Urban Initiatives Studio is an internationally recognised urban design and planning consultancy based in London. We work across the full urban spectrum: from strategic thinking at wider city, town and district level to the development of specific urban design solutions at neighbourhood, block, street and building scales. We work in major cites and towns in the United Kingdom, Ireland, mainland Europe and overseas.
At Urban Initiatives Studio we understand the complex nature of towns and cities and how to deliver urban change. We know how to design successful places that are enjoyed by the community and will be there to last. We know how to manage, brand and communicate the process of urban development. And, we always see the bigger picture, think long term and strive to add value to our client’s projects.
Urban Initiatives Studio work collaboratively with clients, other urban professionals and the community in a consensus-driven approach, to ensure quality outcomes. We approach all projects as a unique challenge: shaped by how we deliver innovation, by our values, our design philosophy and our working style, placing great emphasis on our interpersonal skills, our professionalism and our client-friendliness. We are delivery-focused and highly effective in bringing together innovative ideas and achievable solutions in complex urban environments at all scales. We are recognised as having an outstanding depth of experience in our field.
Urban Initiatives Studio’s work is guided by a strong practice ETHOS. We have a passion for cities and places, and a commitment to leave behind an enduring legacy of positive change. The ‘place’ is our true client – we won’t work on projects that go against our ethos.
1. We think strategically
At Urban Initiatives Studio we look outside the site boundary and see the bigger picture. We think strategically and long term. We care about how well an area is connected and how it joins up with its wider context. We believe that integrated places are better for people and deliver added value. We don't do quick fixes.
2. We are aspirational yet delivery focused
We believe that any masterplan or strategy needs to capture people's imagination. It needs to go out to explore the realm of the possible, be visionary and inspire. But it also must be open about what it can realistically achieve. At Urban Initiatives Studio we are both, visionary and highly delivery focused. We make sure that our plans are more than pretty pictures but have the ingredients to deliver real and positive change.
3. We respect and enhance places
Place design affects people's lives and their well-being. Natural and man-made landscapes, the structure and pattern of development, its history and heritage and the quality of its spaces shape the character and identity of a place. At Urban Initiatives Studio we believe in authentic contextual design solutions, that respond positively to a place, respect its fabric, enhance its distinctiveness and add meaning.
4. We find sustainable solutions
At Urban Initiatives Studio we are committed to the environmental, economical and social sustainability of our projects. We believe in the principles of compactness, proximity, walkability, flexibility, adaptability, social cohesion and local solutions as essential ingredients of any sustainable design solution. We believe in the potential of good design to shape places that will stand the test of time.
5. We create places for people
Our passion is to create the right conditions for urban life to flourish. We love the vibrancy and dynamism of buzzing urban city environments. We also enjoy the neighbourhoods where people engage with their neighbours, care for each other and which thrive on a sense of community. We believe the success of a place is judged by how it functions and feels, and not how fancy the design of its plan might look. We see it as our role to establish the right framework and conditions for urban life to happen.
6. We like to collaborate
At Urban Initiatives Studio we enjoy working collaboratively within our team, with our clients, stakeholders and local people to achieve a shared vision, to establish critical design aspirations and to set out a realistic path to delivery. Under our expert stewardship we aim for a consensus-driven approach that uses advocacy rather than confrontation to achieve our goals, both in the workplace, and in projects.
7. We are highly professional
We always maintain the highest standards of professionalism in our work and in dealing with clients, other team members and the wider public. We always show respect, act responsibly and demonstrate initiative. At Urban Initiatives Studio we never stop learning. We take part in the professional and academic discourse, are members of the Urban Design Group, attend and present at conferences, and are teaching at Universities. We recognise that we must constantly evolve to changing market and economic conditions and stay on top of new trends, practices and technologies to move forward.
8. We are client friendly
At Urban Initiatives Studio we are focused on providing the best service to our clients. We take the time to truly understand our client’s needs and prepare a tailored response to their specific requirements. The direct involvement of company directors in leading projects, and a culture of discussion and design review, ensures clients can benefit from our collective expertise and experience, and obtain the best possible advice. We are prepared to challenge assumptions and act as a critical friend. We understand that things can change and agendas can shift. We are responsive and flexible in our approach, and will go the extra mile for our clients.
Our design studio is comprised of a group of highly experienced professionals that combine expertise in urban design, architecture, planning, landscape design and urban research. We have a core team that works across the entire range of our projects and a number of associate partners that we bring into our teams to support us with specific expertise and challenges. This enables us to respond flexibly to any urban design challenge. We can assemble the right team for any project, both large and small, urban or rural, simple or challenging.
Hugo is a Director of Urban Initiatives Studio with over 25 years experience of urban design, masterplanning and public realm design. His work ranges from city centre and residential masterplanning, preparation of design codes and design guidance through to detailed design and delivery on site.
Matthias is a director of urban design at Urban Initiatives Studio. He has more than 15 years of working experience in urban projects throughout the UK, Europe and overseas. He is a passionate urbanist with a particular interest in the way process and design can be employed to drive positive change in the complex urban environments.
At Urban Initiatives Studio we assemble a bespoke team for each project in response to its specific requirements and skills sets needed. Many of our projects require input by external specialist that inform and complement our work. We have established good working relationships with other leading industry experts that we can draw on when required for a project. Below is a list of the companies that we have recently collaborated with:
A Studio Architects
Alan Baxter Associates
Ash Sakula Architects
BB Partnership Architects
Burrell Foley Fischer Architects
Chris Blandford Associates
Duff and Phelps Real Estate
Ferguson Mann Architects
Hawkins Brown Architects
Henry J Lyons Architects
Lambert Smith Hampton
Land Use Consultants
McCutcheon Hailey Planning
Mel Morris Conservation
Nicholas de Jong Associates
O'Connell Mahon Architects
Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects
Proctor & Matthews Architects
Reddy Architecture + Urbanism
Stride Treglown Architects
Tom McNamara and Partners
Sean Harrington Architects
The Landscape Partnership
Woolf Bond Planning
Our business is to deliver innovative ideas and achievable solutions for our clients in the public and private sector. We work for central government departments, with national agencies, and with regional, metropolitan and local authorities. We work for major estates, landowners, housebuilders and developers. We work with city development and regeneration companies, partnerships, institutions and project funders. Below is a list of some of our recent clients.
Arts University Bournemouth
Barratt East London
Gallions Housing Association
Genesis Housing Association
Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii
The Lucent Group
Morgan Sindall Investments
National Paediatric Hospital, Dublin
Punta Nueva SA, Peru
Talbot Village Trust
Taylor Wimpey Strategic Land
University of Kent
Architecture and Design Scotland
Aylesbury Vale District Council
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Borough of Poole
Bournemouth Borough Council
Canterbury City Council
Cardiff City Council
Charnwood Borough Council
Cherwell District Council
Derby City Council
Dublin City Council
East Hampshire District Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Homes and Communities Agency
Limerick City Council
Limerick Twenty Thirty
Liverpool City Council
London Borough of Bexley
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Camden
London Borough of Ealing
London Borough of Hackney
PUBLIC SECTOR (CONTINUED)
London Borough of Haringey
London Borough of Havering
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Islington
London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Mid Sussex District Council
Mole Valley District Council
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Sevenoaks Town Council
Sevenoaks District Council
Shepway District Council
Southampton City Council
Tendring District Council
Vale of the White Horse District Council
Westminster City Council
Mid Level Urban Designer
We are currently looking to appoint a mid level Urban Designer to work with us on a number of high profile and exciting projects. This is a full time position suitable for a talented, enthusiastic and highly motivated individual who is eager to learn and grow professionally in our sector. Applicants must have a masters degree (or similar) in Architecture or Landscape Architecture with a specialism in Urban Design and/or Town Planning. It is essential that you can work legally in the UK.
Successful candidates will work collaboratively with the practice directors on the planning, research and design of a range of projects including strategic visioning, town centre masterplans, site capacity studies and characterisation, tall buildings and visual impact studies and assist with the running and managing of public consultations. Proficiency in Vectorworks / CAD, Sketchup, Excel, Illustrator, Indesign and QGIS is a prerequisite for this role.
You will have a minimum of three years post qualification experience. Ideally this will have been gained in a design or planning practice working on urban design and masterplanning projects at a variety of scales. Good command of spoken and written English, and an understanding of the UK planning policy context is essential. Experience of undertaking planning policy research, policy writing, townscape and visual impact assessments, preparation of strategy, concept and layout designs and excellent graphic presentation skills will be particularly interesting to us. We would also expect the successful candidate to take on the management of smaller and medium sized projects.
The successful candidates must share our passion for urban places and our Practice Ethos. You will need to demonstrate a robust understanding of urban design and planning and have excellent organisational and communications skills, an ability to write reports and tender documentation, and a positive and professional approach to engaging with and presenting to clients and stakeholders.
Urban Initiatives Studio is a small design practice and we are looking for an individual that will contribute to practice life. There is opportunity for career development for the right candidate. If you are interested in this role please send your CV together with a supporting letter and brief portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org. No agencies please.
Note, that due to the large number of emails that we receive, we generally do not reply to speculative applications or inquiries.