Urban Design Awards 2023 Judges

Alan Thompson (Co-Chair) 

Alan has been at the forefront of the UDG Awards for the last five years. He oversees every aspect of the competition, and constantly strives to make improvements. He chairs the awards team meetings and selects the judging panels with a keen eye on experience, diversity and equality. Alan co-chairs every judging session to ensure all voices are heard and due diligence is followed. For the 2023 Awards he chaired the Frameworks and Masterplans Large category.

Alan is an RIBA chartered Architect and Urban Designer. He served as a Senior Advisor for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and Head of Design Review for CABE at the Design Council. He led the review of design quality for the London 2012 Olympic Games Venues and Legacy Masterplan, Crossrail and Nationally Significant Projects, including NSiPs.

Alan currently heads up AP Thompson Built Environment Consultancy, which offers expert advice on masterplanning, design quality, heritage, landscape, townscape and visual impact. He is also a director of the Historic Towns and Villages Forum and serves as Southwest Regional Places Advisor for Historic England. 

Frameworks and Mastgerplans Large, Judge: Deb Upadhyaya

Dr Deb is a professionally trained architect, urban designer and planner, leading delivery of exemplar large scale and complex housing, regeneration, and garden communities’ both in the public and private sector (UK and India), for over 20 years. 

A passionate advocate of sustainable urbanism, delivery of quality places and value creation through collaboration/ design led innovation. He champions inclusion and diversity as the fundamental building blocks of delivering resilient built environments.

He coaches-mentors built environment professionals and pursues practice-led research on delivering ‘quality’ and ‘at pace’ in partnership with the built environment sector on ‘sustainable development goals, smart technologies and climate change’.

Frameworks and Masterplans Large, Judge: Victoria Lenzoi Lee

Victoria Lee BArch MA MSc FRSA is an Urban Designer and Sustainable Development Strategist specialising in megaprojects and major infrastructure. She is the Lead Urban Designer on Phase 1 at High Speed 2.

Victoria has a unique mix of built environment expertise across design, planning and development, in the UK and internationally. She has advised local and national governments, property developers and design teams, and led reviews of over 150 large scale, complex and often contentious development projects. She has also advised on UK national design policies and standards, masterplan contracts and competition briefs. 

Victoria is also on the Executive Board for the Oxford Urbanists, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a Trustee of the Futures for Women Charity.

Frameworks and Masterplans Large, Judge: Roger Evans

Roger Evans is an urban designer, architect and town planner.

With a career in public and private practice in the UK and overseas, Roger designs and writes about the built environment.

He is a former tutor in urban design at Oxford Brookes University, founded the consultancy and research practice studio REAL, has served as an external examiner on post graduate urban design courses and sits on several design review panels. He is a past chair of the UDG and was recently invited to serve as a patron. He is a keen cyclist and sketcher.

Frameworks and Masterplans Small, Chair: Leo Hammond

Currently at London Borough of Newham, Leo is an urban designer with over 15 years' experience. Enthusiastic, creative and adaptable he gained his qualifications from the Bartlett and won a scholarship to the Master in Advanced Urban Design program at UC Berkeley, California.

Previously he was at Lambert Smith Hampton where he took a key role in starting-up and developing the urban design team. 

Leo is a Chartered Town Planner, a panel member on the Hackney Estate Regeneration Design Advice Group, an Academician at the Academy of Urbanism, an Urban Design Tutor for the Bartlett and a Future of London Alumni.

Frameworks and Masterplans Small, Judge: Maayan Ashkenazi

Dr Maayan Matz Ashkenazi is an urban designer and social anthropologist, who advises on the psycho-social aspects of design. In both her research and professional practice, she has a particular specialism in health and wellbeing, and non-traditional engagement methods. Having worked at one of the UK’s foremost architectural studios, she subsequently established an independent consultancy advising on a range of spatial, social and innovation design projects. She holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, sits on a number of review panels across the country, and was appointed to the government’s High Streets Task Force.

Frameworks and Masterplans Small, Judge: Mark Pearson

Mark is an architect, recognised practitioner in urban design and educator with three decades of practical experience in achieving and promoting good design.  He is currently the Principal Officer for Urban Design and Landscape at Exeter City Council.

Alongside private practice, he has been the Executive Director of Design Action Devon and Cornwall for the past decade, Chair of the Cornwall Design Review Panel, the Panel in Torbay as well as for ‘Sherford’ in the South Hams. Mark is a Visiting Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath and is also appointed as an ‘Expert’ by the Design Council.

Frameworks and Masterplans Small, Judge: Anna Rose

Anna Rose is an architect and urban planner with a specialism in mixed-use masterplanning and public space design. Trained in Germany and the UK, she joined Space Syntax in 2002, becoming a Director in 2007.  She has extensive experience in advising both private and public sector clients on spatially complex masterplanning projects, with a particular focus on the design of effective human behaviour patterns. Anna is a member of Space Syntax’s Board of Trustees and Board of Directors. She is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at The Bartlett, University College London and an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism. She speaks regularly at industry and academic events worldwide.

Completed Schemes / People Friendly Places, Chair: Christopher Martin

Christopher is Co-Founder and Director of Urban Strategy at Urban Movement, - applying his expertise to public realm, streets and transport - ensuring the seamless integration of urban and landscape design to first and foremost shape cities that are enjoyable for people.

Christopher is also a Trustee of the UK charity for everyday walking - Living Streets - and chairs their ‘Technical Walking Design Expert Group’, working with Government to shape cities that invite more enjoyable walking.

A member of the Executive Committee of the UK Urban Design Group and a founding member of the UK Design Quality Unit, creating better homes and communities in urban areas. As well as working on the United Nations ‘Planning and Climate Action Group’ preparing cities for more resilient futures.

Completed Schemes / People Friendly Places, Judge: Emma Spierin

Emma is an Urban Designer with a background in architecture. She has experience in public and private sector in China, London and Dublin, with projects as diverse as City Village Regeneration (Kunming, China), supporting studies to the Crossrail 2 Act of Parliament (London) and Strategic Housing Developments (Dublin). Emma is currently working with O’Mahony Pike in Dublin, on a mixture of statutory and market projects at multiple scales. This allows a cross-pollination of experience in both the implementation and drafting of guidance documents. Emma has spoken publicly on the topic of applying the Sustainable Development Goals to Urban Design practice. She is personally interested in inequality in public space, urban agriculture and socio-cultural impacts on planning policy and design.

Completed Schemes / People Friendly Places, Judge:David Ubaka

David is a chartered architect and urban designer who has and expertise in strategic transport, and heritage centred placemaking with 30 years of experience. In 2012 he founded D.U.P Limited an independent Placemaking and development consultancy.

He was the first Design Champion for Transport for London and was Assistant Director at Design for London, delivering design excellence into a wide range of projects.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, David has sat on their urban design panel for over a decade. He also chairs design review panels for several London Borough professional panels and is a co-Deputy Chair of the Independent HS2 design panel. A member of Historic England’s Historic Places Panel and a new committee member of Cathedral Fabric Commission for England.

Completed Schemes / People Friendly Places, Judge: Kay Richardson

Kay Richardson is a landscape architect, urban designer and doctoral researcher in critical heritage.

Kay has over 25 years cross-sector experience, enjoying a varied portfolio career with expertise in heritage at risk and protected landscapes, having donated time to national and international regenerative movements, and founded a wood-fired community kitchen on a social enterprise business model.

Kay is a Design Council design expert, contributing experience to several place and design review panels. Their research at University College London seeks to deepen their experience of ‘integrative design process’.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance, Chair: Rob Thompson

Rob is an urban designer with almost 30 years experience. He is an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism, sits on the Design Yorkshire, Design Midlands and Places Matter! Design Panels and teaches at both Sheffield Hallam and Liverpool Universities. 

In 2016, Rob set up his own consultancy, rtu., and works across the country on a diverse range of urban design, visioning and masterplanning projects. He recently worked on a National Design Code pilot for North West Leicestershire DC. 

Rob is motivated by making sense of place and contributing to the creation of successful and long lasting environments for people. 

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance, Judge: Nivedita Vijayan

Nivedita Vijayan is currently an Associate Director of Urban Design, Jacobs. She has over 20 years of experience in the fields of Urban Design, Masterplanning, Transport related design, Placemaking, Architecture, and Project Management. She has extensive project delivery experience in the UK, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. She has also been involved in academic roles and actively engages with various UDG initiatives. She is passionate about working on challenging Urban Design, transport and built environment projects and advocacy, involving innovative design principles and sustainable design approaches to address the increasing challenges in contemporary urbanism.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance, Judge:  Jane Dann

As an architect, planner and urban designer Jane has more than 35 years’ experience in practice and in advisory roles, including design review panels for Camden, Southwark and Design SE, and Historic England’s Historic Places Panel. Adept at design and planning skills across a broad spectrum,

Her focus is on the interface between design and planning, and on securing quality through the planning process at various scales, from strategic to detailed design. She promotes the role and contribution made by local context, character and heritage.

She led a collaboration with MHCLG to produce the new National Design Guide and the Paradise Design Code, one of the government’s Phase 1 Pilot Design Code projects. She has regularly led Tibbalds’ research projects.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance, Judge: Amy Burbidge

Amy is an urban designer at Homes England, and Head of Design and Master Development, managing a team working across England, focused on improving design quality of Homes England’s projects. Her particular interests are range from  strategic urban design at a settlement scale, to detailed street design, but are all about better placemaking for happier, healthier places.  Amy also sits on the Cambridge Quality Panel and is a panellist on the Design:Midlands design review panel.   She is by background an archaeologist and historic conservation specialist before moving into the world of urban design and masterplanning.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance, Additional Longlisting Panel Member: Kenji Shermer

Kenji has worked as Urban Designer for East Devon District Council for the past 7 years and was Cranbrook Built Environment Lead for the NHS England Healthy New Town Pilot, focussing on evidence-led ways to address the wider determinants of ill-health in commercially-led development. 

Kenji has a background in architecture, planning and psychology and is working to develop detailed evidence on the way environments affect health and happiness. His previous work across the UK and in Slovenia has given him broad experience to draw on.  He is a strong advocate for an outcome-focused, design-led multi-disciplinary approach to design and planning.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance / Design Code, Chair: Scott Adams

Scott is a passionate urbanist who excels in developing and promoting public realm-led design on a variety of scales, and bringing key stakeholders to the table to gain consensus and help progress projects. He has contributed to award-winning regeneration and urban design projects in the UK, Australia, the USA and beyond.

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance / Design Code, Judge: Angela Koch

Angela’s background is in Planning, Regeneration and Urban Design. She is the Founder Director of ImaginePlaces.
She has over 20 years of experience in master planning and placemaking, often leading on creative and impact-focused co-production.

She is co-author of CABE’s ‘Paved with Gold – the real value of good street design’ and the CIHT’s ‘Involving the Public and Other Stakeholders'. Her work as part of the Mikhail Riches-led team for City York’s progressive and award-winning Housing Delivery Programme is setting a new benchmark in co-designing for planet and people-friendly places.  

Over the years, she has written a number of design codes.
Angela serves on Design South East's and on the Greater Cambridge Design Review Panel. 

Policy Strategy and Design Guidance / Design Code, Judge: David Rudlin

David is director of urban design at BDP and was previously director of URBED. He is a past Chair of the Academy of Urbanism and Visiting Professor at Manchester School of Architecture. He was one of the principal authors of the Government's National Model Design Code and was the winner of the Wolfson Economics Prize in 2014. His third book Climax City, written with Shruti Hemani, was published in 2019 and won the UDG's book of the year in 2020. He also writes a monthly column for Building Design Magazine.

Students Awards: Masterplans Large, Chair: Philip Black

Philip is a qualified urban designer who has worked extensively in both professional practice and academia across the UK and Ireland. He is a Lecturer in Urban Design at the University of Manchester and the founder and Director of Manchester Urban Design LAB [MUD-Lab], a practice-focused teaching and research group at the University of Manchester. He is also Director of the universities successful MSc Urban Design programme.

Philip extensively researches and publishes on applied urban design, with a particular interest in design quality and evaluation, design governance, and urban design process. His experience as both a practicing urban design professional and academic see him work directly on the interface of practice and theory, with a research-strategy aimed at making real-world impact on how designers consider and design places and spaces.

Students Awards: Masterplans Large, Judge: Amanda Reynolds

Amanda is an Architect and Urban Designer with 30 years’ experience across a broad range of projects in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. She founded AR Urbanism in 2007, and in 2010 she became the UDG’s first female Chair.

Her practice focusses on masterplanning solutions for major regeneration sites in London, throughout the UK, and overseas.

Currently Amanda sits on several Design Review Panels in and around London, including through the Design Council and Design South East. She is co-Chair of the Enfield panel and a member of the High Streets Task Force.

Students Awards: Masterplans Large, Judge: Colin Munsie

Colin is an urban designer and architect with over 30 years experience on projects for government, major landowners and property developers, in the UK, Europe and Australia.  He was a founding partner of Architekton architecture in Perth, a leading Perth practice in education, elderly persons accommodation and a later partner of Noel Isherwood Associates in London. He is currently a senior consultant for Kensuriyachat + Partners, Bangkok.

He has provided design and consultancy advice to government bodies and institutions including the Welsh Development Agency; Centre for Regeneration Excellence in Wales; Newport Unlimited; RIBA Awards; Cardiff University and the Government of Western Australia. 

Students Awards: Masterplans Small Chair: Husam Al Waer

Husam is an award-winning author, architect, planner and urbanist, and is currently Reader in Sustainable Urban Design at the University of Dundee and has a focussed interest in the future of sustainable places, towns and cities, in particular the development of new approaches and new methodologies.

Husam has a worked with a number of government departments and professional institutes including the Scottish Government's Planning Review Evidence and the recent RTPI's Measuring Planning Outcomes. He has also been a Special Advisor to Scottish Government charrette events and the New Ideas Funded Programme.

Students Awards: Masterplans Small, Judge: Hannah Smart

Hannah is the Founder Director of Edge Urban Design. She is a leader in her field and promotes high quality development and regeneration through her comprehensive and inspiring design process. As an “ideas person” and with the ability to think outside of the box, Hannah uses her creative skills to think strategically and bring added value and energy to her work. She believes in creating narrative at every stage and engaging a design process that is interdisciplinary, follows a landscape-led approach and achieves imaginative placemaking.

Students Awards: Masterplans Small, Judge: Brian Quinn

Brian is an independent built environment consultant, specialising in urban analysis and research for local authorities, design practices and for central government. He previously worked at Design Council and CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) leading on a wide variety of programmes including urban design and counter terrorism, public space best practice publications and the delivery of design review panels for some London Boroughs and for Highways England.  He is an Executive Committee Member of the Urban Design Group. He has an MA in Urban Design from University of Westminster and an MA in Geography from Oxford University.

Students Awards: Concept and Innovation, Chair: Patricia Aelbrecht

Patricia Aelbrecht is an urban designer and academic, and Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre in the Geography and Planning School at Cardiff University. She is also Editor in Chief of URBAN DESIGN International, a Palgrave Journal. Her research sits at the intersection of urban design, environmental-behavioural studies, intercultural studies, and human geography. She has published widely on the design and sociology of the public realm with a particular focus on informal social practices in public space and the role of public space design and management in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue.

Students Awards: Concept and Innovation, Judge: Tim Hagyard

Tim Hagyard MRTPI MATCP MAUD is an independent Chartered Town Planner and Urban Designer. 30 years in local government planning at East Herts Council and subsequently Planning Manager with CPRE Countryside Charity Hertfordshire. Member of Urban Design Journal Editorial Board and Topic Editor twice for Issues on Urban Design in Local Government and Politicians. Regular cyclist and keen long-distance walker. London to Jerusalem in 2017. Author of ‘Mindful Steps for Palestine’ www.mindfulstepspublishing.com   Local walk organiser and campaigner with XR Walkers.

Students Awards: Concept and Innovation, Judge: Euan Mills

Euan Mills B.Arch Maud FRSA, is an urban designer and digital specialist.  He is a co-founder of Blocktype, a technology company that helps planners and developers better understand land capacity and advises the Scottish government on digital planning. 

He helped set up the UK’s multi-million pound programme of digital transformation of the planning system, working closely with politicians, senior civil servants and policy leads to shape a vision and strategy, build technology, and write legislation for the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Prior to this Euan spent 16 years working as an urban designer, including six years as design advisor to the Mayor of London and his planning team, contributing towards a number of key planning policy and research documents and negotiating major development proposals on behalf of the Mayor.