Peter Baird

Common to all the projects I have worked on, a critical starting point has been analysis of context. Across my experience from the US, the UK, New Zealand, and most recently the UAE, this requires understanding the local identity of urban and rural areas through careful investigation and active engagement with stakeholders.I have become increasingly fascinated by the use of big data and analytics to allow transparent justification of design decisions, improved problem solving, and an open dialogue with the community. This not only improves design decisions but becomes a journey of discovery for both the design team, clients, and stakeholders that leads to lasting partnerships.

My design approach has evolved from a grounding in the aesthetic appeal of a well structured townscape of nodes, landmarks, edges etc. to a much more complex understanding of how urban places and economies change over time and the need for resilient urban frameworks in streets, blocks, and parcels to support this. I find a deliberate focus on resilience in design leads to better understanding of the environmental, cultural, and heritage issues at play and how these can be used to deliver implementable strategies, frameworks, and design.

As an important part of creating equitable places, I consider that there is a need for open collaboration between design professionals. I work in multi-disciplinary teams; however, I believe there is still potential to forge stronger working relationships between disciplines, public bodies, and commercial companies. For all projects from innovation district design, through town centre regeneration, to campus master planning the process can be as important as the outcome.

To positively effect change around issues I am passionate about, I have volunteered on a number of local committees including most recently as elected chair of the Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council and the task force to create a “Vision Zero” policy for Austin.

Peter Baird Urban Design Group Recognised Practitioner
Job Title
Senior Associate
Perkins & Will

Oxford Brookes University

Masters: Urban Design

Dates attended or expected graduation: 2007 – 2009

Masters dissertation: The Place Identity of Shared Outdoor Amenity Space


University College London, Bartlett

Diploma Town and Country Planning

Dates attended or expected graduation: 2001 – 2002


Nottingham University

Bachelor's degree: Urban and Regional Planning, Grade 2:1

Dates attended or expected graduation: 1998 – 2001

Contact Details



London and South East