about

By combining our applied and academic knowledge, merging social sciences with practice, ForeGrounds is uniquely placed to bring a rigorous evidence-base to the development process. 

Drawing on our skills and experience, we have developed a method through which we gain a simultaneously holistic and detailed view of a project, using mixed methods for research and analysis. We map the potential of a project to generate systemic wellbeing in complex environments, identify possible pitfalls, create a framework of tangible targets and indicators, and develop a strategy.

 

We work collaboratively within teams to shape innovative, creative and strategic responses to project needs. We are part of The London Collective whose members bring a range of built environment expertise to tackle every projects' unique requirements.

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Shira de Bourbon Parme  DPhil

Co-Founding Director

Placemaking

Design Briefs & Guidelines
Social & Cultural Anthropology

Community Engagement

Shira has 15 years of experience focusing on coordinating urban development projects with social development. Having trained as an architect, she went on to work at the Tsinghua Institute of Landscape and Planning, Beijing, where she designed large master plans for new towns and cities, new districts, parks and public realm, regeneration and resettlement projects. She has independently advised on design briefs and urban design guidelines with particular emphasis on developing resilient communities and working in socially sensitive heritage contexts. 

Shira has taught workshops on divided cities (Belfast-Jerusalem) and conducted research on integrated development practices for ageing populations.  She currently teaches an annual seminar on ‘Urban Ageing and Wellbeing’ for the MSc Health in Urban Development Course at the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit.  Shira holds a doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Future of Cities programme at the University of Oxford. Her thesis explored embodied, socio-material cognition in urban design practices, tracing how people think, innovate and make decisions in groups.

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Nikos Karadimitriou  PhD

Co-Founding Director

Integrated Urban Development
Strategic Planning
Blue/Green Infrastructure
Housing & Regeneration

Social Return on Investment

Nikos is an academic and urban development consultant with over 18 years of international public and private sector experience in urban development, urban regeneration and housing as well as integrated territorial development policy and planning. He has significant expertise in dealing with complex spatial planning and development issues such as those occasioned by major urban investment programmes and projects.

In his most recent assignments, he supported local and regional authorities with implementing their territorial development projects, for example via the UN Habitat technical support for blue/green infrastructure in Addis Ababa or via the European Investment Bank (EIB) technical assistance for Athens’ and Thessaloniki’s Integrated Territorial Investment Plan to improve urban resilience. He has worked on developing Quality of Life indicators for EU’s Urban Audit and has recently co-authored RICS’ report on “Measuring the Social, Economic and Environmental Effects of Property and Infrastructure Development”. Nikos holds a PhD in Town Planning from UCL and he is an associate professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.