Urban Design

Urban Design

What is Urban Design?

Urban Design involves the design of towns, cities, streets and spaces, it is often described as ‘the art of place-making’. It is concerned with the design of buildings, groups of buildings alongside the spaces and connections between them. It also involves public art and high quality public realm.



Urban Design in Newcastle

Good design is not simply creating attractive buildings and places but about making places that work and where people want to be. The quality of what we build in our towns and city affects everyone and everything.


Successful and well-designed places are essential for improving quality of life. Also, they tend to be valued more by those who live and work in an area and are more appealing to visitors.


As a regional capital in the North East of England, Newcastle is a city with rich cultural heritage and distinctive character. Our work involves a wide range of projects and programmes across the city to enhance the existing character whilst raising the standard of design.


Additionally, the government places great weight on the importance of urban design and sustainable development within our towns and cities. This is reflected in our local policies helping to ensure places are attractive, function well and are sustainable.



Who Are We and What We Do?

The Urban Design Team is a multi-disciplinary group of experienced and award-winning built environment professionals. We provide design support and advice within the Council as part of the Planning Service. Our work includes:

  • producing policy and guidance;
  • providing design advice on major planning applications;
  • preparing Urban Design Frameworks, Masterplans, Design Codes and Planning Briefs for strategic regeneration sites;
  • collaborate on public realm;
  • promoting public art; and
  • organising the Lord Mayor Design Awards every two years.


For queries relating to urban design in Newcastle, you can contact us via urbandesignandconservation@newcastle.gov.uk.



Public Art

Newcastle has a wealth of public art.  The Urban Design Team promotes public art as part of our work to create quality places within Newcastle. We enable public art through the Planning process,  and maintain the council owned artworks which have been commissioned by the Grainger Town urban regeneration project.


Further details and locations of all artworks around the city can be found in the Public Art webpage. For queries relating to public art in Newcastle, you can contact us via publicart@newcastle.gov.uk.


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