URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) Ltd was formed in 2006, and grew out of the original URBED (Urban and Economic Development) Ltd from 1976. It was one of the last surviving members of a group of consultancies that pioneered the process of urban regeneration in the 1970s and 80s. Since that time URBED undertook ground-breaking work on the reuse of industrial heritage, managed workspace, town centres, sustainable urbanism, domestic retrofit, urban design and coding. 

The practice had many years’ experience of working with public and private sector clients on masterplanning projects across the country. We work at a range of scales, from the site-specific level, up to spatial strategies for entire regions. Many of these have resulted in built schemes that are now vibrant and successful places. Our vision and expertise were recognised in the Wolfson Economics Prize, which was awarded to David Rudlin and Nicholas Falk in 2014 for their work on a 21st Century Garden City.  

Since being founded over 40 years ago, we worked to achieve environmental and social sustainability in urban areas from regional and city, to neighbourhood and building scales. We took a holistic approach which considers energy and resource use, climate, and transport, but also design quality and economics; for example, in our work on the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood Network (SUNN) and Footprint

We believed that meaningful community engagement enriched our designs and developed tools and methods to facilitate this. This dialogue enabled the completion of projects that initially faced local opposition. It has also encouraged local people and building users to participate in the design of their place

We developed expertise in low-carbon architectural design, particularly in the retrofit of existing buildings. We saw this as integral to the environmental sustainability and the long-term success of urban areas, improving health and well-being as well as climate and wider environmental outcomes.  

URBED was organised as a limited company with cooperative rules, managed by its employee members. We were multidisciplinary - made up of urban designers, planners, architects, landscape architects, sustainability experts and geographers. Our collaborative values were reflected in the work we undertook with clients, fellow consultants, and communities. 

This website is retained and managed as an archive of the work undertaken by URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) Ltd by the URBED Trust a separate not for profit company run by URBED’s 1976 original founding director Dr Nicholas Falk.