Public Practice is a not-for-profit social enterprise that places outstanding built environment experts within forward-thinking public authorities. Our mission is to improve the quality and equality of everyday places by building the public sector’s capacity for proactive planning.

Public Practice acts as a broker, selecting outstanding built environment experts Associates and matching them to Authorities in need of additional planning and placemaking expertise. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we offer Authorities a cost-effective model to build the public sector’s capacity over the longer-term. As a placement programme, we give Associates unique place-based roles to deliver change on the ground, alongside industry-leading training and development. And as a network of leading planning practitioners, we develop collective knowledge and research to be shared across the sector.

Public Practice offers access to a new pool of talent at a significantly lower cost than recruitment agencies, as well as opportunities for learning, networking, and sharing collective knowledge. Authorities interested in hosting a placement are supported by Public Practice to define the role and select an Associate from shortlisted candidates. Authorities employ Associates on one-year fixed-term contracts, or secondments from their existing employers, for salaries of £30,000 – £60,000. Authorities may be local or city government, combined authorities, development corporations, or publicly-led delivery vehicles.

Public Practice offers prestigious public sector placements, and the opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary cohort producing collective research, developing new models of practice and receiving training and support. Associates work in place-based roles within Authorities for 90% of the time and spend the remaining 10% carrying out collective research and development as a cohort, supported by Public Practice. We accept applications from candidates with a wide range of skills and experience across the built environment, including planning, placemaking, surveying, development, architecture, community engagement and regeneration. Associates will typically be expected to have a minimum of three years’ experience in practice.


London and the wider South East, Spring 2018
Jan Ackenhausen
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

Jan is an urbanist with a background in sociology and cultural production. Before joining Public Practice, Jan worked as a project manager with the Brussels public planning agency, Perspective, where he was in charge of integrating spaces of work (industry, port activities, and vacant office buildings) with the surrounding urban fabric. Jan has joined the OPDC’s Design Team as Principal Urban Designer. In this role, he leads the feasibility and concept development stage of the organisation’s placemaking projects including public realm, meanwhile use and early activation projects. He is also involved in establishing a clear approach to design and placemaking for the OPDC, providing design advice on architectural, urban design and landscape design aspects of planning applications and infrastructure projects, and providing advice and support in the preparation of the OPDC’s planning policies related to design and placemaking.

Adam Summerfield
Westminster City Council

Adam has experience in placemaking and strategic planning projects. Prior to joining Public Practice, Adam was an Associate at Fluid. In 2017, Adam was elected a NLA NextGen ambassador. In this role, he has contributed to current urban thinking through events such as a major design workshop generating ideas to unlock opportunities for public transport sites in outer London Town Centres. Adam has joined the Place Shaping Team at Westminster City Council as Place Shaping Officer. In this role, he helps formulate the place shaping strategy across key priority areas within the Council’s agenda. The role involves formulating an urban strategy for priority areas, helping formulate the programme for change delivery within these areas and coordinating projects that emerge as part of the programme. Stakeholder engagement and coordination across various various parts of the Council forms an integral part of the delivery process.

Akil Scafe-Smith
London Borough of Croydon

Akil is an urban designer and researcher. His research interests concern the socio-spatial dynamics of urban camps and refugee mobility. As an experienced designer Akil has built installations for the London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation, as well as having delivered a number of public design interventions and participatory design workshops. Akil has joined the Spatial Planning Service team in Croydon Council as Project Officer. In this role, he is involved in the design and delivery of meanwhile, public realm and cultural projects in the Metropolitan Centre that will contribute towards the delivery of regeneration in the Croydon Growth Zone. Akil engages with external stakeholders and project partners in the design and delivery of projects and generate enthusiasm for the wider Growth Zone programme and for Croydon in general. He also helps promote the Spatial Planning Service and Placemaking Team’s services and contributes to optimising income generation.

Ione Braddick
Epping Forest District Council

Prior to joining Public Practice Ione worked at Archio as Project Architect and Head of PR for a number of years, leading on the design and delivery of housing schemes. Ione has run engagement and design workshops for the Lewisham Community Land Trust, the London Festival of Architecture and within schools as an RIBA Architecture Ambassador. Ione has joined Epping Forest District Council in their Implementation Team as an Urban Designer. In this role, she helps ensure the design and quality standards set out in the emerging Local Plan are implemented. This includes liaising and advising on masterplans, including major growth areas around the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. Alongside this, Ione provides design advice for major schemes in the district and coordinates the newly set up Quality Review Panel.

Ei-Lyn Chia
Greater London Authority

Ei-Lyn is an urban designer with a background in architecture and research. Prior to joining Public Practice, she was a project coordinator at Publica where she worked on developing visions, strategies and briefs for regeneration projects. Ei-Lyn has joined the GLA Planning team as Urban Designer. In this role, she contributes to the design and management of Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks. This involves developing urban strategies and masterplans for the Thamesmead and Bexley Opportunity Areas; undertaking development capacity studies; planning for transport and social infrastructure to support growth; and providing design advice to developers on area masterplans.

Alpa Depani
London Borough of Sutton

Alpa is an architect and artist interested in a built environment that serves communities. Alpa has worked with a range of architectural practices and holds teaching positions at The Cass and the University of Brighton. Most recently Alpa conducted international research into community driven public space, establishing recommendations for London. Alpa has joined the Housing, Planning and Regeneration Team in Sutton Council as the Town Centre Design Associate. In this role, Alpa is influencing and shaping the future of Sutton’s Town Centre by supporting the vision and design of large-scale sites and exploring meanwhile uses. Alongside this work Alpa is working on a Public Realm Guide and developing Design Codes for residential development in small sites. Alpa also promotes good design across Sutton Council by reviewing current design services and building in-house design capacity.

Tom Fox
St Albans City & District Council and Dacorum Borough Council

Tom has a background in architecture, urban design, territorial planning, and environmental activism. Prior to joining Public Practice, Tom worked at Hawkins Brown Architects and Territorial Agency, has taught at Central St Martins and the Architectural Association and held a research fellowship at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Tom works across two Authorities in the Major Projects and Implementation Teams. He is overseeing major residential and employment developments including a new enviro-tech enterprise zone through developing masterplans with key stakeholders and forming guidance that will raise design quality across both Authorities.

Lucia Cerrada Morato
London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Lucia is an architecturally trained, urban designer and academic. She has worked in several countries before moving to London to work with the Stirling Prize-winning Maccreanor Lavington Architects. She is currently completing a PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning. Lucia has joined the Place Shaping Team in Tower Hamlets Council as High-Density Development Project Manager. In this role, she helps the Council’s Place Directorate develop best practice guidance for high-density development, exploring issues associated with high-density development including the delivery of family housing, especially affordable family housing, addressing the need for play space and amenity space, effectively managing waste and enabling and promoting social cohesion.

Jennifer Gutteridge
Greater London Authority Royal Docks

Jennifer is an urban planner with an architectural background. She joined Public Practice from Lambeth Council where she was a Principal Urban Design Officer. Jennifer has joined the Royal Docks team at the GLA as Design Advisor. In this role she works on the Enterprise Zone Delivery Plan — which sets out the key themes of Promotion, Connectivity, Place, Economy and Activation – providing particular support on the Place strand, the strategic objective of which is to “transform the quality of place through a ‘Great Estate’ approach, building on the Royal Docks’ unique landscape and heritage.” Among other things, this involves rethinking the use of the water and how the public realm fits together.

Gwenaël Jerrett
London Legacy Development Coporation

Gwenaël is an architect with experience working in the UK and France across the residential, sports and education sectors, and a particular interest in housing design and policy. She was previously at Metropolitan Workshop where she led successful mixed-use master planning bids and competitions. Before this she was a partner at Cullinan Studio where she was part of the Housing Sector Group and designed and delivered large housing schemes. Gwenaël has joined the LLDC as Senior Designer within the Development Directorate. In this role, she ensures that high quality design is consistently provided across the organisation. Gwenaël is providing design advice on major planning applications as well as client-side on LLDC developments with a focus on residential schemes, linking to the mayor’s new housing targets and the GLA’s Good Growth Agenda, and looking at new models of affordable homes.

Kathy MacEwen
London Borough of Hounslow

Kathy is a town planner with 25 years’ experience. She worked as a planner in Camden and Hackney and started Design Awards in those boroughs, embedding design quality within their planning services. She was Head of Programmes at Design Council Cabe and is now a CABE Built Environment Expert. Kathy has joined the Housing, Planning & Regulatory Services team in Hounslow Council as Principal Urban Design Officer. In this role, she is pushing best design practice in all new developments. Key deliverables include developing a framework for design review; establishing a best practice portfolio of schemes for the borough; pushing new developers to adhere to the highest design standards; and developing a design award programme.

Rachel Hearn
London Borough of Havering

Rachel is an architect with experience ranging from designing large residential neighbourhoods to smaller urban infill housing to public realm led masterplans and education facilities. Prior to joining Public Practice, she worked at a number of award winning practices, most recently Stanton Williams, initiated and led a co-housing project and taught at several universities. Rachel has joined the Neighbourhoods Directorate in Havering Council as Principal Urban Design officer. In this role, she provides design advice on the Borough’s estate regeneration programme, input into a masterplan for Romford, advise on pre-applications for strategic sites, lead on setting up a design review panel and work to embed design into the development management process.

Hannah Lambert
London Borough of Newham

Hannah is an architect with experience working with strategic regeneration. She was previously with the Regional Development Agency in Yorkshire where she was responsible for the delivery of urban development framework strategies and acted as design advisor on new public realm, masterplanning and civic buildings across the region. Hannah has joined the Regeneration and Planning Team in Newham Council as Senior Regeneration Manager. She is working as part of a small team leading the Canning Town and Custom House estate regeneration Programme. This is the first time that Newham have developed its own planning application of this scale. The council hope that Hannah’s involvement will define a final vision for the area, set the standard for design quality of council led schemes as well as delivery by future development partners and speed up the regeneration process through giving certainty to developers.

Hana Loftus
South Cambridgeshire District Council

Hana is co-director of HAT Projects, an award-winning architecture and enabling practice with whom she has delivered civic, cultural and community projects at large and small scales. Hana is an experienced facilitator of co-design processes and other methods of community involvement in design and regeneration. Hana has joined the Shared Planning Service in South Cambs District Council as a part-time Planning and Special Projects Officer. In this role, she is developing and testing new models of planning and design guidance within rural parish communities which are set to experience high levels of growth and development. She is working with parish communities to understand their priorities for how new development is integrated, existing examples of good and bad practice, and developing new adopted design guidance for a number of villages with current applications and pre-applications in the pipeline. She is evaluating the results to establish a process map for delivering effective policy guidance for the district more widely.

Sheeba Shetty
Transport for London

Sheeba is an urban designer most recently having worked with the State Urban Development Department as an Urban Planner-Designer at the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), in Bangalore, India. Here, she built and led the design team and worked on projects pertaining to place-making, transit-oriented developments and street design. Sheeba has joined the Urban Design Team at TfL as an Assistant Urban Designer. In this role, she is providing design input and advice on a range of projects and schemes from area planning documents to streetscape designs. She inputs into urban integration and local connectivity strategies, and supports the development of project design principles for a range of projects. Sheeba also is involved in establishing and implementing design assurance systems for TfL, which include the establishment of a new protocol on the use of design reviews. She works across teams, providing design input to tender briefs for various TfL led projects.

Sophie Palmer
London Borough of Bexley

Sophie is an architect with experience ranging from designing mixed-use city sites, mapping urban strategies, to master-planning for thousands of homes. Before joining Public Practice she has worked in urban research and in several award winning architecture practices, most recently AHMM; working on mixed-use and residential schemes across London. Sophie has joined the Growth & Regeneration team in Bexley Council as their Design and Delivery Coordinator. In this role she leads on the OAPF for Erith and Slade Green town centres, forming master-plans and site-specific strategies, as well as securing high quality design on council led regeneration sites, identifying acquisition opportunities in growth areas, and procuring and directing consultants.

Tom Sykes
Transport for London

Tom is an architect interested in the ways that the built environment affects socio-cultural behaviour. Prior to joining Public Practice, Tom was an associate at Burd Haward Architects on a variety of schemes, from infill housing for the London Borough of Camden’s Community Infrastructure Programme, to addressing the nature of landscape for the National Trust, to larger community and housing led schemes on inner city sites. Tom has joined TfL’s Property Development Team as Projects Design Manager. In this role, he ensures that the principles of ‘Good Growth by Design’ are followed throughout all projects across London, from establishing the development concept through scheme development and critical decision making, but also to challenge on design excellence. Tom is responsible for the development and adoption of Property Development’s Design Review Protocol, working closely with the MDAs to advise and guide design decisions within the Property Development department.

Finn Williams
Co-Founder & CEO

Finn Williams is Co-founder and CEO of Public Practice. He previously worked for OMA, General Public Agency, Croydon Council, and the GLA. Finn sits on the Raynsford Review Task Force, Labour Planning Commission, PAS Board, RIBA Planning Group, and the ‘Working in the Public Interest’ Advisory Group. He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Innovation & Public Purpose, a tutor at the RCA, and was co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Frederik Weissenborn
Research & Communications Manager

Frederik Weissenborn is Public Practice’s Research and Communications Manager. He previously worked as a Placemaking Strategist for placemaking company, Produce UK, and as Head of Marketing for Sanitov Studio, a design start-up. Frederik holds a PhD in Architecture and an MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies, both from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL).

Josh Falconer-Roberts
Programme Designer

Josh Falconer-Roberts is Public Practice’s Programme Designer. He is a social innovator and social entrepreneur. He founded social enterprise, The Middle Ground, to reinvigorate unloved community halls in London and bring a wider range and opportunities to disadvantaged communities. Josh has participated in both the Year Here and School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellowships and is keen to continue to promote innovation as a route to social change

Nikki Linsell
Director of Operations

Nikki Linsell is Public Practice’s Director of Operations. Nikki has previously set-up and ran architectural charities working in the development sector delivering projects in Pakistan, Romania, Bangladesh and Tanzania. Nikki has been a lecturer and studio leader in Architecture at the University of Brighton and Nottingham, and most recently, a strategy consultant for a social impact tech start-up. Nikki is currently writing up an EPSRC funded doctorate on humanitarian design and effective altruism.

Pooja Agrawal

Pooja Agrawal is Co-founder of Public Practice, and works in the GLA Regeneration Team, overseeing strategy, policy and projects in North West London. She previously worked at Publica, We Made That and Studioilse. Pooja is a trustee of the Museum of Architecture, member of Design South East Review Panel, a mentor at the Stephen Lawrence Trust, and a regular guest tutor at architecture universities.

Danna Walker

Danna Walker is the founder and director of Built By Us - a social enterprise, a director for Public Practice, and an elected board member of the Architects Registration Board. Her career spans over 25 years in the construction and built environment sector and has encompassed a variety of roles from electrician to Architect and strategic projects lead at the Construction Industry Council. She is a diversity and mentoring champion who chaired the RIBA’s Architects for Change Advisory Group for 6 years and founded the innovative FLUID Diversity Mentoring Programme, designed to provide support for practitioners seeking career progression. A finalist in the Precious Awards 2015, which celebrates the achievements of women of colour, Danna champions a more inclusive built environment and construction industry.

Jules Pipe

Jules Pipe is the Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills. He is working on key priorities for the Mayor, including: major regeneration projects across the capital, providing young people and adults with the skills they need for their careers, ensuring London’s infrastructure needs are delivered to benefit all Londoners, and leading on revising the London Plan. Jules has unrivalled knowledge of London government, becoming the first directly elected mayor of Hackney in 2002 and serving as Chair of London Councils from June 2010 to July 2016.

Lucy Musgrave

Lucy Musgrave is the founding director of Publica, a London-based practice that specialises in strategies and design for public space, urban design and masterplanning. Over a 25-year career, Lucy has played a key advisory role in policy recommendations, strategic planning and the advocacy of design quality. She is currently a Mayor’s Design Advocate and sits on the Mayor’s Night Time Commission and the Sounding Board for the Mayor’s Public London Charter. Lucy is a member of the Barbican Centre 
Board and the National Infrastructure Commission's Shadow Design Group and Expert Advisory Group. Lucy is regularly invited to sit on the jury for International Design Competitions, including for the new Centre for Music, the Museum of London West Smithfield and the Illuminated River. Lucy is a co-author Design and Landscape for People: New Approaches to Renewal. She was previously Director of the Architecture Foundation.

Sarah Cary

Sarah Cary is the Executive Director for Regeneration and Environment at Enfield Council. Sarah leads services that are central to Enfield residents’ quality of life, such as waste collection, recycling, street cleaning, building control and planning. She is also responsible for Enfield’s longer-term development plans: the team is well underway with the regeneration of Ponders End, and has ambitious plans for Meridian Water, which aims to bring 10,000 new homes and thousands of jobs to the borough. Sarah has a PhD in town planning and was previously at British Land, where she worked in the development team on major projects such as Regents Place, The Leadenhall Building (“Cheesegrater”), Canada Water, and Glasgow Fort before becoming Head of Sustainable Places with responsibility for environmental and social matters across the company.

Vincent Lacovara

Vincent Lacovara is an architect, urban designer and planner. He has worked in the planning department at Croydon Council since 2003 and leads on masterplans, public realm projects, the design and heritage aspects of planning and Croydon Place Review Panel. He co-founded AOC architects where he was a director until 2014. He is one of the Mayor of London’s Design Advocates and member of several design review panels. He has taught widely, and was Louis I. Khan Visiting Professor at Yale School of Architecture. He was winner of the 2017 Alan Cherry Award for Placemaking.





Public Practice offers a platform to invest strategically in improving the speed, certainty and quality of public planning. Supporters’ grant funding covers the running costs of Public Practice at a programme level, preventing any conflicts of interest. In return, Supporters are given the opportunity to collaborate on collective research, participate in events, and receive public acknowledgement of their support. Supporters may be public, private or third sector organisations who understand that good expertise in Local Authorities is essential to delivering good places.


The deadline for applications for the April 2019 programme has now closed. Please sign up to our newsletter for news of future application rounds.

The deadline for applications for the April 2019 programme has now closed. Please sign up to our newsletter for news of future application rounds.