Launch Event

URBED+ was launched with a special 4x4 Manchester event on 22 October 2019, with special guest speaker Olly Wainwright, The Guardian’s Architecture Critic. Watch a full video of the talks and debate.

Projects

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

URBED and the MSA worked together on illustrating the second draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, communicating the future strategy for housing, jobs and infrastructure. Drawing on her research for an upcoming monograph, Dr Lucy Montague reviewed innovative and iconic spatial plans throughout history to the present day, exploring what made them successful. This was used to inform the development of a visual report by URBED who produced a visual narrative to accompany the GMCA’s policy document; a spatial portrait of Greater Manchester and a graphically driven summary of the methodology and strategy behind the plan.

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Neighbourhood Retrofit

Neighbourhood Retrofit

A high proportion of UK residential stock is terraced housing, a typology that has been incredibly robust over time. But there is a critical challenge with this dominant housing type – how can it adapt to contemporary sustainability targets, to rising energy costs and to the implications of climate change? Building on URBED’s earlier work in the Sustainable Urban Neighbourghood Initiative, this scholarship funds PhD research on ‘Retrofitting Neighbourhoods: Exploring approaches to sustainable residential retrofit at neighbourhood scale’. The successful applicant will be based partly in the MSA and partly in the URBED coop office in a consultant role working directly with practitioners, community organisations and clients engaged in retrofit to actively support the research.

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Innovation Towns

Innovation Towns

As one component of a larger study into tech towns for China Design Centre, researchers at MSA developed a series of international case studies to inform business and public sector decision-making on investment for innovation and growth through this approach to urban development. The final report ‘Smart Cities: Capitalising on the Digital Revolution, authored by Nicholas Falk and Richard Simmons and presented in Hangzhou, reviews the meaning and application of ‘smart growth’ principles to urban development and draws on examples of seven cities that are in the forefront of the digital economy.

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Atelier LULU

Atelier LULU

In 2018 Manchester School of Architecture launched postgraduate Atelier LULU Landscape + Urbanism in partnership with URBED. The aim of the Atelier is to provide architecture students with a greater understanding of masterplanning and urban design by bringing together the research expertise of MSA and the practice experience of URBED. Various members of the URBED team are involved in weekly design and technical tutoring, giving lectures and leading specialist workshops.

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100 Year High Street

100 Year Street

This collaboration between URBED+ and Squash Liverpool will address how research organisations and community partners can best develop knowledge sharing and engagement methods using social and spatial networks so that we can engage communities in long-term planning for sustainability with a focus on food and energy. URBED+ will support Squash through technical workshops and site visits to achieve the 100 Year High Street – their vision to overcome food and health inequalities with self-sustaining, inclusive and harmonious food production by transforming Windsor Street into a productive resource for the local neighbourhood using a series of highly progressive permaculture interventions.

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Public Realm with Autonomous Vehicles

Public Realm for Autonomous Vehicles

In 2018 the BBC reported that Uber would halt self-driving car tests after a fatal accident. Ominously, the police highlighted that the pedestrian had not been using a designated crossing and they referred to the driver only as a “human monitor”. So after progressing towards shared space models, will pedestrians once again be fenced in for their own safety? Or might the sensitive calibration of vehicles to anticipate all potential collisions create gridlock? We worked with postgraduates at the University of Washington and the University of Manchester on what the implications might be for the public realm design.

4x4 Manchester

4x4 Manchester

4x4 Manchester is an annual series of public urban design debates and occasional specials. It aims to challenge how professionals think about their discipline be that architecture, urban design, planning, sociology, transport engineering, real estate or landscape architecture. Instead of inviting architects to talk about their buildings or authors their new book, we promote real debate about the state of our cities, stimulated by interesting, diverse and provocative speakers who are asked to address different topics. Themes in recent years have included ‘Money, Love, War and Freedom’ and ‘Creation, Destruction, Domination and Resurrection’.

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Housing Audit

Housing Audit

URBED+ sat on the Advisory Group and contributed fieldwork assessments for the Housing Audit for England, co-ordinated by Prof Matthew Carmona at the Place Alliance (UCL) and CPRE, supported by a professional network of specialist contributors. This is the first national audit of this kind. By studying 100 large-scale developments across England it will provide a crucial baseline against which to measure progress on place-making in new housing developments going forward. The report will be completed in the autumn and will feed into the work of the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful commission.

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Who We Are

Dr Lucy Montague

Lorenza Casini

Dr Lucy Montague

Lucy is Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture and the Academic Lead for URBED+. She supports the development of the partnership’s research, building bids, collaborative networks and creating routes for academic and public-facing dissemination. She also contributes her own expertise to projects across urban design, including masterplanning, representation, community participation, the relationship between theory and praxis and practice-based/design-led models for research.

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Lorenza Casini

Lorenza Casini

Lorenza Casini

Lorenza is an Associate Principal at URBED. She is a qualified architect, trained at the MSA and the RIBA NW with a wealth of experience in sustainable architecture and urban design. She also holds an MSc with Distinction in Environmental and Energy Science from the Centre for Alternative Technology and UEL. Her work was recently recognised in the 2017 Roll of Honour for "Women contributing to cycling development in and around Manchester" and in the RIBA 2018 International Women in Architecture #EthelDay "Inspirational Women in Architecture". She regularly contributes to university teaching in Manchester and Sheffield.

Areas of Interest:

  • Participation
  • Right to the City
  • Co-design
  • Active Travel
  • Sustainable Transport
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Helen Grimshaw

Helen Grimshaw

Helen Grimshaw

Helen is a Senior Consultant at URBED, specialising in sustainability. She works across a wide range of projects, supporting urban design and masterplanning work, consultancy, research and low-energy building retrofit. With a background in human geography, Helen is interested in the intersection between people and technical systems, how technical information is communicated to and understood by ‘non-technical’ users, and the impact this has on the operational performance of buildings and systems. She works regularly with Carbon Co-op, developing new approaches to the energy efficient upgrade of existing housing.

Areas of Interest:

  • Post-occupancy evaluation
  • User experience
  • Retrofit
  • Energy performance
  • Research
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Charlotte Dew

Charlotte Dew

Charlotte Dew

Charlotte is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI), with experience from both private consultancies and local government in Landscape Architecture, Masterplanning, Urban Design, Garden Design, Public Consultation, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) and Public Inquiry. Her past projects include large residential and renewable energy schemes, a multi-million pound public realm ecology park and sea defense project, university campuses, private gardens, play areas and highway infrastructure. Charlotte is passionate about improving people’s quality of life whilst protecting and enhancing the environment. She creates sustainable and resilient outputs that enhance health and wellbeing via attractive, multi-functional, ecologically rich places.

Areas of Interest:

  • Planting
  • Wellbeing
  • Sustainability
  • Environment
  • Ecology
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Marianne Heaslip

Marianne Heaslip

Marianne Heaslip

Marianne is an architect and retrofit specialist with interests in urban design and participative design. She was a designer and researcher on the Technology Strategy Board ‘Building Performance Evaluation’ and ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programmes. She is currently working on the deep retrofit of terraced housing in Anfield with Homebaked CLT as well as advising various public, community and private clients on retrofit and urban sustainability matters. She has worked closely with Carbon Coop over the last decade to develop services that share this knowledge and experience, through programmes such as the BEIS supported People Powered Retrofit supply chain pilot.

Areas of Interest:

  • Low Carbon
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Whole House Retrofit
  • Building Performance
  • Participatory Design
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Joren Heise

Joren Heise

Joren Heise

Joren has an extensive experience in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design acquired through research and practice. He worked on a broad range of projects across multiple scales, from construction details to a 6,000-home masterplan. This has enabled him to develop a range of integrated design strategies to meet the sustainability agenda. He is particularly interested in the reciprocity between people and landscape within urban environments. His design approach emphasises on water-sensitive design through storm- and floodwater management to create spaces of delight and bring people into direct contact with nature.

Areas of interest:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Detailed design
  • Water-sensitive design
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David Rudlin

David Rudlin

David Rudlin

David Rudlin is a director of URBED, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism and Honorary Professor at Manchester University. In 2014 he was the winner of the Wolfson Economics Prize and has recently published his third book Climax City written with Shruti Hemani by RIBA Publishing. He is chair of the Sheffield and Nottingham Design panels and writes a monthly column for Building Design Magazine. He joined URBED in 1990 from Manchester City Council where he worked on the redevelopment of Hulme. He has worked on major masterplanning projects across the UK including the award-winning New England Quarter in Brighton, Temple Quay in Bristol and Trent Basin in Nottingham. His previous books Building the 21st Century Home (1999 and 2009) and Urbanism (2016) were both published by Routledge.

Areas of Interest:

  • Urbanism
  • Masterplanning
  • Mapping
  • City Planning
  • Complexity
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Théodora Fischkandl

Théodora Fischkandl

Théodora Fischkandl

Théodora graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Lavillette in 2016 with Masters of Architecture where she explored social, political and environmental issues. She also studied at University of Bath through the Erasmus program and finished off her study with an extra semester at the interdisciplinary “Centre Michel Serres” in Paris, which crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines. In the academic field but also in her professional life, she has always been interested in exploring the potential intersections of disciplines and scales alongside all the stakeholders in order to contribute to an objective and equitable design thinking and decision-making process.

Areas of interest:

  • Public policies
  • Multiscalarity
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Environmental and social sustainability
  • Participatory design and didactic graphic design
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Kat Wong

Kat Wong

Kat Wong

Kat is an Urban Designer with experience in public and private sector urban design and masterplanning projects. Prior to joining URBED, she engaged in a MSA research project looking at Age Friendly Neighbourhoods. This involved the co-design of neighbourhood partnerships and projects across four Manchester neighbourhoods with local older residents and institutional partners. Kat also volunteers for Architecture Sans Frontières-UK (ASF-UK), a charity which works to influence the teaching and practice of architecture towards more social and environmentally sustainable objectives. Through the organisation, she has developed an interest in participatory design methodologies and methods for capacity building and neighbourhood planning.

Areas of interest:

  • Urban Design
  • Participation
  • ASF-UK
  • Age Friendly Research
  • Urban Inclusion
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Vicky Payne

Vicky Payne

Vicky Payne

Vicky is a planner and urban designer interested in how core principles of urbanism can be supported through strategic spatial planning. She is motivated by the potential to “bake in” sustainability at a macro scale through well-considered spatial plans, and the opportunities this affords at site level. She has worked on projects including the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, the Constellation Partnership, and a research lab in Frankfurt for the Deutsches Architekturmuseum. Vicky believes that everyone should be able to participate in planning and wants to explore how the industry and technology can make this easier. She is a proud member of the RTPI and a passionate advocate for high quality planning in the UK.

Areas of interest:

  • Strategic spatial planning
  • Participation in the planning system
  • Plantech
  • Open data/mapping
  • Housing crisis
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Helen Berg

Helen Berg

Helen Berg

Helen started at URBED in 2017, after completing a Masters of Architecture course at the University of Sheffield, achieving a Distinction. She has a particular interest in community engagement within the design process, and has experience of a range of architectural and urban master-planning projects, including public and private housing, community centres, and commercial units. Helen tutors in the LULU Atelier at the MSA, and is currently studying towards her RIBA Part 3 Architectural qualification. She previously worked at an expanding architectural firm in London, and wrote articles for Wallpaper Magazine.

Areas of interest:

  • Social Engagement
  • Architectural design
  • Urbanism
  • Community
  • Wellbeing and happiness
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Publications

Why Urban Design Teaching Needs an Accreditation system
Urban Design Journal 2020
by David Rudlin + Dr Lucy Montague

URBED+: Creating a synergistic model for practice, teaching and research
Architecture, Media, Politics & Socity New York conference 2019
by Dr Lucy Montague

What is it about architects and urban design?
Building Design Magazine September 2018
by David Rudlin

Past Events

Past Event Climax City Book
Climax City Book Launch

3 October 2019

Past Event 4x4
4x4 Manchester 2018

2 - 23 May 2018

Contact us

If you would like to collaborate with us or know more about URBED+ please get in touch via urbedplus@mmu.ac.uk

@URBEDplus #urbedplus