Speakeasy and Book Launch: Meet Laura Alvarez and Rob Cowan

Monday 11 March 2024 - 18:00
The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M

UDG Members, Students - Free

Non-members - £5.50

Meet Laura Alvarez, Rob Cowan and Amy Burbidge at The Gallery Cowcross Street, London 

This live in-person event and online (Online tickets here) will be of interest to anyone involved in urban design – from highway engineers through to regeneration professionals, teachers, students, or individuals who finds themselves somehow involved in this field – willingly or not.

Here we have two practitioners with over 70 years of experience between them, who really understand their craft and care about getting the best outcome possible, and have put it all in writing to enable others.

This event will be a chaired speakeasy, in the chair we have Amy Burbidge, talking to our two authors: Laura Alvarez and Rob Cowan. Their books will be available for purchase. Drinks and snacks will be available, as will, we hope, copies for sale of a special cartoon made just for the event. Plus, an opportunity to sign up for writing book reviews for the Urban Design Journal.

Laura’s book introduces us to her 6 chosen tools, for creating a coherent place vision as well as an intelligible measurable quality assurance system that brings everyone on board, along with her much researched and recommended 15 Stage Urban Design Plan of Work.

For 30 years Laura has constantly striven to evolve a clear methodical working system to access and record the unique character of locations, ensure public consultations happen in a genuine and meaningful way, and teams are enabled to identify and resolve problems at an early stage.

Rob’s book starts with a brief introduction to some great pioneers behind the brightest ideas in urban design, and guides us through a comprehensive and well-illustrated overview of this multi-disciplinary challenge, arming the reader with the key information required for the understanding of the processes involved.

Both have produced clearly written accessible and invaluable works enabling the urban designer to obtain all round engagement, collaborate effectively, and arrive at the best design solution for a coherent and confident public space.


Amy Burbidge, Head of Master Design and Development at Homes England  has diligently read both books, will chair the event


Laura Alvarez will be interviewed about her book, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Urban Design and Development. The ABC of Quality, Sustainable Design’

More about "A Beginner's Guide to Urban Design and Development"

Rob Cowan will be interviewed about his book, ‘Essential Urban Design: A Handbook for Architects, Designers and Planners’ 

More about "Essential Urban Design







Followed by discussion and free-flowing conversation