Arup has been rushed into the massive Thames Gateway redevelopment area in north Kent to force developers to raise their design standards.
Appointed by Kent County Council, the practice has been asked to ensure new schemes are at the 'cutting-edge of design innovation' as fears grow over the quality and sustainability of many of the proposed developments around the Thames Estuary.
Part of the North Kent Design Excellence programme, Arup will develop a series of exemplar projects aimed at demonstrating a 'best practice' approach to urban realm improvements, bridge design, renewable energy and waste management.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister sponsored programme also aims to focus dedicated design resources at an early stage on projects across Dartford, Gravesham and Swale.
Adrian Gurney, the project manager with Arup, said: 'It is this sort of work that could make a major difference to the achievement of the sustainable communities' agenda.
'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,' he added.by Richard Waite