About us

About us

The Place Alliance was established in 2014. Initially it aimed to encourage collaboration, communication and collective leadership in the cause of better place quality. Increasingly it has developed a campaigning role and does this through direct engagement and the dissemination of targeted research and thought leadership to key governmental, professional and community audiences.

The Place Alliance provides a forum for its supporters to come together, debate and work towards raising the national consciousness regarding the importance of place quality.

We are open to all who share our vision and invite you to join us! 

As a voluntary alliance we operate in a network sustained by:

  • CORE SUPPORTERS GROUP advising the Place Alliance
  • WORKING GROUPS set up to harness energy and interest around    particular topics, but independent and frequently time limited
  • The BIG MEETS, our annual National Conferences

Place Alliance is hosted by UCL Bartlett School of Planning:


The Place Alliance 5 Year Review


i. Place quality has a value that is recognised by all

ii. The quality of buildings, streets, and spaces is always given a high priority by those who have the power to shape them

iii. National and local government recognises the vital contribution of the quality of place to the economic, social and cultural life of the nation and to achieving environmental sustainability

iv. The professionals are responsible for making and managing places, work constructively together and with local communities to shape high quality local environments.


 Together we aim to:

  • Inspire and raise aspirations for places.
  • Support dialogue and collaboration to improve place quality
  • Build and share evidence, knowledge and resources
  • Influence policy, practice and behaviour to achieve better place quality
  • Be open and accessible to all interested individuals and organisations.

Place Quality: “The Five Fs”

The recognisable and desirable qualities that the most successful parts of our villages, towns and cities share.

These qualities are discussed in greater depth in Place Matters.


Open, cherished and characterful


Inclusive, healthy and low impact


Adaptable, dynamic and diverse


Vibrant, playful and stimulating


Safe, accessible and democratic

Core team – Permanent

Prof Matthew Carmona

Valentina Giordano

Support team – Voluntary basis or project based

Wendy Clarke

Researcher, events & training support

Dr Lucy Natarajan

Co-founder & Outreach support

Peter Karpinski

Government relations advice & general support

Anastassia Gusseinova

Website & research support

Dr Amer Alwarea

Research support


Place Alliance was established at BIG MEET 2 in October 2014. Since then a number of principles have emerged regarding the nature of the alliance. These are:

  • The creation of an alliance with no barriers (including financial) to entry
  • The establishment of a Core Supporters Group (with a Chair) as the guiding forum for Place Alliance
  • The hosting of Place Alliance at UCL with a small management group to facilitate day to day Place Alliance activities
  • A range of affiliated but independent working groups (each with Chairs) set up to harness energy and interest around particular themes / topics
  • Creation of a logo / visual identity and website to represent the work of the Place Alliance
  • An agreed set of principles around place quality set out in: Place Matters
  • Place Alliance is an alliance for place quality, with supporters, and not an organisation
  • The primary role of Place Alliance is the facilitation of sharing and collaboration and the generation and dissemination of knowledge around place quality
  • Conferences, seminars and other engagement / collaboration opportunities can use the Place Alliance logo as long as they fall within the scope of concerns articulated in Place Matters.
  • Legally the Place Alliance is part of UCL and abides by all its governance policies and its charitable status


Annual Reports

Our Annual Reports highlight our achievements, outline both our income and expenditure and include a brief review of our performance against our purpose and objectives.



Place Alliance is an independent not-for-profit initiative of UCL. We operate on a tight budget and rely on the generosity of our supporters. For those who wish to make a donation to help grow the Place Alliance network visit our UCL online giving page to make a gift. If you would like more information on how we will spend your donation contact placealliance@ucl.ac.uk Your support is truly appreciated.


Work with Us


The Place Alliance has its origins in a cross-sector collaborative alliance for place quality. Our supporters are engaged in the full range of processes involved in shaping places.  These encompass processes that are: 

  • Both strategic and local in nature; public and private 
  • Top-down and bottom-up and both professionally and community driven 
  • Directly and indirectly shaping places (for instance through both projects and policies) 
  • Concerned with the environmental, social and economic wellbeing of places and people 
  • Involving a wide and varied range of professionals and communities. 

By working constructively and collaboratively as allies, we aim over the long-term to establish a culture whereby place quality, in a holistic sense, becomes a continuous and ever-present agenda in all new development, regeneration and urban management processes.  Individuals and organisations are always welcome to work with us and we partner with others in most of what we do.  Working together we are far stronger than working either in isolation or within our disciplinary or interest group silos. 


Prof Matthew Carmona – Chair

Valentina Giordano – Manager

To discuss how we might work together please email placealliance@ucl.ac.uk