URBED is an award winning design practice specialising in urban design, planning, sustainability, architecture and community engagement. We work across the UK from our base in Manchester. Our background is in urban regeneration, something that remains close to our heart. Recent work includes outline planning applications for large commercial masterplans, design and engagement work for community organisations, international collaborative design workshops, town centre strategies and architectural services for household scale retrofit. As a cooperative we remain firm to our core values:
Our work is rooted in the principles of the urban renaissance. We believe in the importance of creating and sustaining lively, prosperous towns and cities by focusing new development within existing settlements and creating attractive, mixed-use, walkable and socially mixed urban neighbourhoods. Our most high profile recent work was the Wolfson Economics Prize winning submission, which catalysed debate around the role of garden cities and the green belt. We remain committed to the principle of brownfield first, but our essay recognises the nuances and challenges of this as well as arguing for the creation of a development process that allows us to plan positively for housing growth and, in doing so, for the future shape of our towns and cities.
URBED grew out of the redevelopment of Hulme and the Homes for Change Housing Co-operative. Engagement remains a core value of the office with most of our work including round-table workshops, Design for Change charettes and innovative and engaging consultation. Working with Homebaked in Liverpool, which continues to go from strength-to-strength, we were awarded the Community Land Trust Award 2012 for Excellence in Community Engagement.
At the heart of all of our work is sustainability. Designing places and buildings that are healthy, happy and vibrant need not be mutually exclusive of reducing resource use, energy demand and negative environmental impacts. Our ongoing work with igloo on their Sustainable Investment policy, footprint®, is testament to this. Our research and expertise in this area includes post-occupancy evaluation, housing retrofit and strategies for clients including the Sustainable Housing Action Panel and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. Recent awards include AJ Retrofit 3Rs Award 2011: Highly commended in the Small Housing Category.
URBED prides itself in combining these principles with a strong design ethos. In recent years we have won a number of high profile masterplanning design competitions against some of the country’s leading architectural practices.
We are also proud to have been nominated for the UDG's National Urban Design Practice Award in 2015 (Trent Basin), 2014 (Icknield Port Loop) and were joint winners in 2012 for Brentford Lock West.