About the National Urban Design Awards

The National Urban Design Awards were established in 2007 by UDG founder member and fellow John Billingham, with the objective of giving more recognition to urban design work, particularly at project stage.

The Francis Tibbalds Trust, established in 1992 in memory of Francis Tibbalds, founder of the eponymous practice in 1978, founding Chairman of the UDG 1979, President of the RTPI 1988, and author of the seminal Making People Friendly Towns: Improving the Public Environment in Towns and Cities published porstumously1992, has been a stalwart partner, providing generously for the Awards and prizes to entries in the Practice Award and  Student Award.

The first prize in the Practice Award was presented to Urban Practitioners at a low-key event in The Gallery at Cowcross Street in September 2008. A further Award for Students was subsequently introduced with a prize of £600.

From these tentative beginnings the Awards went from strength to strength under John Billingham's guidance from 2007-2013, increasing in scale, profile and ambition. The UDG now runs an annual awards cycle which includes Private Practice, Public Sector, Student and Book Awards  plus a Lifetime Achievement, introduced in 2011, and an Outstanding Contribution recognition, introduced in 2017.

Entries are invited with a closing date in September each year.

The Awards ceremony in March is an evening dinner and presentations at a London venue, attracting a broad audience of built environment professionals, their clients, decision-makers and opinion-formers.

In 2017 the UDG welcomed Nidhi Bhargava, as successor to Noha Nasser (who was Chair of the Awards Working Group from 2013), to be the Convenor of the Urban Design Awards. 

With the continued support of the Francis Tibbalds Trust we remain true to our goals of celebrating the very best in urban design practice and encouraging collaboration, innovation and the sharing of ideas.

Previous Winners

  UDG Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 John Thompson
2018 John Thorp
2017 Tim Pharoah
2016 Bill Hillier
2015 Sir Terry Farrell
2014 Prof John Punter
2013 Kelvin Campbell
2012 The Responsive Environments Team
(Sue McGlynn, Graham Smith, Alan Alcock, Paul Murrain & Ian Bentley)
2011 Prof Christopher Alexander


  Outstanding Contribution to Urban Design
2017 Alan Baxter


  Practice Project Award
2019 Andover Estate, Islington
Studio Partington
2018 Altstadtquartier Buchel, Aachen
Chapman Taylor
2017 Birmingham Knowledge Hub
2016 Eiland veur Lent, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Barnsley Town Centre
2015 Trent Basin, Nottingham
2014 Middlehaven Development Framework
Urban Initiatives Studio
2013 District//S, Lebanon
Allies & Morrison
2012 Brentford Lock West
Moat Lane Towcester
Studio REAL
2011 Oxford Circus Improvements
2010 Dunsfold Park
Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects
2009 Scotswood Expo, Newcastle upon Tyne
Urban Initiatives


  Public Sector Award
2019 Marmalade Lane Cohousing
South Cambridgeshire District Council
2018 Aldgate
City of London Corporation
2017 Connected Croydon
Croydon Borough Council
2016 Stockton High Street Regeneration
Stockton Borough Council
2015 Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust
Birmingham City Council
2014 Know Your Place
Bristol City Council
2013 City Park
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
SPUD 5x5: Youth Voices in South Hampshire
Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH)
2012 Design Guidance for Residential  Development
Exeter City Council
North West Leicestershire DC


  Book Award (previously the Publisher Award)  
2020 Climax City: Masterplanning and the Complexity of Urban Growth
David Rudlin and Shruti Hemani
RIBA Publishing
2019 Beyond Mobility, Planning cities for people and places
Robert Cerveo, Erick Guerra, Stefan Al
Island Press
2018 The Art of Building a Garden City: Designing New Communities for the 21st Century
Kate Henderson, Katy Lock and Hugh Ellis
RIBA Publishing
2017 Housing Cairo: the Informal Response
Eds. Marc Angelil and Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, in collaboration with Something fantastic and CLUSTER
Ruby Press, Berlin
2016 Young – Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society
Deane Simpson
Lars Muller Publishers
2015 Smart Cities: Big data, civic hackers, and
the quest for a new utopia

Anthony M. Townsend
W W Norton & Company
2014 Masterplanning Future
Lucy Bullivant
2013 The Temporary City
Peter Bishop & Lesley Williams
2012 Learning from Delhi
Mitchell, Patwari & Bo Tang
Ashgate Publishers