Rob Thompson

I am particularly interested in making sense of place, in understanding how the built environment shapes our experience; and am motivated by a desire to create robust, beautiful places that people can fall in love with and build an emotional attachment to. 

With almost 30 years experience in both Local Government and private practice, I set up rtu. in 2016, working across the country on a diverse range of urban design, regeneration, visioning and masterplanning projects. I also teach at Sheffield Hallam University and Liverpool University.

I was the urban design principal responsible for the recent Manchester Residential Quality Guidance, which was Overall Winner and Innovation Winner at the RTPI NW Awards 2017. Part of Sheffield city's urban design team for ten years, I provided guidance on major developments and lead on developing urban design policy. Most recently, I provide in-house urban design advice for North West Leicestershire DC and am working on new design guidance as part of the National Model Design Code pilot.

I am co-author of the Academy of Urbanism book Urbanism, published in November 2016, a compendium of 75 schemes nominated by the Academy across the United Kingdom and Europe.

I am a member of Design Yorkshire, Places Matter! and Design Midlands Design Review Panels, an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism and sit on the Academy Council, am a Recognised Practitioner of the Urban Design Group and the Yorkshire Region representative, and a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

In 2020 I was the Lay Assessor for the RIBA Yorkshire Design Awards.

Rob Thompson Urban Design Group Recognised Practitioner
Job Title
Creative Director
rtu. rob thompson urbanism

MA Urban Design (dist)
BA (hons) Planning
Academician and Academy Council Member - Academy of Urbanism
Recognised Practitioner Urban Design - Urban Design Group


East Midlands
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
West Midlands