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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 114 - Raising design awareness

114 - Essex Design Initiative

The Essex Design Initiative (EDI) is a high profile campaign launched by Essex County Council.

The EDI provides design guidance on how to plan, build and maintain sustainable urban developments. It helps policy- makers and practitioners successfully accommodate housing growth and improve the public realm in an environmentally responsible way.

Integrating expertise from urban design, landscape design, conservation and public art, the EDI offers:

  • The Essex Design Guide: Urban Place Supplement (UPS), a supplementary planning document set to influence the quality of higher-density developments
  • Cross-disciplinary events to promote collaborative working
  • A professional development programme including best practice study tours
  • Design review services
  • Online resources at
  • The Essex Design Champions Network.

The success of the EDI can be attributed to the Council’s longstanding expertise in Urban Design, as exemplified by the internationally renowned Essex Design Guide. The UPS is a demanding document that builds on this achievement for urban areas. As Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Essex Design Champion, states “Never has a concern for the sustainability of our actions been better understood. The UPS enables local authorities and the development industry to work together.”

Other Information

  • Location: Essex
  • Project Team: Essex County Council, CABE, EEDA
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seed 

Essex Design Initiative (EDI) has helped support policy-makers and improve the design and delivery of new developments within the area.Images (image bank)