Kent council appoints consultant to ensure North Kent is at cutting edge of design innovation.

Arup has been appointed by Kent council to assist with a major government programme to raise the standards of new development in North Kent.

The aim of the programme, sponsored by the ODPM, is to ensure the area within the Thames Gateway is at the cutting edge of design innovation particularly in relation to sustainability.

The main focus will be on the development of demonstration projects. Arup will work closely with developers and their design teams and with the local authorities to identify aspects of the development that could demonstrate best practice - ranging from waste management to renewable energy, and from urban realm improvements to bridge design.

Adrian Gurney, Arup project manager, said: ‘We are very pleased to be associated with such an important initiative, and look forward to working with the wide range of authorities and companies involved in the projects. It is this sort of work that could make a major difference to the achievement of the sustainable communities’ agenda.”

The team will also provide the expertise to advise on the means of developing innovative solutions, and will help to publicize the outcomes.

Arup has played a major role in the achievement of high quality sustainable development both through provision of guidance (Heroic Change: Securing Environmental Quality in Thames Gateway London; Planning for Renewable Energy: A Companion Guide to PPS222), and through built projects that have won major awards (BedZED, Sutton; The Hub, Newham).

Design Excellence in North Kent is based in the Dartford, Gravesham and Swale Boroughs and the Medway Unitary Authority.