Meet the members of the New UDG Executive Committee 2023

UDG Executive Committee 2023

Scott Adams - Elected Member
Husam Al Waer - Elected Member
Roger Evans - Elected Member
Lucy Fineberg - Elected Member
Leo Hammond - Elected Member
Ana McMillin - Elected Member
Amanda Reynolds - Elected Member
Paul Reynolds - Chair
Hannah Smart - Honorary Secretary
Katja Stille - Elected Member
Louise Thomas - Treasurer
Rob Thompson - Elected Member
Naike Zambotti - Elected Member

UDG Trustees

Arnold Linden
Marion Roberts
Janet Tibbalds
Marcus Wilshere



Scott Adams

My main areas of professional interest and work

Strategic Planning: Exploring how strategic planning can be better facilitated within the planning system to deliver successful places

Design Coding: Focusing on how local authority design codes can provide a place-led vision that delivers a baseline of quality and an aspiration for innovative design specific to a place

Design Agenda: Bringing professionals together to share best practice and debate current urban design thinking; demonstrating how current design thinking can be implemented through local pilots

Urban Laboratories : Linking students at university programmes with local authorities and urban design professionals to test ideas and focus studies on contemporary/local issues

My Manifesto

As an elected member of the UDG Executive Committee, I would like to play a more leading role to:

1. Lead and facilitate UDG events. As part of this I would be keen to establish a regular panel discussion/ debate on Urban Design and related topics. The sessions could be hybrid events, possibly regularly hosted at BPTW.

2. Help local authorities to develop local design codes. Since leading Government’s NMDC testing programme, I am keen to explore how the UDG can further advance the current focus to deliver exemplary design codes to assist local authorities.

3. Contribute to the National Urban Design Awards. It was a rewarding experience as a Vice Chair for the awards and I would like to contribute further this year and to also explore how the UDG could maximise the exposure of the generous time and expertise given by so many through the process, possibly through articles and events to raise awareness of successful submissions.

4. Raise awareness of the UDG with university students. This could focus on ways to reach to students in innovative ways, possibly related to my work in Medway in developing an urban laboratory.


Husam Al Waer

My main areas of professional interest and work

Husam is an 'urbanist', with a background in architecture, urban planning and sustainability. He is currently Reader in Sustainable Urban Design at the University of Dundee, having previously researched and taught at Reading and Liverpool universities. He has worked with various UK and International governmental and corporate agencies on research, training and engagement projects. Husam’s work has had a demonstrable impact in both academia and practice. He has a focussed interest in the past and future of sustainable places, towns and cities (including the 20 minute Neighbourhoods), and in particular the development of new approaches to sustainable urbanism and the way new methodologies are facilitated and managed.


I will bring vision and enthusiasm to the post. I would seek to use my extensive expertise in facilitation, strategic development, and leadership to work with diverse stakeholders from across the UDG and beyond to establish a clear strategic plan and vision that is both ambitious and which takes into account existing capabilities and opportunities.

My research is internationally highly regarded. I very much believe my work addresses your interest in individuals whose research and teaching focuses on the challenges facing the built environment current spatial, environment, social and ethical challenges, in particular my demonstrable ongoing work and publications, at the intersection of spatial scales, (i.e. architecture), (i.e. urban/rural neighbourhoods), and (i.e., cities, see my recent work on The Refugee Camp as Site of Multiple Encounters, and smart and cities).

I aim to:

  • Contribute to the UDG including the including the ‘Evolution of the City’ symposia series which I began in 2021.
  • foster international links in Europe, Middle East/North Africa and Far East
  • encourage multidisciplinary academic and non academic links – focusing on practitioner impacts in real places
  • contribute to the UDG annual Awards and promote all prizes widely in the UK, encouraging all universities to engage with them.


Roger Evans

I am interested in promoting a wider understanding of urban form, at all scales, and the implications this has for daily lives.

• Architect and town planner with a masters’ degree in urban design
• Served as a Chair and as a Trustee of the UDG and am currently an Honorary Patron
• Past lecturer at the JCUD, Oxford Brookes
• Past External Examiner of urban design at Oxford Brookes and Cardiff Universities
• Member of Editorial Board of Urban Design International
• Founded Roger Evans Associates / studio | REAL to provide design consultancy and research services to government and the private sector

My Manifesto

I have two objectives if elected:

• to help ensure that the Group has both the organisational structure and the resources to be an effective voice for urban design

• to work towards urban design being at the heart of the planning and development of the built environment

Lucy Fineberg

My main areas of professional interest and work

I work as a Senior Urban Designer in practice, with seven years of post-qualification experience. I am also a qualified Architect with a further 2 years of experience and a Theatre Designer, with contacts and collaborations across this spectrum which influences my drive as an Urbanist.

My Manifesto

If elected, I would like to work with others in the urban design community on three initiatives:

1 - Plain Language Initiative – working to ensure the public and other professionals can understand a language of urban design, and removing barriers to engagement and supporting the discipline as it mature and grows. Urban Design needs to be understood by everyone. 

2 - Place-Keeping Initiative - working to promote the reading of existing places and promoting their maturity, through identification of existing and lost characteristics to support and develop place identity. Understanding the inherent narrative to places, and the initiative seeks to build upon the rich tapestry of history to promote grounded and deeply rooted settlements and places.

3 - Legacy Making Initiative - working to promote future proofing, long life, loose fit urbanism, which underpins sustainable future settlements and development. Encouragement and understanding the importance of designing the rhythm and grain for long term settlement vision including allowance for adaptability and flexibility for change and technological advancement.

Leo Hammond

My main areas of professional interest and work

I run the urban design service in the wider Landscape and Urban Design Team of 30 at Project Centre. We exclusively work for the public sector on projects for the public good. I also teach for Matthew Carmona on his Urban Design Masters studio course for three hours a week. I am Vice Chair for the UDG Awards for the Small Masterplan and Frameworks. I am currently working on the next edition of the UDG Journal on Public Sector housing with Jacob Willson.

My Manifesto

I would like to continue to work with the UDG in promoting the group across the industry, with students, clients and local authorities. Continue to work as a Vice Chair on the UDG Awards, a position I understand is indended to be in place for three years. Lead more Urban Design Group Tours, such as the one I did around Lewes in 2021. Chair more UDG events, ideally in person; I did a significant amount of chairing pre-Covid and would like to again.

Ana McMillin

My main areas of professional interest and work

I am a Chartered RIBA Architect specialised in Urban Design and Housing. I am currently Director of Architecture at the Housing and New Neighbourhoods group at Broadway Malyan. My main areas of interest include strategic urban design, housing and regeneration.

I advocate for design processes that are collaborative, inquisitive to further innovation and design quality, and integrate various disciplinary perspectives. I am also interested in the process by which good urban design happens, particularly design codes at national, local authority or masterplan levels. In addition to my practice, my academic research explores innovative material production in post-industrial urban economies.

My Manifesto

During the next 12 months I wish to:

  • Engage with other professional bodies involved in the design of the built environment (RIBA, MRTPI, TCPA, Landscape Institute, IHE).
  • Continue promoting the importance of Strategic Urban Design and of instruments like Design Codes
  • Maintain the renowned programme of UDG events, working across the group to ensure themes address member’s interests and current practice issues
  • Contribute to UDG’s response to public consultations on changing regulations and emerging planning policy
  • Expand the UDJ’s outreach, particularly amongst universities with urban design courses and academic libraries so it is made available to students and academics next to other regular built environment publications
  • Expand the collection of data about members, practices and UDG activities, to help steer the organisation in the directions that best suit the members
  • Drive the Climate Emergency agenda, focussing on the key contribution that good urban design can make such as: 20 minutes neighbourhoods, sustainable placemaking, decarbonising transport, densities, mix of uses, landscape-driven designs
  • Promote further diversity and inclusion through UDG activities reaching other regions and younger members, as well as through design themes such as design for girls and design for all ages.


Amanda Reynolds

My main areas of professional interest and work

Main areas of practice are large scale mixed-use masterplanning; town centre/high street regeneration; and providing design advice through design review panels, direct to clients and as an expert witness to planning appeals.

Response to climate change implications a major interest.

My Manifesto

Am interested in supporting the urban design profession and particularly supporting younger women to enter and move through the industry to positions of higher profile and greater impact.
Am interested in bringing climate change issues to the forefront and exploring opportunities for urban design to lead sustainable change for out future survival.

Raising consciousnesses is very important for all these elements of change and the UDG has great potential for leading in some areas.

Paul Reynolds

My main areas of professional interest and work

As Director of a small urban design practice, we are involved in all aspects of the industry from research to strategy and from concept to detailed design work.  As an individual i am also involved in the promotion of best practice and of design quality through my extensive work with a number of DRPs across the UK.  I am also an active director of the Hackney Wick Community Development Trust, supporting their ambitions to maintain a portfolio of affordable workspaces for the creative community in Hackney Wick.

My Manifesto

2023 is likely to be a year of transformation for the UDG as we seek to re-shape and re-energise the organisation for the post-covid era.  I am really keen to be a part of the process, and to actively help to transform the organisation that i have actively been part of for almost 20 years.   I have spent my past period as secretary looking in detail at the constitution and developing ideas for how it can be modernised to allow us to have an organisation that better reflects the current world.  I am excited to take this forward as part of the exciting agenda of the incoming administration.

Hannah Smart

My main areas of professional interest and work

Winner of the Oxford Property Festival Young Person of the Year, I consider myself a leader in the field of Urban Design. I am passionate about promoting high-quality development and regeneration and in the process of bringing an inspiring design process. As an “ideas person” and with the desire to think outside of the box, I like to use my creative skills to think strategically and bring added value and energy to everything I do. I believe in creating narrative at every stage and engaging a design process that is inclusive, follows a landscape-led approach and achieves imaginative placemaking.

My Manifesto

Urban Design isn’t about one single discipline – it’s about the work of many hands, many great minds, the ‘sum of all parts’ coming together to create ‘the whole’. My 10-year plan is to empower and celebrate our amazing members, to foster teamwork, inspiration, to work together with all of you to drive the UDG forward in our next exciting chapter.

I want that chapter to include all of us – apprentices, students, UD’s, senior professionals, master-designers, leaders, all bringing our flair and skills; learning from one another across public and private sectors. I commit to building a membership progression model that empowers everyone to achieve elevation and fulfilment.

I want to help the Trustees to develop the constitution, to become a charitably incorporated organisation, giving us the rigour and backbone that we need to elevate the UDG.

My passions are creative placemaking, regeneration, new settlements, promoting sustainable living, walkable neighbourhoods, beautiful places we can be proud of. I believe in making a difference, I want to raise the public profile of Urban Design - we have a responsibility to communicate ‘what good looks like’, to educate people to make a choice. – let’s embrace collaboration, not competition, and make this happen together!

Katja Stille

My main areas of professional interest and work

As Chair of the UDG I have been campaigning among others for recognition of urban design skill, alignment of regulation and policy and breaking down silo thinking. As Director of Tibbalds my areas of work range from strategic planning to policy formulation, to masterplanning and design codes or guiding implementation for regeneration projects as well as new neighbourhoods and strategic sites. My particular interest in creating places that support the community’s health and well-being. This interest has led to work on Northstowe, an NHS Healthy New Town and working with Office of Health Improvement and Disparities.

My Manifesto

My overarching objective is to ensure that good places can be delivered for the benefit of people and planet. The UDG plays an important role in that and, I will:

Continue with the work that started while I was chair, including:
• liaising with DLUHC to ensure the UDG remains a recognised consultee for government bodies on a par with professional institutes.
• help organising, chairing and facilitating events / conference and webinars to aid discussion, learning and dissemination of new research and best practice.
• help the core team and Engine Room in the day-to-day running of the UDG and to better support our members.

Continue to help break down professional silos by drawing broader audiences and topics into the conversations within the UDG, by developing bespoke events and briefing sheets for topics, such as ‘understanding density’ / ‘strategic design – delivering the right site in the right location’ / ‘vision and validate for urban designer’.

I am keen to address challenges and barriers that prevent us from delivering good places, such as contradictory regulations, policies and adoption standards etc. and I will continue to promote a National Underground Design Code and represent the UDG at the Future Build conference.

Louise Thomas

My main areas of professional interest and work

I have worked as an urban designer in private practice for almost 30 years working predominantly for local authorities. This involves pre-app negotiations with development teams, drawing up regeneration and engagement strategies on major development sites, Local Plan evidence gathering studies, research projects and providing neighbourhood planning support to parish councils. I also run urban design training for councillors and officers. For the last 20 years I have been joint editor of the UDG's flagship quarterly journal Urban Design, and I am editor of the Urban Design Directory, which we have developed into an outward-focused guide to urban design and UDG practice members’ work. I also run the Historic Towns and Villages Forum, which has important overlaps with urban design and historic building conservation. I am a Visiting Lecturer and studio tutor at the University of Westminster on the MA in Urban Design course, leading on development economics and urban design.

My Manifesto

The success of the Group depends on robust finances.  As Treasurer I would seek to

  1. Modernise the UDG’s bookkeeping and payments systems so that as much as possible can be online or automated.
  2. Work with Trustees, Exec and Director to develop a budget to support the growth of the UDG in the plans outlined by Katja Stille at the AGM.
  3. Invest the UDG’s reserves to secure long-term stability for the Group.

In addition, I am keen to encourage contributions to the journal, and promote the work and innovative ideas that members create, including practices, courses, individuals and people new to urban design, with more international, national and regional perspectives to help us understand our field better and the contributions that we make to better places. I will work to increase the UDG’s engagement with urban design education through the journal and Urban Design Directory, and help to identify campaigns which will increase the public understanding of urban design. At the heart of my long-standing involvement in the UDG is that it is the home of urban design in the UK and overseas, and a valuable professional body for everyone at each stage of their careers.

Rob Thompson

My main areas of professional interest and work

My areas of work span teaching, practice work focussed on working with communities on developing design ideas, and in-house Local Authority work, both in design review and urban design strategy and guidance. I also sit on three Regional Design Review Panels and alongside Design Review work with them on BfHL Assessments.  I am interested in sense of place, health and well-being and seeking ways to influence better design outcomes.

My Manifesto

I'm motivated by making sense of place and contributing to the creation of great places.

If elected again to the Executive Committee I'd continue to play an active part in the debates surrounding urban design, place making and urbanism and existing and emerging ideas/issues and themes.

  • I am co-organising the forthcoming National Urban Design Conference being planned for Sheffield, 2023, on the theme of Renewal.
  • I am concerned about residential design quality and links to health and wellbeing – and will organise and chair an online event in winter 2023
  • Highway Adoption – I am concerned that the ongoing unwillingness of highway authorities to adopt street trees, or street environments that reflect Manual for Streets is having a damaging and overriding impact upon the quality of places. I will campaign for change, including working on an opinion survey with others on the UDG secretariat.
  • Teaching at Manchester School of Architecture, Sheffield Hallam University and Liverpool University I would like to continue to develop links between students and academics and the UDG.


Naike Zambotti

My main areas of professional interest and work

I am a qualified senior urban designer, currently working at Levitt Bernstein, involved in masterplans, social housing, urban regeneration projects, including design codes for the public and private sector.

Placemaking and community engagement are at the heart of what I do. I am actively involved with young people to promote urban design in primary and secondary schools as a potential career.

I am a co-founder of a networking group, promoting knowledge share between disciplines within the built environment.

My Manifesto

I am a qualified urban designer and a recognised urban design practitioner since 2018. I became a member of the UDG since I moved to the UK in 2014 and from then I closely followed the activities an initiative promoted by the group.

I am particularly interested into the research aspects of the UDG, and I would like to assist with the production and distribution, and educate public and professional opinion, giving advice and information. I could provide graphical support, help with the research and writing. Being a professional I strongly believe that sharing good urban design, placemaking and general knowledge within people involved in the sector is crucial for the delivery of liveable, high quality and healthy places.

The annual national UDG conference and the awards are a very important moment for all the professionals and activists involved in urban design. I would like to support these events and I would liaise with the executive committee to understand how best I could help with that, and generally what are currently the main gaps within the group and how I could help addressing them.

I would also like to promote the UDG and its activities within young and underrepresented groups.