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Cost: £95+vat pp

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Cost: Free to members - book through your  key contact or representative

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Masterclass – Design Coding using the NMDC: Engaging Communities in Design Coding – tools and techniques

The National Model Design Code (NMDC) calls for meaningful engagement with communities in the formation and adoption of design codes. This online Masterclass, we will explore the role of engagement in the National Model Design Code, why it’s so important, and the tools and techniques available to councils to do it effectively. The session will include discussion of how effective engagement can influence policy – not just in terms of creating new policy documents, but in terms of actually achieving tangible design quality on the ground.

We will be joined by Laura Alvarez (Nottingham City Council) and Angela Koch (Imagine Places), who will share their experience in engaging with communities in a range of different ways and at a range of different scales. The session will also feature two interactive exercises, looking at practical ways of engaging communities and using local knowledge to understand places and inform outcomes. In these exercises you will get a taste of how good engagement processes can be interesting, straightforward, and even fun! You will also see how to make use of the outcomes of these types of exercise in your day-to-day work. The aim is for participants to leave the session understanding the importance of community engagement, how to do it well, and how to use it to make a positive impact.

We will look at how to use digital tools cheaply (or for free!) and easily, how to ask the right questions so you get useful answers. We will look at how to demonstrate support – and how to achieve that support in the first place. This session will be useful for anyone interested in engagement and how to make it work effectively for you and your project.


  • Understand how to meaningfully engage communities in the creation of design codes
  • Understand how effective community engagement can have an impact at different scales, and can be used to achieve design quality
  • Recognise the multiple benefits of the engagement process

Online Learning events are designed for public and private sector practitioners with limited or some knowledge and experience of the topic, and those who would like to refresh or build on their existing knowledge.

The Online Learning event will include:

  • a live guest speaker presentation and Q&A
  • a live interactive workshop with activities and discussions
  • a members only resource library of ‘watch again’ content, presentations, key takeaways and further reading

Delivered by:

Angela Koch, Director, Imagine Places
Laura Alvarez, Senior Principal Urban Design and Conservation Officer, Nottingham City Council
Helen Goodwin, Head of Programmes, Design South East
Ross O’Ceallaigh, Programme Manager, Design South East
Kieran Toms, Design Advisor, Design South East

Key details:

Date: Friday 22nd October 2021
Time: 9.30am – 1pm (Login opens from 09:15)
Format: Interactive online via Zoom

Booking details:

Kent Design member organisations: 

In order to make sure our online Masterclasses are manageable we are limiting the number of participants. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis with a maximum of 2 places per member organisation, however, there will be an opportunity for further delegates  to view a recording of the session.  So feel free to  provide additional names beyond the 2 places per member and we will be in touch to let them know how they can participate. 

Kent/Medway local authority members: Please ensure all bookings are made through your  key contact or KCPG representative  who will be able to book places at this event on your behalf. If you do not know who that is please email :  and we will let you know. 

To book, please email the central Kent Design email address :  with the following details: 

  • Name of delegate(s)
  • Role/Job title
  • Organisation 
  • Email address of delegate(s) 
  • Confirmation the delegate(s) can access Zoom through a work or personal device

Online platforms: 

We will be using Zoom as the online conferencing platform.  Prior to booking places please ensure you have a reliable internet connection and the latest version of Zoom. 

Once you have successfully secured a place on this online learning event you will receive a booking confirmation email, followed by a Zoom link and programme details within 1 week prior to the event date. Kent Design Members also have access to the online resource library area where you will be able to download copies of presentations, any additional material for further reading, and a link to the webinar recording to share with your colleagues (within your organisation only). 

Non-Kent Design members:
There are a limited number of places available to non-members. The cost of individual places is £95+vat pp. Please use the online booking button to redirect you to Eventbrite.

Image: Imagine Places/Design South East

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