Three new Directors join AoU Board

Alistair Barr AoU, Kathryn Firth AoU, Deb Upadhyaya AoU

The Academy of Urbanism is delighted to announce Alistar Barr AoU, Kathryn Firth AoU and Dr. Deb Upadhyaya AoU have been appointed to the Academy’s Board of Directors. The three vacancies were created following the retirement of three long-standing Directors and were advertised in December 2016. The appointments followed a process of shortlisting, interview and selection by a panel of current Directors.

Alistair is an experienced architect and urban designer who founded Barr Gazetas in 1993 to create projects in masterplanning, architecture and interior design. He has been teaching part-time at the School of Architecture at Greenwich University for 20 years. The University has published three of his Urban Designs Papers. Alistair is also a Civic Trust judge of ten years, a CABE Built Environment Expert and a member of the Design: South East design panel.

Kathryn is an architect and urban designer with over 25 years of experience. She is a Partner at FPdesign and specialises in masterplanning and urban design. Prior to this Kathryn was the Chief of Design at the London Legacy Development Corporation. Kathryn has ongoing involvement in topical research including a study of the spatial and social dynamics of high streets, the New London Vernacular, and urban density and intensity and neighbourhood perception.

Deb has a solid track record in leading delivery of exemplar housing, regeneration and sustainable urban design projects both in public and private sector (both in the UK and India) spanning over 16 years. Deb is currently a specialist in Planning at the Homes and Communities Agency. Apart from his work at the HCA, Deb pursues his independent practice led research on urbanism, city centre development and delivery aspects of holistic placemaking, investment strategies enabling real time business planning and robust decision making to facilitate accelerated delivery.

We are excited to welcome Alistair, Kathryn and Deb to the Board and we look forward to working with them as we go into the Academy’s second decade.

For more information on our new Directors please contact Stephen Gallagher on 020 7251 8777 or email

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