I am an urban planner and urban designer. I am a director at the architecture firm Allies and Morrison and Professor of Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. I am interested in the strategies and approaches that can be employed to shape cities within the social, economic and political forces that operate.
Before joining UCL I worked at a senior level in London government for 25 years.
In 1985 as planning director at Tower Hamlets I dealt with the planning and negotiations on major commercial developments, including the redevelopment of Spitalfields Market and Canary Wharf. From 1997 at Hammersmith and Fulham I dealt with the planning of the BBC media campus at White City and large scale residential developments, including the achievement through negotiations of the first scheme to deliver 50% affordable housing as a “planning gain”. From 2001 at Camden I conducted the negotiations on the Kings Cross scheme, one of the most complex schemes to date and viewed as an exemplar of participative planning and mixed use development.
I was appointed, in 2006, to head up Mayor Ken Livingstone’s new architectural and design unit, ‘Design for London’. The remit from the Mayor was “to think about London, what makes London unique and to devise strategies and projects to make it better”. Design for London operated as the focus for design leadership for London government, and built up an international profile, seen by many cities as a unique experiment in urban planning and design.
In 2009 I combined my role at Design for London with being deputy CEO at the London Development Agency. This increased the scope of the design team and integrated master planning with environmental programmes and land management and development. Out of this work emerged new strategies for the regeneration of east London including the Olympic Legacy master plans, the plans for The Royal Docks, London’s green Enterprise District and The London Cable Car.
I took up a directorship at Allies and Morrison-Urban Practitioners in 2011, and now work on a wide range of urban strategies and design studies in London, across England and overseas. I am also retained as a planning and design consultant by the law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.
In 2011 I was commissioned by the British Government and The Design Council to examine and report on how architectural and urban design could be embedded in government policy thinking and local practice. The Bishop Review was published in October 2011 and was considered as part of the Government reform of the UK planning system.
In May 2012 I was appointed Professor of Urban Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL.