We believe that working in local government is the place to be if you want to use your built environment skills to influence every aspect of our everyday environment and to work for society as a whole, not just those who can afford it.
We believe that working in local government is the place to be if you want to use your built environment skills to influence every aspect of our everyday environment and to work for society as a whole, not just those who can afford it.
Public Practice is recruiting experienced built environment practitioners who are interested in working for the public good.
Selected Associates are given 12 or 18-month placements on the frontline of public planning, with a salary of £30,000 – £70,000 depending on the Authority and role. 90% of your time is spent working for the host Authority, with the remaining 10% dedicated to attending the Public Practice R&D Programme. This programme is designed to help support Associates transition into their new roles within local government as well as co-produce resources to help share and develop good practice within the industry.
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.
You may be looking for a new career challenge, an alternative route into the public sector, a temporary secondment to experience working in the built environment from a different perspective or to give something back towards the end of your career.
Our latest call for candidates to apply to become an Associate starting 1 April 2020 will open in October.
The first stage of the application process is submitting an online form.
Those successful at the online stage will then be asked to stage two of the application process, a day-long placement workshop. Around half of these short-listed applicants who attend a placement workshop will then be put forward for a placement with a host Authority
Our current cohort, based in London and the wider South East consist of 37 Associates working across a wide range of Authorities and departments. Once Associates have completed their placement they become Public Practice Alumni.
Part of the first cohort of Public Practice, Alpa worked across teams at LB Sutton on town centre regeneration, produced new Supplementary Planning Guidance on Public Realm and Urban Design, helped establish the borough’s first design review panel, and researched the development of small sites. Prior to joining Public Practice Alpa worked in a range of architectural practices, and has held teaching positions at London Metropolitan University, Brighton University and Central Saint Martins.
Alpa has taken on the role of Placemaking Lead working with Waltham Forest’s Design and Conservation, Planning and Regeneration teams to help deliver the Borough’s growth objectives and cultural ambitions. Her role involves leading and having key responsibility for the formulation, promotion, implementation and review of urban design projects and other initiatives at a strategic level; and providing specialist professional advice and guidance on all matters relating to urban design and related regeneration activity.
LB Waltham Forest
Amanda is an Urban Designer with a wide-ranging professional and academic background encompassing urban design, sociology, anthropology and sustainability. Prior to joining Public Practice, she worked in the resilient infrastructure team at the London office of the Dutch engineering practice Witteveen+Bos, undertaking projects at the intersection of urban design, transport, public health and social change. Alongside her work at Witteveen+Bos, Amanda is also part of Peckham Coal Line; a community-led project with the overarching aim of creating a linear park connecting two high streets in South London.
Amanda joins Sevenoaks’ Strategic Planning Policy Team as an Urban Designer, with the aim of developing a design culture and language for Sevenoaks and embedding this into the planning process. Her role will involve providing specialist design advice on major schemes; creating a ‘best practice portfolio’ of projects built within the district; developing design training for Officers, Members and Parish Councils; and working with the Economic Development Team and Parish Councils to deliver targeted public realm improvements.
Sevenoaks District Council
Amanda Rashid is a project architect with several years experience in the education sector, delivering complex design and build projects giving her a range of strategic, technical and coordination skills as well as strong design abilities. Prior to joining Public Practice, Amanda recently completed a Hindu Primary School in Croydon for Cottrell & Vermeulen Architects. Amanda is a founding member of society the SALADS who curate tours of buildings for a growing community of female architects. She has also run workshops in primary schools for the charity Open City and is a RIBA professional mentor for students at South Bank University.
Amanda joined Hounslow as Principal Urban Design Officer supporting to ensure that its ambitious development agenda is delivered to the highest standards, preserving communities and enhancing infrastructure. Her role involves using new digital tools to masterplan the Borough’s two Opportunity Areas; engaging with wider projects to digitise the planning system; coordinating the production of planning briefs for smaller sites, and assisting in managing the ‘Design Hounslow’ Programme including the new Hounslow Design Review Panel.
Amy is an architect, community organiser, and tutor focusing on the social and political complexities of places and people. Most recently Amy was involved in the regeneration of Custom House of the Docklands through a community-council led partnership with PEACH and LB Newham. Prior to joining Public Practice, Amy was with muf architecture/art where she was involved in public realm design, masterplanning, authoring guidance, brief writing, and community engagement. She was involved in developing LB Hackney’s estate regeneration program through the pilot project Kings Crescent as a public realm designer, brief writer, and researcher through meaningful community engagement from sketch to completion. Alongside practice Amy teachers architecture at Newcastle University with a focus on the civic dimension of architecture by reconsidering the dynamic role of the architect, as well as hands-on making to challenge hierarchies in the profession.
Amy has joined Thurrock’s new Design and Place-Making Team as a Senior Design Officer. Her role involves contributing to the development of Local Plan policy, masterplans, design strategies and development briefs; providing expert design advice for major projects and planning applications; and contributing to a resource library and material for training, including best practice and emerging intelligence from the industry.
at Thurrock Council
Prior to joining Public Practice, Andrew was a co-director of Building BloQs, London’s largest open access workshop. He recently contributed to the regeneration strategy of Meridian Water in Enfield and coordinated a funding bid for the social enterprise, BloQs. During his studies, he began working for BloQs and was integral in the application for £2.7m as part of the GLA’s London Regeneration Fund (LRF). The project will facilitate the expansion and diversification of BloQs at Meridian Works - a launch project for the Meridian Water regeneration scheme in Enfield.
Andrew has now joined Enfield as Town Centre Development Manager to implement a Town Centre Action Plan to guide and support the diversification and resilience of the key Town Centres, drawing on best practice as well as identifying opportunities to innovate.
Prior to joining Public Practice, Anna worked for Sustrans as an embedded Senior Project Officer in the City of Edinburgh Council. Her role included leading on sustainable transport, strategic planning, infrastructure delivery, community engagement and urban regeneration projects. She successful secured £6million in match funding for ambitious public realm improvements, and helped shape Edinburgh’s CityPlan 2030 to encourage positive future travel choices. Anna has previously provided consultancy support for the British Army in Cyprus, for Aga Khan Foundation and UN-Habitat projects in Cairo, and for GIZ in Berlin.
Anna has joined Epping Forest as an Urban Design Officer, providing specialist technical advice on masterplans and planning applications; delivering innovative solutions to masterplanning; preparing design codes that support the creation of high-quality Garden Town communities; and building capacity within the team to deliver the Local Plan’s increased emphasis on design.
Epping Forest District Council
Prior to joining Public Practice, Anna-Lisa Pollock was a senior architect at Penoyre & Prasad. She has recently been working with residents on the Lancaster West Estate in Kensington and Chelsea, as part of an estate-wide refurbishment following the terrible tragedy of Grenfell Tower. She has experience in designing for education and elderly living, recently completing the design & delivery of an exemplary high-rise school in the heart of the Olympic Park. Anna-Lisa is currently co-leading a Design Think Tank at the London School of Architecture.
Anna-Lisa has joined Enfield, as Senior Architect and is providing architectural advice and solutions across Enfield’s Property and Housing functions. Her role involves undertaking site analysis, capacity and feasibility studies; developing design briefs; and managing multi-disciplinary design teams to shape the design and quality of the Council’s house building programme and other capital build projects.
Ashleigh is an Architect, with a background in strategic and community-led regeneration. Prior to joining Public Practice, he worked at the GLA with Borough’s in North West London to develop regeneration initiatives that align with the London Plan. In this role, he also supported recipients of the Good Growth Fund and CrowdFund London to deliver both capital and revenue funded projects in alignment with the Mayor’s Good Growth by Design programme. He has also worked for Erect Architecture, delivering public realm, architectural and landscape projects with local authorities, national charities, schools, housing associations, and community groups.
Ashleigh has joined Barnet as a Town Centres Investment Manager and works closely with Council officers, local businesses, community groups, developers and other levels of government to develop and deliver strategies combining economic, social and physical interventions across Barnet’s town centres.
Belinda is a chartered town planner, who has worked in private practice for the past six years, advising on redevelopment potential, preparing planning appeals and managing both large and small planning applications. She has worked alongside local authorities to achieve planning consents for a range of clients and has negotiated with both clients and planning authorities to improve schemes to create better places for those who will use them.
Belinda has joined Sutton as Housing and Planning Advisor and is helping to shape Sutton’s new estate regeneration programme around Sutton Town Centre and produce a draft Affordable Housing SPD. Her role works across the Strategic Planning and Housing Regeneration Teams to align engagement with existing residents with the emerging Northern Gateway Area Action Plan and produce a viable delivery strategy for the regeneration of up to five estates.
Prior to joining Public Practice, Ben worked as a Chartered Landscape Architect and associate at Kinnear Landscape Architects. Ben has experience across different scales and types of project from landscape strategy, to town centre regeneration and parks. Most recently he took the Project Landscape Architects role on Walthamstow Wetlands, a landscape led and multi award-winning project which at 200 Hectares, is a green space of Lon- don wide significance. Ben is interested in the many facets of landscape and urban space, how they can connect people, draw upon innate characters of a place and address the urgent urban environmental issues of our time.
Ben has joined Epping Forest as Landscape Officer, that sits within a new joint implementation team working on Harlow and Gilston Garden Town sites across Epping Forest, Harlow and East Herts Districts, and other strategic sites in Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan submission.
Epping Forest District Council
Blazej is an urban designer who has practised in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia and the UK; Before joining Public Practice, Blazej has been at Maccreanor Lavington, leading the practice’s work on the masterplans for Old Oak Common (OPDC), Meridian Water (Enfield) and Aylesbury Estate Phase 2 (Southwark). He has also had key roles on projects such as Bridge Close (Havering), Brent Cross South (Barnet), Canada Water (Southwark) and Blackfriars Circus (Southwark).
Blazej joined St Albans’ Planning and Building Control Department as Principal Urban Designer. Within this role, he provides specialist urban design expertise and capacity on the development briefing, masterplanning and detailed design guidance for a series of major urban extensions and assisting in upskilling established staff on design analysis, critique, policy and management.
St Albans City & District Council
Carmel is an urban designer and researcher with expertise in community-led design. She has worked on several large-scale masterplan projects, as well as a mix of research and small-scale build projects across London, Glasgow and Lisbon, championing engagement with local communities. Most recently at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Carmel led Our Stockwell, a co-design research project exploring the link between the urban built environment and childhood obesity. Alongside this, Carmel has worked extensively on a range of urban design projects at Fletcher Priest Architects including a new town at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire which was nominated for Architect’s Journal Masterplan of the Year 2018.
Carmel has joined GLA’s recently formed Urban Design Team, as an Urban Designer. She contributes to the initiation, design, management and completion of Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks for the capital’s most significant growth locations, focusing on creating a new best practice approach to consultation and engagement for these locations.
Ciara Hanson is a Chartered Landscape Architect committed to delivering resilient public realm to inform healthier communities. Central to her approach is utilising green infrastructure to resolve Planning challenges, recently demonstrated in her transformative approach to Waterloo City Hub whilst at TfL. She has led design teams through implementa- tion of award-winning schemes including Bracknell Regeneration and Elephant Park public realm MP2, supported by her technical expertise in SuDS and inclusive design.
Ciara’s role within the newly formed Placemaking team extends across the Council, expanding its in-house ambition to create healthier neighbourhoods by embracing sustainable growth. She is informing emerging policy and shaping health impact assessments, alongside carrying out a pre-app advisory role focused on sensitive sites and Regeneration Areas, including the Rainham & Beam Park development.
Clarissa is a project architect with experience in leading residential projects for a variety of local authority clients, ranging from small urban infill housing in Newham and Greenwich to larger suburban neighbourhoods with improved public realm in Thurrock and Sutton. Clarissa is an advocate for diversity within the construction industry and promotes the empowerment of people from diverse backgrounds within the profession. She is a mentor for the FLUID diversity programme and worked with secondary schools to inform students of roles within the construction industry.
Clarissa has taken the role of Housing Design and Development Officer and is Redbridge’s Urban Design, Development Management and Housing teams to take a design-led approach to deliver a new generation of high-quality council housing across a variety of sites including infill developments, vacant garage sites and more significant renewal schemes.
Dan is a researcher and certified project manager with experience in urban design, community outreach and artistic programming. Prior to joining Public Practice, he worked on multiple collaborative planning processes to shape small to large scale masterplans and design briefs, created research material and facilitated design workshops for nonprofit and for-profit clients. He has a background in creative writing and producing independent theatre.
Dan has joined Ashford Borough Council as Masterplanning and Delivery Coordinator leading a high profile initiative to bring together multiple stakeholder groups to determine long-term community stewardship of local assets in a major growth area south of Ashford. His role involves developing the Council’s long-term quality placemaking ambitions and to make recommendations for a joined-up approach based on best practices identified in the emerging community management trust for Chilmington Green.
Ashford Borough Council
Helen is an Architect and Passivhaus Certified Designer with experience across residential, workplace, education and urban design projects – ranging from small-scale domestic refurbishments to large urban renewal developments. During her six years as a partner at Cullinan Studio, she gained first-hand experience of cross-disciplinary collaboration and on-site delivery.
Helen has taken on the role of Development and Design Manager at Newham and plays a key role within Newham’s new housing delivery function, supporting the delivery of well-designed homes for the biggest Council house building programme since the 1970s. Her role involves developing site briefs; supporting the appointment and management of design teams; helping to develop and manage the production of the Council’s employer’s requirements, specifications and housing design standards; commenting on concept to final design proposals as they progress.
Huw Trevorrow has a background in architecture and urban design. Before joining Public Practice, Huw was a Design Advisor for Design South East, where he supported local planning authorities and developers in areas including Brighton, Kent and Kingston upon Thames. Previous to this role he worked for Publica, developing public realm strategies for areas including Westminster and The City of London. He has also worked in architectural practice in London and Brazil.
Huw takes on the role of Urban Design Officer, joining Havering's newly formed Placemaking team. His role involves working across the department, providing design advice on strategic planning applications, developing planning guidance, and inputting into council-led development projects. He is also providing training for planning officers and councillors, helping to encourage design-led approaches in the planning process.
Joanne has a background in architecture, urban design and architectural history and theory. Prior to joining Public Practice Joanne worked at AR Urbanism, working with community groups to develop design codes to support their neighbourhood plans. She previously worked at Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Peter Barber Architects where she contributed to the design and delivery of public realm and social housing projects, the production of a housing design guide for a national housing association and a strategic vision for Ebbsfleet Garden City Development Corporation.
Joanne has joined Greater Cambridge Planning Service as Principal Urban Design Officer. Her role sits within the joint planning service’s multi-disciplinary Built and Natural Environment Team, and involves working on the masterplan for Northstowe New Town; supporting the development of Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and contributing to the design code for an urban extension to the east of Cambridge.
Greater Cambridge Planning Service
John is an architect interested in housing design within the context of the campaign for affordable homes. His research focuses on commuter-belt communities on the periphery of London and he is currently developing a self-directed project exploring how strategic infill development can help regenerate these areas. John is involved in a number of council-led housing developments, looking into the pressures in today’s procurement and delivery processes and the positive impact that considered development can have on communities.
John takes on the role of Quality and Design Advisor within Transport for London’s Property Development team, ensuring that the principles of Good Growth by Design are followed-up on a range of housing and mixed-use schemes, from development concept through scheme development. His role also involves coordinating design reviews; helping to deliver an in-house training programme of workshops, charrettes and building visits; drafting design policy documents and updating the team’s Design Review Protocol.
Jonathan trained in social science, urban design and urban policy at the LSE. As an urban researcher, project manager and consultant, he has worked with a range of built environment organizations in the UK and abroad, including We Made That, Gensler, Arup Foresight Research + Innovation, the Future Cities Catapult, and Bioregional. He is interested in exploring interdisciplinary views of urban development, considering medium to long-term impacts on economic vitality, social inclusion, health and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability.
Jonathan has joined Barnet as a Town Centres Investment Manager and works closely with Council officers, local businesses, community groups, developers and other levels of government to develop and deliver strategies combining economic, social and physical interventions across Barnet’s town centres.
Joshua is a process-driven designer working across Europe and within various creative sectors. Previously, Joshua has worked on varying scales and typologies of architectural projects, and most notably led the design and renovation of a five-acre site on the Suffolk coastline, to create a contemporary bed and breakfast and viable business. Since its completion, the project has received multiple national awards and was shortlisted for 2018’s Stephen Lawrence Prize. Joshua has been a visiting critic at multiple universities and has taught at the Royal College of Art, as part of the Information Experience Design MA.
Joshua joins Redbridge’s Urban Design, Development Management and Planning Policy teams. In his role as Urban Design and Heritage Growth Officer, he takes a design-led approach to regeneration and placemaking, whilst ensuring that the Borough’s heritage and important community assets are enhanced.
Kavita is an Associate RICS Project Manager passionate about creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable built environment. Kavita has a background in economic development, regeneration and housing, having worked in Mace's housing and regeneration consultancy team and with various built environment social enterprises in the UK and India. Prior to Public Practice, she was a Project Manager at Southwark Council working on the Aylesbury Regeneration and supporting a social enterprise, Livesey Exchange, to design, build and operate a temporary community space on the Old Kent Road.
Kavita has joined OPDC as Early Activation Project Manager and is responsible for the delivery of the first phase of the Early Activation programme; piloting local activities and initiatives, and delivering a range of meanwhile use and public realm projects; creating immediate benefits for local communities and establishing a strong identity for Old Oak and Park Royal.
Old Oak & Park Royal DC
Laetitia is a sustainability advisor with experience in environmental and fundraising consultancy, research and analytics, as well as in development and project management. Prior to joining Public Practice, Laetitia was Director of Research at RHI LLC, assisting non-profit organisations in solving complex issues whilst ensuring they maximise their societal impacts. Prior to this, she was a Senior Associate at Kingston Smith where she oversaw the fundraising and management strategies of cultural and environmental organisations.
Laetitia has taken on the role of Environmental Advisor helping Ashford Borough Council embed a cohesive and cross-sectoral environmental strategy across its future corporate plan and associated policies. Her role involves working with staff across the Council, members and partners, as well as with the community, in order to develop a bespoke and pragmatic Ashford agenda that resonates with people's concerns, maximises the impact from limited resources, and engenders community-led environmental actions.
Ashford Borough Council
Laura is an urban designer with over 10 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors, with a variety of different research and design roles. Prior to her joining Public Practice, she was an Associate Urban Designer in a private practice in London. With her range of experience, she has a holistic view of the design process and the practical skills to help deliver high-quality places.
Laura joined RBKC’s Conservation & Design Team as Senior Urban Designer, to work both internally and externally to build design capacity in the Borough. As well as giving design advice on major schemes, her role involves building the capacity and confidence of colleagues to critique projects from a design perspective and negotiate improvements; improving the operation of RBKC’s Architectural Appraisal Panel; and facilitating discussions with communities about good design to enable them to play a positive role at pre-application stage.
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Laurence joined Public Practice after working at Allies and Morrison Architects for several years, specialising in planning policy, masterplans, conservation and consultation-led projects. Last year his work with Guildford Borough Council was shortlisted for a Royal Town Planning Institute National Award. He has also held teaching positions and has been a visiting critic at Nottingham, London Met and Cambridge Universities.
Laurence joined Havering as an Urban Design Officer, within their Joint Ventures and Delivery Company, to provide design quality input to the Council’s Regeneration Programme Delivery service, including schemes through Joint Ventures and the Council’s own housing delivery company Mercury Land Holdings. His role involves embedding placemaking into Regeneration schemes throughout the whole project delivery process; ensuring quality design is delivered through procurement, masterplanning, and public realm improvements.
Martha is a structural engineer and project manager who has varied experience working on the extension of Tate Modern, the construction of six hundred homes in Haringey, and timber self-build projects in rural Romania. She has worked in the UK and Norway, where she learnt Norwegian and experienced first-hand the benefits of ambitious public sector planning. Recently she has supported the charity Build Up, working with young people to design and build structures to benefit their own communities.
Martha has joined Enfield as Project Manager to take a more integrated approach to the design and delivery of a £40m capital programme to refurbish and maintain its council homes. Martha’s role brings in architectural and project management expertise to shape fire safety improvements and substantial capital works across a large council housing portfolio, including 53 tower blocks – the largest number of any London borough.
Matthew is a member of public works, a not-for-profit studio set up to explore the intersection between art, architecture, performance and activism. Prior to joining Public Practice, he worked for several housing and landscape architecture practices in London, most recently East Architecture, Landscape, Urban Design. He has also worked with artists Alex Schweder and Nils Norman on art installations, play structures and performances. Matthew’s current research explores alternative methods of communicating planning and policy.
Matthew has joined Croydon as a Project Officer within their Placemaking team, working on projects to activate key regeneration areas, test future plans and enable sustainable growth through holistic placemaking. His role involves managing and expanding the Croydon Place Review Panel; providing design advice for a variety of major and strategic applications; supporting the delivery of the Borough’s Suburban Densification Design Guide, and developing new visual communication methods for emerging plans and policies.
Prior to joining Public Practice, Michael worked with London Community Land Trust to successfully bid for public land to build truly affordable community-led housing through the Greater London Authority’s Small Sites x Small Builders initiative. Most recently he was a consultee for the RIBA Ethics and Sustainability Commission and is currently delivering research into the affordability of architectural education at Central Saint Martins.
Michael has joined Enfield’s Strategic Planning and Design Team as a Planning Officer in Urban Design. He leads on managing the Council’s recently established Place and Design Quality Review Panel. His involves promoting the use of the Panel within Enfield and beyond, and exploring opportunities to expand its influence to improve emerging planning policy and other Council strategies and projects that have an impact on the quality and design of the built environment.
Before joining Public Practice, Oliver was a Senior Architect at Tigg Coll Architects, specialising in the residential and heritage sectors. His experience ranges from bespoke houses to award-winning student accommodation projects, through to masterplanning new communities and public spaces across London. He has a keen interest in the history and theory of architecture and planning and has previously researched alternative methods of housing development in order to provide cheaper, larger and better-designed accommodation.
Oliver is a Senior Urban Designer at Haringey Council, working across their and Planning teams on a broad scope of strategic, delivery-focused, and research-based projects. His role involves preparing design briefs for major housing regeneration master- plans; developing place-based strategies for Haringey’s local centres; assisting with the coordination and delivery of public realm projects; providing evidence to inform design related policy; and design-based research into reimagining redundant Council buildings.
Olivia is an urban designer, planner and economist. Prior to joining Public Practice, she worked at Atkins on projects in the UK and abroad spanning strategic planning and policy, masterplanning, economic development and impact assessment. Olivia has pursued her interest in promoting social inclusion through research at the University of Cambridge and the Bartlett, including her recent Masters thesis which proposed design principles and processes to enhance the public's ability to shape public spaces whilst providing counter-terror security.
Olivia has taken on the role of Urban Design Officer providing specialist urban design and architectural guidance at a senior level to support the delivery of Hemel Garden Communities – a major growth project spanning Dacorum Borough Council and St Albans District Council.
Dacorum Borough Council
Ramiro Levy is Brazilian-trained architect, urban designer and planner. Prior to joining Public Practice, he held different roles coordinating multi-disciplinary teams on projects in the public, private and third sectors. From 2009 to 2013 he worked on projects related to the network of public spaces and parks design in São Paulo, his home town. Since 2013 he acted as a consultant on public policies focused on city-wide municipal urban development, sanitation and mobility plans through Risco arquitetura urbana, having led social-spatial diagnosis and planning initiatives focused on inclusion, equity and right to the city in 17 different Brazilian municipalities. In 2014, Ramiro also co-founded Cidade Ativa, a not-for-profit organization recognized for its leading role on walkability and active design in Brazil.
Ramiro has joined Westminster City Council as a Place Shaping Officer. He is contributing to develop the Council’s sustainable, place-shaping strategies across key priority areas such as Paddington, Victoria and Harrow Road.
Westminster City Council
Sharon Giffen has been an Associate Partner at Foster + Partners for 12 years, leading large-scale public projects with multi-disciplinary teams. Sharon studied at Cambridge University where she undertook on-the-ground research on the role of ‘self- build’ as a sustainable low-income housing solution. This culminated in the publication of her written thesis and presentation at the UNCHS Habitat regional workshop.
Sharon has taken on the role of Design and Quality Manager at TfL. Her role is instrumental in building the Management team within the department and developing architectural and design briefs, attending design team meetings, and securing quality and design priorities for individual projects across Private Rental Sector led projects, Commercial Development planning team and their Joint Venture partner. These include mixed-use, PRS led projects of between 300 and 2,000 homes.
Prior to joining Public Practice, Sophie was at Jestico + Whiles Architects, working on education, community-use and residential projects. She developed the practice’s social value manifesto and founded the +Forum: an inclusive discussion platform, promoting collaborative and strategic thinking for the future of the practice. Sophie is also a RIBA Ambassador, Open City Design Mentor and visiting lecturer at the V&A.
Sophie has joined GLA and Newham’s joint delivery team for the Royal Docks as a Planning and Design Advisor. Her role involves advising on best practice in planning and design, particularly on public realm and workspace projects and optimising the non-residential components of development schemes. Her role also involves proposing options to improve the strategic offer of the Enterprise Zone and providing design input to the new Custom House interchange.
GLA Royal Docks
Tara Gbolade is the co-founder of Gbolade Design Studio and winner of the RIBAJ Rising Star award in 2018. She specialises in residential and mixed-use developments for public and private sector clients, creating homes and communities that are: Design-led, Commercially viable, Innovative, and Sustainable. As an Architect, Passivhaus consultant, and BIM and generative-design champion, she has overseen and been involved in a range of mixed-use developments from 10 to 900 homes.
Tara has joined Epping Forest as Sustainability Officer, providing specialist technical advice on masterplans and planning applications; and developing a Sustainability Checklist to inform Local Plan policies and guide the development of strategic sites and Harlow & Gilston Garden Town.
Epping Forest District Coucnil
As part of the first Public Practice cohort, Tom was Principal Planning Officer at St Albans City and District Council and Dacorum Borough Council. He led the authorities’ initiatives to take a more proactive approach to urban design across strategic sites, in particular, facilitating cross-boundary working. He has over 10 years of experience working on projects across architecture, urban design, planning, and activism both in the UK and internationally.
In joining the new cohort, Tom has taken on the role of Principal Urban Design and Project Manager in Bexley’s Planning and Regeneration functions to develop capacity studies and concept designs for a significant Council-led JV for an estate regeneration project, delivering several thousand homes. His role involves managing the development of Bexley’s new Design Supplementary Planning Document.
Umi Baden-Powell is an architectural designer, researcher and creative practitioner with expertise in inclusive design and speculative design futures. She works on projects in complex social contexts both in the UK and the Global South. In 2017, her collaborative project Okun Makoko: Waste to Wealth won the Helen Hamlyn MIE Design Award for Health- care. Most recently, Umi has lead Banking Without Barriers, a design research project which is partnered with the Royal College of Art, NatWest and Age UK.
Umi has joined Newham as Housing Engagement Manager and plays a key role within Newham’s new housing delivery function, helping to shape and deliver the biggest Council house building programme since the 1970s. Her role involves supporting local engagement for new housing on Council-owned land; working with residents to develop designs, site management plans, local activities and events; and developing a package of local benefits for areas of growth.
Yiorgos trained as an architect and an urban development planner and has experience working with local authorities, research institutions, cultural organisations and communities. Yiorgos initiated Urban Transcripts, a not-for-profit organisation he currently directs, by producing international public event programmes on the critical exploration of cities and their development. He has been a consultant at the New Economics Foundation, with a focus on the social impact of urban development.
Yiorgos has joined Bexley’s Strategic Planning and Growth Team as Strategic Research Coordinator. He is helping to develop a robust evidence base and innovative policies that help secure the Council’s Growth Strategy and working across internal teams and in the field to gather, collate, present and interpret data; researching emerging policy approaches and best practice; and implementing research findings through new policies, strategic plans and design solutions.