Leicester Urban Observatory

About Leicester Urban Observatory

An Urban Room

The Leicester Urban Observatory aims to foster local collaboration, providing a space for promoting research excellence and bringing interesting content to a diverse audience online. This is a place where we can engage with the diverse people who live and work in our city.


The challenge of creating new buildings and re-purposing existing ones in a way which will inspire and delight as well as deliver environmental and social outcomes within the viability constraints of the market is a central focus for Leicester. The City is fortunate to benefit from expertise at Architecture schools at Loughborough and De Montfort Universities and the valued active participation of students and staff informs the ongoing work of the Observatory.


There are many facets of design disciplines which shape our experiences and environment, including Urban Design, Landscape Design, and Highway Design. The impact of graphic heritage is all around us and active collaboration through the Observatory seeks to open up conversations and integration, exploring concepts such as Design Literacy amongst partners which has generated enthusiasm and engagement in a very positive way.


Digital devices have become an integral part of how most people live in, interact with and shape their environment, whether reading and writing about our cities on the internet or finding your way around through a mobile map. The Leicester Urban Observatory aims to better understand how these digital tools shape our cities, and how we can use them to learn more about the places we live.


Mediation of the use of space and improvement of place are central objectives of planning. Enabling sustainable development to meet economic demands whilst safeguarding Leicester’s unique built and natural heritage is an ongoing challenge which generates controversy and debate. The future health of the city and its citizens depends upon planners getting this balance right and the Observatory seeks to facilitate a positive and meaningful dialogue to inform decisions to this end.