The Bartlett School of Planning

Prof Matthew Carmona

Prof Matthew Carmona

Professor of Planning and Urban Design

The Bartlett School of Planning

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Sep 1998

Research summary

Prof Matthew Carmona has undertaken a wide range of research projects including:

  • MHCLG, National Model Design Code Pilot Programme Monitoring and Evaluation, May 2021-Nov.2021
  • European Union, Urban Design Governance (Urban MAESTRO), Jan 2019-June 2021
  • CPRE, National Housing Design Audit June 2019-Dec. 2019
  • GLA, Reviewing Design Review, April 2017-Nov 2017
  • Urban Design Group, Urban Design Skills in Local Authorities, Jan 2017-April 2017 
  • Transport for London, The Value of Better Street Design, April 2016-Jan. 2017 
  • Norwegian Research Council, Governing private provision of public space: developing governance models and urban design that ensure inclusive, democratic public space (DEMOS), April 2016-April 2019 (with Norwegian Institute for Urban & Regional Research, Oslo)
  • Australian Research Council, Infill Developments: Project HOME (Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation), April 2016-April 2019 (with RMIT Melbourne)
  • Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Foresight Futures Project: Sustainable Urban Place-shaping, Feb. 2013-June 2013
  • AHRC, Evaluating the Governance of Design in the Built Environment, the CABE Experiment and Beyond, Jan. 2013-Aug. 2014
  • London Development Agency, London’s High Street Agenda, Nov.2009-May 2010

  • European Union (URBACT), Housing Praxis for Urban Sustainability, Nov. 2008-March 2010

  • ESRC Global Place, Contested Space, The case of the New London Squares, Aug. 2007- Dec. 2010

  • Department for Communities, Local Environmental Quality: Establishing Acceptable Standards, Jan. 2006-Sept. 2006 

  • Audit Commission, National Planning Study, April 2005-October 2005 

  • CABE, Design Policy and Local Development Frameworks, Nov. 2004-Jan. 2005 

  • ODPM, Design Code Pilot Programme Evaluation, June. 2004-Nov 2005 

  • CABE Space, Managing Public Urban Green Space: An International Comparative Study, Sept. 2003-March. 2004 

  • CABE Space, The Value of Public Space, Oct. 2003-Dec. 2003 

  • CABE, The Economic Value of Design in Commercial Office Developments, Jan 2004-June 2004 

  • CABE / Office for the Deputy Prime Minister, The Development and Use of Design Codes in the UK, Jan 2004-June 2004
  • ODPM, Managing External Public Space, April 2002-Dec.2002)
  • ESRC, Measuring Quality – Best Value in Planning and Urban Design, Oct. 2001-Dec. 2002

Teaching summary

Prof. Matthew Carmona teaches undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. His classes focus on urban design theory and practice and the governance of design. Much of his teaching utilises project work as a vehicle for learning and London as the laboratory for this.

He leads a group of international research students examining a wide range of subjects in the broad field of urban design, public space design and management, and the governance of design.

He founded the UCL Urban Skills Portal, see: https://extendstore.ucl.ac.uk/catalog?pagename=urbanskillsportal 


University of Nottingham
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1998
University of Nottingham
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1991
University of Nottingham
First Degree, Bachelor of Architecture | 1990
University of Nottingham
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1987


Matthew is a Registered Architect and a Chartered Planner and has previously lectured at the University of Nottingham and before that worked as a researcher at Strathclyde and Reading Universities and as an architect in both public and private practice.  His research has focused on processes of design governance, on the design and management of public space and on the value of design.  He has worked on a range of research projects examining:


•   design policies and guidance

•   design coding

•   residential design and development processes

•   the value of urban design / place quality

•   measuring quality in planning

•   public space design and management

•   London's streets and spaces

•   The governance of design

Matthew is Chair of the Place Alliance, a cross-sector collaborative alliance for place quality, see: https://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/placealliance and was recently Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Built Environment.  In 2015 he won the RTPI Academic Award for Research Excellence and in 2016 the RTPI Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement.  In 2018 he won the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Prize Best Published Paper award

In 2018 he launched www.place-value-wiki.net, a new online resource that brings together international evidence on how place quality impacts on our health, social, economic and environmental well-being.


Matthew is European Associate Editor for the ‘Journal of Urban Design’.  He is a regular advisor to government and government agencies both in the UK and overseas and lectures internationally.  He writes a column for Town & Country Planning, the journal of the Town & Country Planning Association and another for the Architects' Journal.  These are based on his own blog: https://matthew-carmona.com