Urban Design Group (UDG)

The Urban Design Group is one of the largest UK providers of research expertise in urban design and conservation matters. Our research activity is of national and international standing. Our clients include, amongst others, UK government / agencies, local government, the commercial sector, community and voluntary sectors and a number of international agencies, governments and research councils.

Research expertise

  • Community development
  • Urban morphology
  • Place-making
  • Urban coding
  • Place identity
  • Masterplanning
  • Responsive environments
  • Urban regeneration
  • Rehabilitation of historic centres
  • Conservation of buildings and historic areas
  • Townscape appraisal
  • Public open space design and management
  • Town centre management
  • Chaos and fractal theories
  • Sustainable urban design
  • Children and the built environment
  • Sensory urban design
  • Aesthetic dimensions of urban design

Training opportunities

Recent research activity

  • Rootscape – developing the urban design skills of young people (UrbanBuzz)
  • Urban Design Study for Lesney Matchbox Factory Site (LB Hackney)
  • Designing Sustainable Cities (Urban Practitioners and CABE)
  • Social housing (J A Pye Oxford Ltd.)
  • Evidence review: Thames Gateway (DCLG)
  • Townscape appraisal (Heritage Lottery Fund)
  • Transferable lessons from the new towns (DCLG)

Recent research publications

  • Butina Watson, G. and Bentley, I. (2007) Identity by Design. Architectural Press.
  • Butina Watson, G and Zetter, R. (2006) Designing Sustainable Cities in the Developing World. Ashgate.
  • Butina Watson, G., Brownill, S., Carpenter, J.,Durning, B. and Reeve, A. (2006) Thames Gateway Evidence Review - Executive Summary. London, Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • Cooper J, Oskrochi R, (2008), Fractal analysis of street vistas – a potential tool for assessing levels of visual variety in everyday street scenes Environment and Planning B 35 (2).
  • Reeve, A., Goodey, B. and Shipley, R. (2007)Townscape evaluation methods. Urban Morphology,11(1). pp 25-41.

External links

  • With international organisations involving BC, DfID and various governments
  • With UD professionals/academics in other countries (eg EU, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, USA and a growing number of developing and transitional economies)
  • With other UK universities (eg Sheffield Hallam, Kingston University)
  • With urban design consultancies, often on collaborative research projects (eg DEGW, DavidLock Associates, Gallagher Estates, Urban Practitioners)
  • With various community groups