What we do

We promote good urban design practice in London. We're helping to implement the Mayor's Good Growth by Design programme through our activities.

Our team of architects, urban designers and heritage experts provide specialist services to us, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London boroughs.

Our responsibilities

  • Support the delivery of world-class streets and spaces, providing design and heritage advice for Crossrail 2 and new river crossings
  • Advise on public space schemes by consultants, boroughs or developers and advise on how they can be improved
  • Design public space schemes, focusing on the needs of those who will use and look after places and spaces
  • Provide urban design services to major transport infrastructure projects
  • Help create planning frameworks and area strategies using high quality documents that tackle complex design issues, approaches, principles, requirements and parameters for future work
  • Assess planning applications and emerging policy documents, considering the design and heritage credentials of streets and interchanges
  • Provide historic conservation advice and input
  • Support our pre-application services and development planning function
  • Design guidance, case studies and research
  • Support the GLA's Good Growth by Design programme

We also work with Urban Design London. They provide training, network events and design review services.

Case studies

Highbury Corner

Transformation of public realm adjacent to Highbury and Islington station. Existing gyratory to be replaced.

Northern line extension

Managing design programme and output of permanent above-ground elements of Northern line extension, due to open in 2020.

Silvertown Tunnel

Management of above-ground elements for proposed new Thames crossing, linking North Greenwich to Royal Docks.

Royal Docks Local Transport Design Guidance

We've been working with the GLA and London Borough of Newham to produce the Royal Docks Local Transport Design Guidance. This outlines our shared goal to create significant improvements to both the movement and place function of streets and spaces in the Royal Docks Opportunity Area.

Royal Docks Local Transport Design Guidance sections 1 & 2

PDF 9.45MB

Royal Docks Local Transport Design Guidance section 3

PDF 11.89MB

Royal Docks Local Transport Design Guidance sections 4-8

PDF 8.13MB

Better Streets Delivered

The Urban Design team worked with Urban Design London to produce two collections of recently completed schemes.

Better Streets Delivered 1 and 2 celebrate the ambition and success of recent public space projects that balanced user needs and increased the vitality and sense of place across London.

Nine Elms on the South Bank - Public Realm Design Guide, Materials Palette and Cycling Strategy

See guidance for all parts of public space and surfacing materials in the 195-hectare Opportunity Area:

Small Change, Big Impact

Small Change, Big Impact is a practical guide to producing temporary, light touch and low-cost projects to change the way a street looks and feels. It forms part of our Healthy Streets Approach.