue McGlynn & Ian Bentley)
2013 Kelvin Campbell, Urban Initiatives
2014 Professor John Punter
2015 Sir Terry Farrell
2017 Tim Stonor, Space Syntax on behalf of Bill Hillier (Urban Design Group Lifetime Achievement Award 2016)
2018 Tim Pharoah (Urban Design Group Lifetime Achievement Award 2017)

Annual UDG Lecture:

1993 Richard Rogers

1994 Zaha Hadid

1995 Piers Gough

1996 Terry Farrell

1997 Michael Cassidy

1998 Peter Hall

1999 Jon Rouse

2000 Alan Baxter

2002 Les Sparks

2003 Ken Yeang

2004 Sir Peter Hall

2005 Sebastian Loew

UDG Lifetime Achievement Award:

2011 Prof Christopher Alexander

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

2013 Kelvin Campbell


Roy Worskett 1983-85

Terry Farrell 1985-89

John Worthington 1989-91, 1992-93

Francis Tibbalds 1991-92


Francis Tibbalds 1979-86

Arnold Linden 1986-89

Lawrence Revill 1989-91

Kelvin Campbell 1991-92

Jon Rowland 1992-97

Roger Evans 1997-2000

Marcus Wilshere 2000-02

Alan Stones 2002-04

Barry Sellers 2004-06

Ben van Bruggen 2006-8

Duncan Ecob 2008-10

Amanda Reynolds 2010-12

Paul Reynolds 2012-14

Katy Neaves 2014-16

Colin Pullan 2016-18

Current Patrons of the Urban Design Group:

Alan Baxter

Irena Bauman

Dickon Robinson

Lindsey Whitelaw

John Worthington

Previous Patrons:

Tom Bloxham

Honor Chapman

Sir Philip Dowson

Sir Terry Farrell

Colin Fudge

Nicky Gavron

Sir Peter Hall

Simon Jenkins

Sir Richard MacCormac

Jane Priestman

Les Sparks