About Us

URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) is an award winning masterplanning and urban design consultancy based in Manchester. 

Since URBED was founded over 40 years ago, we have been exploring how the principles of environmental sustainability can be applied to urban areas at masterplan and building scale.

We believe in building healthier communities, creating positive places to live, and enabling good design at urban as well as architectural scales.

URBED is a limited company run according to cooperative rules, and managed by its members. Our collaborative values reflect the work and services we undertake with clients, fellow consultants, and local communities. As URBED members we offer commitment to our responsibilities within the office, we equally do so in our work with others and above all with local communities in the areas where we work. 

The office is made up of urban designers, planners, architects, an economist, a landscape architects and a sustainability expert.

The team has a strong ethos for good design and meaningful community consultation. 

URBED has many years of experience in helping public and private sector clients achieve successful masterplanning and regeneration projects across the country, resulting in positive and vibrant places with mixed communities and tenure types. Our masterplan work delivered for and in collaboration with public and private clients goes on to deliver sustainable and successful developments.

Since 1996 URBED has been running the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood initiative (SUN), exploring how the principles of environmental sustainability can be applied to urban areas at neighbourhood scale. 

This has combined research for organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with practical work for developers seeking to improve the sustainability of their schemes. 

Over the years and through our commitment to involve communities in all aspects of the design process, we have developed a number of design tools and methods, described in more detail within “Participatory Practice”. This has enabled many successful projects that might otherwise have faced local concern and opposition. 

Our visionary work and expertise was recognised through the Wolfson Economics Prize, which was awarded to David Rudlin and Nicholas Falk in 2014. Following this, many projects have developed the concent of sustainable garden-town extensions to urban centres. For example David Rudlin was invited by Sheffield City Council to look at how the ideas might apply to Sheffield. This study was part-funded by the council and partly by URBED’s prize money, and it has developed into an urban companion piece to our Wolfson Essay.

Selected Practice Awards:

Shortlisted for Best Practice in the 2016 Urban Design Group Awards; Urban Design Group Awards 2015 – Winner in the Best Practice category; Winner of the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014; Community Land Trust Network Awards 2012 – awarded for excellence in community engagement; AJ Retrofit Awards 2011 - Highly Commended in the Small Housing Category.