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About Us

Dr Nicholas Falk

Francesca King

Anne Wyatt

Claire Farrell

URBED (Urban and Economic Development) Ltd is a not-for-profit urban regeneration consultancy, founded in 1976. Since then we have pioneered many of the urban regeneration techniques which have become commonplace such as town centre visions and health checks, and the use of development trusts.

Our activities fall broadly into the following areas:

Consultancy work - Undertaken for clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors throughout the UK and increasingly in Europe.

Research - Which both feeds off and contributes to our consultancy work. We have undertaken major research contracts for the Department of the Environment and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Implementation - Unlike many consultants we have practical experience of implementing our proposals. This ranges from local action projects to regenerate areas in Bradford and Birmingham, and the reuse of historic buildings, to programmes to help the creation of new communities in Growth Areas.

The Team

Dr Nicholas Falk BA MBA PhD Hon FRIBA
Founder Director

Nicholas is an economist, strategic planner and urbanist. Over the last five years he has focused on town centre strategies, the future of the suburbs, visions for historic town centres, and the reuse of redundant buildings. Living in Stroud he has a particular interest in smaller centres, and helped set up Action for Market Towns. He has worked on over 6o studies for smaller town centres, including a number with residential elements, since the publication of the seminal report Vital and Viable Town Centres: meeting the challenge for the government in 1994.

He worked on the Brighton Station New England Quarter study, and on Tadcaster, which was part of three masterplans for Selby District Council. Most recently he developed a masterplan for Ely on behalf of East Cambridge District Council and Cambridgeshire Horizons, and has been working a masterplan for an urban village built to eco-town standards for South Somerset District Council in Yeovil.

Nicholas has a particular interest in drawing lessons from European good practice. He is co-author of Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods: building the 21st Century Home published by Elsevier in 2009. Other recent publications include Regeneration of European Cities, for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth for Cambridgeshire Horizons (which was a finalist at the 2009 RTPI Planning Award) and Beyond Eco-towns with PRP and Design for Homes.

He is a Visiting Professor at the School of the Built Environment, University of the West of England and an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism. He is an active member of the Urban Design Group and the Town and Country Planning Association.

Francesca King BA DipPM Chartered MCIPD

Francesca, a sociology graduate of York University, with particular expertise in community engagement and capacity building, led the highly successful Entrepreneurial Management Skills (EMS) programme for voluntary sector managers. Most recent and current projects include Managing Mixed Communities for English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation, and Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth, which has included a study tour to Freiburg and the Netherlands.

Francesca has also managed a town centre study of Northcote Road in Wandsworth which explores how the essence of 'special places' can be retained. She worked for ATCM on a European Interreg programme (TOCEMA), with partners in France and Belgium, to disseminate good practice on six town centre concerns, and to devise key performance indicators, and also provided consultancy support to the ATCM on their National Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Pilot, a programme of support to twenty two UK towns.

Francesca is responsible for public liaison at the More London site in Southwark (home of the GLA). She managed two research projects for SEERA, one on Councillor Attitudes to Higher Density Housing, and the other on Sustainable Suburbs in the South East. Francesca was also responsible for producing an Action Plan for South East Excellence, the South East England Development Agency's regional centre of excellence for the built environment.

Anne Wyatt BA
Project Manager

Anne is a business studies graduate, and one of URBED's Project Managers. She managed the development of a masterplan for the sustainable growth of the City of Ely and is currently coordinating a study to produce a masterplan for a new urban village in Yeovil. She was part of the consultancy team undertaking a retail survey and focus groups on the Northcote Road study.

Anne has also particular expertise in working with young people, for example in four community consultation workshops in Gateshead, Haringey, Leicester and Sheffield as part of the Business-Led Regeneration project for the DTI and ODPM, and a youth workshops in Stroud for Stroud Town Centre Evening Economy Action Plan.

Anne manages the TEN Group of senior local authority officers in London who come together to share experience and exchange knowledge on achieving urban renaissance through meetings and study tour, and runs the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods Network for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Anne has organised many successful symposia, the most recent a roundtable conference in Yeovil and events, in London and Leeds, to launch URBEDís report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Regeneration in European Cities: making connections.