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Prof Peter Bishop
Wates House
22 Gordon Street
Prof Peter Bishop profile picture
  • Professor in Urban Design
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
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.
Research Summary

My research interests stem from my work in practice, principally how cities evolve, the forces that shape them outside the conscious design process and the mechanisms by which urban change takes place. My book, The Temporary City (co-written with Lesley Williams and published by Routledge in 2012) explores the sequential nature of urban change, and how incremental strategies, as opposed to traditional masterplanning, can be used within a world of increasing economic and political uncertainty to engage individuals and communities. The study, which came out of the work of Design for London, also considers the social and technological drivers behind “temporary urbanism” and looks at ways in which city government can harness this phenomenon. This research interest is ongoing and is backed up by work on temporary use strategies for public sector bodies and landowner/developers.

I would welcome PhD and research students with an interest in this field to broaden this research, especially in the context of urbanisation in Asia, Africa and South America.

Teaching Summary

I am teaching with Dr Adrian Lahoud on the MArch Urban Design course which takes the Mediterranean Basin as a region of study and compares the urban characteristics of different cities and regions within a common/different economic, social, ecological and anthropological framework. I am also developing an approach to the teaching of urban design within the curriculum of undergraduate architectural education. As a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University I lecture and participate in undergraduate architecture projects.

I have lectured extensively and delivered keynote speeches at conferences in Brazil, China, India, Dubai, The USA and Europe as well run workshops and lectured at European, American and Chinese universities.

2012 Professor in Urban Design   The Bartlett School of Architecture, United Kingdom
2011 Consultant   Berwin Leighton Paisner, United Kingdom
2011 Director   Allies and Morrison-Urban Practitioners, United Kingdom
2010 Honorary Doctorate   University of Kingston, United Kingdom
2009 Fellow   Royal Institute of British Architects, United Kingdom
2009 – 2011 Deputy Chief Executive   London Development Agency, United Kingdom
2009 – 2010 Advisor   City of Bucharest, Romania
2008 Trustee   Building Centre, United Kingdom
2008 – 2012 Chair of National Board   Architecture Centre Network, United Kingdom
2007 – 2012 Urban Design Advisor to the Mayor of London   Mayor of London, United Kingdom
2007 Visiting Professor   Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
2007 – 2011 Director   Design for London, United Kingdom
2007 Honorary Fellow   University College London, United Kingdom
2007 Fellow   Royal Society of the Arts, United Kingdom
2006 – 2012 London Advisory Committee Member   English Heritage, United Kingdom
2001 – 2005 Director of Culture and Environmental Services   Camden Council, United Kingdom
1997 – 2001 Director of Environment   Hammersmith and Fulham Council, United Kingdom
1987 – 1996 Director of Property, Engineering and Architecture   Haringey Council, United Kingdom
1985 – 1987 Director of Planning   Tower Hamlets Council, United Kingdom
1976 – 1984 Development Planner   Westminster Council, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2010   Doctorate. Kingston University
2009   Fellowship Royal Institute of British Architects
2007   Fellowship Royal Society of Arts
1976   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Manchester
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