Hi. Lee Mallett here. I'm a writer and urbanist and Urbik is my consultancy company.

I help developers, architects, and public sector agencies establish and communicate projects and business aims, usually with an urban regeneration focus.

Figuring out what a project is, what its narrative needs to be and communicating it, is what I do.

I’ve worked in most media for many organisations, large and small. From helping establish Principles for a Human City at King’s Cross, devising urban regeneration and business strategies, explaining a new market town, to websites, books, films, brochures, exhibitions and organising/chairing live events.

Stories in urbanism

Every place has its story. And every proposal to change a place needs to understand that story.

Our sense of place, of landscape, of the city, is, like language, a fundamental part of who we are.

Those who wish to change or make a new place must demonstrate understanding of that story to win acceptance for a new chapter. You have to take local people with you.

The ways in which a new narrative can be told are infinite, but there is always a basic version that gets the essentials across in an order that convinces.

You need to find this story before you can tell all the other versions you will need. You need to believe it. People will suss you out if you don’t.

Lee Mallett

07960 586836

Lee Mallett Photo: Taran Wilkhu

urbik project

Mayfields – a new market town

Mayfields is a pilot project for a new market town in Sussex proposed by Mayfield Market Towns and Clarion Housing Group.

Plans are being prepared for 10,000 homes on 1000 acres south of Gatwick and north of Brighton. Urbik helped develop the narrative for the proposals, set out in an initial brochure.
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urbik project

Broadway Living Business Plan

Ealing Council established Broadway Living, a wholly-owned development and investment subsidiary company, to create more affordable homes, take advantage of its property portfolio and opportunities for new growth.

The establishment of the company, the raising of funding, required a business plan to capture and explain the council’s ambition.
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urbik project

Hammersmith & Fulham’s new industrial strategy

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has great ambitions to reinvigorate and modernise its local economy, to create ‘Economic growth for everyone’.

Urbik helped draft a new industrial strategy for the Council to explain its growth ambitions.
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Swindon’s Delivery Plan

Swindon has lots going for it, but several factors contribute to relatively poor perceptions of the Wiltshire town. How to unlock more of its potential?

Urbik helped create a strategy and narrative for a new Delivery Plan for regeneration agency Forward Swindon.
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urbik project

urbik project

Principles for a Human City

Argent’s 67-acre regeneration of disused railway lands at King’s Cross is one of Britain’s most successful urban regeneration schemes. I chaired a series of meetings for the whole development team, over a two-week period at the project’s inception, to familiarise everyone with the site’s unique and amazing story.
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Home Group

Home Group - a London Strategy

Home Group needed an investment and development strategy for its operations in London to balance its investment strategy across the country and ensure it was able to grow in the way southern competitors had done.
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Bids, pitches and competitions

Urbik has worked on many public sector procurement bids for major regeneration schemes and helped entrants in major design competitions, or pitches for projects.

A unified narrative and ‘voice’ are essential in a team situation. Figuring out what the narrative needs to do, then eliminating anything that isn’t contributing to that are two essential steps before you can communicate the quality of your ideas effectively.

Urbik contributes to the strategy and provides editorial support to help you win.

urbik project

Chobham Manor, Olympic Park

One of the 15 new settlements to be created as part of the legacy of the 2012 Olympics, Chobham Manor’s 850 homes are being successfully sold by housing association L&Q and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.
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urbik project

Lend Lease, Elephant & Castle

In 2007 Australian developer Lend Lease was selected by Southwark to be the council’s development partner for the Elephant & Castle regeneration.

Lend Lease needed a document that set out the vision for politicians, that was easy to understand, not too technical and not in a bid format.
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urbik project

The Big Town Plan: Castleford

Channel 4 commissioned a four-part tv documentary, presented by Kevin McCloud in 2008, directed and produced by David Barrie, about local people choosing small schemes to regenerate Castleford near Leeds.
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Business development, identity, marketing

Driving an architecture practice in a new direction, managing new or rapid growth, changing or updating your identity, figuring out a marketing strategy, or addressing long-standing issues can be taxing – but essential to future success. Urbik advises architects on business development.
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urbik project

urbik project

Journalism, writing and teaching

Lee originally qualified as a chartered surveyor, working as a development surveyor for Hammersmith & Fulham, but shortly after qualifying moved into journalism. He edited leading trade magazines for property and architecture – and he also has an MA in Spatial Planning and Urban Design at London Met’ University (Distinction).

He brings to all projects his professional experience of working in the built environment, his property and urban design knowledge and his communication skills honed in journalism and marketing.
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My City Too

My City Too!…and other urban engagements

Various campaigns and other initiatives have been a big part of Lee’s work over the years. Notable projects Lee helped conceive and deliver have been Open City’s My City Too campaign to get young people involved in critiquing their own local environment, and presenting their findings to politicians, and a series of urban design critiques for the London Festival of Architecture.
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urbik project

Urban design critiques

For the London Festival of Architecture and its predecessor, the Clerkenwell Architecture Biennale, Lee Mallett and developer Roger Zogolovitch, created a series of Urban Design Critiques.
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Newham Design Review Panel

Lee has been a member of Newham’s Design Review Panel for several years. The east London borough is one of the capital’s most dynamic in terms of major regeneration schemes.
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Newham Design Review Panel

What’s in a name? – the story behind Urbik

Philip Kindred Dick (Philip K. Dick) was one of the greatest science fiction writers. I’m a fan – as many of you are.

Films like Blade Runner, Minority Report, the Man in the High Castle, Total Recall, are all based on Dick’s highly original, prescient, sardonic stories and novels. He died in 1982 at only 53.

Architecture and urbanism – capitalism and socialism too – are all about the future. A future that is increasingly urban.

Dick saw all of this from his earliest stories published in the 1950s, after he’d moved to California where the American Dream and its full-throttle capitalism drove a new kind of unsustainable (many argue) urbanism.

One of his best novels is Ubik. First published in 1969 and chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest novels since 1923, it is a ‘deeply unsettling existential horror story’.

Ubik is a ubiquitous commercial spray product which...well, I recommend you read Ubik for yourselves.

Suffice to say, the ubiquitous nature of cities, architecture and urbanism, and the way it affects all our lives so fundamentally, led me to appropriate Dick’s four-letter brand-name title and with the not-so-subtle addition of an ‘r’, create a company name that reflects the key purpose of urbanism: To make people’s lives better by making better cities - ubiquitously. And it sounds a little futuristic, and kind of international...

Everything we do in the built environment, designing, developing, investing, planning, like Philip K Dick’s writing, is about the future, of which the past is such an important part.

But not perhaps as important as what we imagine for our future selves.

The origins of Urbik name

For more information contact Lee Mallett on 07960 586836 or lee@urbik.co.uk