The Bartlett School of Planning

Ms Valentina Giordano

Ms Valentina Giordano

Research Fellow

The Bartlett School of Planning

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
29th Sep 2014

Research summary

Valentina is a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning where she manages the Place Alliance, chaired by Professor Matthew Carmona.

In her role as an independent researcher and manager of Place Alliance, she has been working together with Professor Carmona and Place Alliance partners to deliver a research programme focussed on generating a base line of knowledge about the quality of the built environment and its delivery.

Valentina has undertaken a wide range of research projects including:

  • CPRE National Housing Design Audit June-Dec. 2019 - Partners include CPRE, the Academy of Urbanism, Urban Design Group and the Design Council. http://placealliance.org.uk/research/national-housing-audit/
  • Place Value and the Ladder of Place Quality - evidence from place value wiki has been developed into an accessible document for practitioners, supported by the Design Network with MHCLG grant money. 
  • Laidlaw Scholarship Programme - Design quality in new housing, the councillor perspective, June-October 2018. A survey of local councillors’ views and attitudes to design. http://placealliance.org.uk/research/councillors-attitudes/
  • Place Value Wiki - a collaborative platform bringing together almost 300 empirical studies on the value added by a better designed built environment: health, economic, social and environmental http://placealliance.org.uk/place-value-wiki/
  • GLA, Reviewing Design Review in London, April-Nov 2017. A research on the use and utility of design review in London, the first systematic review of these practices since the closure of CABE. http://bit.ly/PA_ReviewingDesignReview2018
  • Urban Design Group, Urban Design Skills in Local Authorities, Jan-Apr 2017. A National survey of public sector urban design skills, supported by the Urban Design Group https://bit.ly/PA_SkillsReport2017

  • Design Governance, the CABE experiment, Jan. 2013-Aug. 2014. Whilst pre-dating the Place Alliance, this research continues to underpin its work programme. The research tracked the 11-year period of CABE and evaluated its tools and programmes. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/planning/evaluating-governance-design-cabe-experiment-and-beyond

Previous work as a Researcher includes:

  • Cricklewood Satisfaction Survey - Cricklewood Project, Mayor’s Outer London Fund Programme
  • Design Coding - Diffusion of Practice in England
  • CLUES interactive tool testing: Energy in the Locality – A survey of Local Authorities in England
  • Research Excellence Framework (REF): Design Governance in the Built Environment

Teaching summary

Valentina has worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL and taught for several consecutive years on 'Urban Design: Place Making" (a module for the RTPI accredited Urban and Regional Planning Masters course) and "Urban Design: Theory to Practice"

Valentina also assists Colin Haylock with teaching on Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive & Control. This module focusses on means to influence design outcomes that stop short of actual scheme design while stressing the vital importance of making positive propositions for change.sign while stressing the vital importance of making positive propositions for change.


University College London
MSc, Architecture and Urban Planning | 2003
University College London
Dip., Urban Design | 2002
University College London
BSc Hons, Town Planning | 2001


Valentina is an urban designer and planner with over 15 years' UK experience including professional consultancy (urban design and streetscape intervention), academic research and teaching. She has a degree in Town Planning and a Postgraduate Diploma and MSc in Urban Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She's a Chartered Member of RTPI and an Urban Design Group Recognised Practitioner.

She is currently a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning, and has been working with Professor Matthew Carmona since 2014 as Manager of the Place Alliance , a cross-sector collaborative alliance for place quality, (see: https://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/placealliance ) which in 2015 won the RTPI Academic Award for Research Excellence and in 2016 the RTPI Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement.  

Before joining UCL, she has worked on several large scale urban projects with different design practices in London. While at Burns + Nice, she prepared several urban realm studies (Vauxhall, London Cycle Superhighways, Ebbsfleet, Tottenham Court Road) which considered the integration with area master/action plans, development plans, urban design and public realm strategies, streetscape and transport infrastructure. At Martha Schwarz, she worked on a masterplan in Seoul, Korea and a project in Vienna, Austria. 

She is experienced in urban planning and public realm design and has worked on a variety of projects in a multitude of contexts, including masterplanning, urban design, regeneration and architecture. She has specific experience of the planning, environmental assessment and design of transport infrastructure and public realm projects in London and related public consultation processes.