WMT Urban Research Unit

The Urban Research Unit prepares incisive analysis to support clear-eyed understanding of places and people.

Our multi-disciplinary team of researchers in the Urban Research Unit contribute to an integrated approach when creating responsive area strategies, masterplans and delivery of impactful projects. The team also provide independent, trusted and thorough intelligence with particular expertise relating to social value, high streets, local economies, industry and culture.

Our research spans a diverse range of projects using observation, mapping, engagement, surveys, audits and data analysis. As part of the wider We Made That team, the Urban Research Unit shapes our collective thinking, ensuring we are locally-informed and impact-driven in all our proposals.

Landmark studies include:

  • London's first comprehensive study of artists' workspace
  • Exploring the social value of London’s 602 high streets
  • Granular employment audits of over 1,400ha of employment land, 3,500+ businesses and 52,000+ jobs in London
  • Evidencing £40bn of spending per year by London's creative industries within the supply chain across the UK
  • Mapping 2,138 spaces that host and support cultural and creative activities across the West Midlands.

These studies have influenced innovative policies on industrial intensification and co-location, pro-culture planning policies and led the way in defining the case for exciting and experimental uses across high streets and public spaces.

Selected Clients

Greater London Authority
West Midlands Combined Authority
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
London Borough of Bexley
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Croydon
London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Wandsworth
Royal Borough of Greenwich
London Legacy Development Corporation
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
Arts Council England
British Council
Local Government Association
South East Local Enterprise Partnership
Coventry City of Culture Trust
“This guidance will help to support the implementation of ambitious, innovative and fresh strategies so our high streets and town centres not only adapt and survive but thrive.”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, on High Streets & Town Centres Adaptive Strategies