JTP is honoured that our Founder Chairman, John Thompson, has been presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 National Urban Design Awards ceremony, which took place on Thursday 28 March.
The award follows John receiving the American Institute of Architects AIA Presidential Citation earlier this year, affirming his unique approach and remarkable influence within the fields of urban design, community planning and placemaking.
John has had a 50-year career as a renowned architect and urbanist, devoted to improving the quality of everyday life in neighbourhoods.
From the very beginning of his career in the early 1970’s, John pursued an approach to urban design that was pioneering; firstly community architecture and then community planning, working directly with local people to create places that encourage social interaction and help nurture a strong sense of community, often in areas experiencing significant social and economic challenges.
In 1998 JTP’s pioneering, multi-award-winning regeneration of the former Caterham Barracks marked the first time that a large-scale collaborative planning process had been promoted in the UK by a private developer.
Involving local people in the development process has since been written into legislation (through Localism and the NPPF), and is now a required part of every planning application, thanks to John’s tireless efforts.
In 2006 John was instrumental in establishing the Academy of Urbanism, a not-for-profit organisation which now has over six hundred members and brings together the current and next generation of urban leaders, thinkers and practitioners to recognise, encourage and celebrate great places across the UK, Europe and beyond.
Throughout the years John has used his remarkable drive, influence and natural charisma to make a significant contribution to the lives of people across the UK and Europe.
David Harrison, one of JTP’s founding partners and known as Harry the Pencil, collected the UDG Lifetime Achievement Award on John’s behalf, and said:
At JTP, with residential developers as clients John persuaded many to adopt urban design principles and mixed use and even in some cases tenure blind projects, therefore adding vitality, diversity and much needed life to the urban environment.
John was unusual for his time in that although trained as an architect he had a passion for creating good places and saw placemaking as the core discipline in his work and visionary initiatives.
But what I think is the most remarkable thing about John was his ability to convincingly communicate these ideas not only to the hundreds of collaborators, including myself and some others present in this room this evening, but also to the literally thousands of so called ordinary people who attended JTP Community Planning weekends at venues all around this country and overseas.
John’s legacy has been encapsulated in a book created by JTP, to comprehensively celebrate his life’s work, achievements and contributions towards planning and placemaking in the UK and internationally. The book is now available to purchase as an e-book, to order a copy please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.