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Fellowship in Built Environment: Royal Commission 1851

Honorary Professor: CASA@Bartlett, University College London


  • Thought Leadership

  • Urban Development Strategy

  • Lectures and Education

  • Writing

Aylesbury Estate – A project where many Massive Small techniques were tried and tested. View PDF Report.

Kelvin has written government policy on and published numerous books and articles on the subject. He regularly speaks at conferences and continues to advise a number of cities on design matters.

In 2013 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Urban Design Awards for his contribution to the profession and was later awarded the 1851 Royal Commission Fellowship in the Built Environment. Kelvin has worked on urban strategy for socially isolated neighbourhoods throughout his career, in many countries and contexts.

This experience has led him to focus on participatory processes, and what he terms ‘Massive Small’ techniques. He believes that these are of vital importance for top down systems to unleash the latent potential of communities. With massive small support from top down systems, communities can become an integral part in and the revitalisation of their neighbourhoods. This is of crucial importance as we enter a time where cities must grow their capacities in order to meet the challenges of the future.


Director, Smart & President, Massive Small Collective, UK 2012–Present

‘Massive Small’ focuses on the complex interaction between social innovation, sustainable urban design and enabling leadership. Its activities include: urban design and strategic advisory work, research, communications, advocacy and publishing. Kelvin continues to integrate a Massive Small approach into high level urban strategy with a range of clients worldwide, both in government and the private sector.

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Urban Initiatives, UK 1989-2012

Kelvin was the Managing Director and co-founder of Urban Initiatives, a highly regarded urban design practice established in 1989, taking a lead role in its thought leadership, business planning, design philosophy and communication. He had overall responsibility for urban design and development planning matters in the practice and regularly provided the Design Director role on projects.

He led the practice to numerous awards over the years – RTPI ‘Planning Consultancy of the Year,’ RICS ‘Regeneration Consultancy’ and ‘Innovation of the Year’ and the BEX ‘Best International Masterplan’ award for the Birmingham Big City Plan.


1978. University of Witwatersrand Bachelor of Architecture & Westminster Bachelor of Architecture (P3)

1982. University of Cape Town, Course Tutor: Masters in Urban Design

1989. University of Westminster, Review and Validation of Urban Design Course

1990-95. University of Westminster/ Oxford Brookes University, Lecturer: Urban Design

2000. British Council/Fulbright Scholarship, Lecture Series in New Zealand with Michael Sorkin

2003. Cranfield Business School, Business Growth and Development Programme

2006. London School of Economics, Occasional Lecturer: Cities Programme

2009/2013. Urban Design Group, Kevin Lynch Annual Memorial Lecture

2010. University of Cambridge, Visiting Lecturer (Interdisc. Design in the Built Environment)

2011 – 2013. University of Westminster, Visiting Professor: Urban Design,

2013. Oxford University, Visiting Lecturer: MSc Sustainable Urban Development

2014. University College London Honorary Professor: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Urban Design Quarterly 1992 – Guest Editor,

Cities Design Forgot (Published Urban Exchange) 1993,

Connected City (Published Urban Exchange) 1995,

By Design: Design in Planning System (CABE) 2000,

Re:Urbanism: Challenge to the Urban Summit, 2006,

Start with the Park (CABE) 2005,

The New Norm  (UDG Quarterly Journal) 2009,

Making Massive Small Change: (ICE Journal 2010),

Massive Small: The Operating System for Smart Urbanism (Amazon),

London Popular Home Initiative (Published Urban Exchange),

The Radical Incrementalist (Published by Massive Small) 2015,

The Massive Small Sourcebook (Published by Massive Small) 2016.


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