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Peter Cookson Smith
Urbis Limited   
Urbis Limited
Tel:+852 2802 3333
Fax:+852 2802 8662

He has been resident in Hong Kong since 1977 when he founded Urbis Limited, one of the first planning, environmental, and landscape consultancies in Asia.  The firm has since undertaken over 3,000 projects in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific area, and won more than 95 local and international awards including the Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence, and the American Waterfront Centre’s Top Honour Award, in 2008.

He has over the past 35 years, directed or participated in more than 100 master planning, urban design projects and tourism studies for both public and private bodies in Hong Kong, China and other parts of S.E. Asia.  In Hong Kong he directed some of Government's initial planning and landscape master planning studies for several new towns, notably Tai Po and Fanling, together with central area studies and control drawings, and directed large parts of Government’s first strategic development investigation for the NW New Territories.  He has also directed a number of environmental protection studies for both Government and various public institutions.

He has directed all planning and urban design work on a day-to-day basis for various inner harbour projects.  These include the Central/Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study and the ensuing studies of detailed Urban Design Parameters which involved 3-dimensional urban form studies, conceptual development proposals, CAD modelling and sketch designs.  This project was awarded the Silver Medal inHong Kong’s Green Project Award Scheme in 1995 and the Hong Kong Institute of Planner’s Silver Medal for 1996.  The Expo Study which he directed for the Hong Kong Tourist Authority on the feasibility of holding an International Exposition in Hong Kong in 2001, was awarded the HKIP Silver Medal for 1998.  The Heritage and Tourism Study which he directed to convert a group of 17 listed buildings in Hong Kong whilst respecting their historical status, was awarded the HKIP Silver Medal for 2002.  in recent years he has also received the 1996 HKIP Award of Merit for Best Planning Paper and received Hong Kong’s Green Award for Planning Research in 1996 and 2000.

He has participated at a senior level in major studies that have formed part of Government's Port and Airport Development Strategy.  These include the West Kowloon Reclamation Study, the Urban Design Study for Planning and Development of South East Kowloon, North Lantau Port Peninsula and Western Harbour Studies and a number of planning and urban design studies for the KCRC and MTRC.  He also directed some of the initial studies on urban development opportunities for the Land Development Corporation, including the production of potential urban development strategies for several major sub-regions and districts within the metropolitan area, and has been involved in urban regeneration studies for the new Urban Renewal Authority.

He has directed more than thirty planning and urban design projects in China since 1982.  These have included the Qinzhou Regional Study and Fangcheng Port and Town Centre Study for the Guangxi Provincial Government; the Yangpu New Town, and Ya Long Wan Studies on Hainan Island; the Yichang City Project in the Three Gorges, Hubei Province; the Wai Tan Yuen Regeneration Study in Shanghai, and a number of projects in Guangdong Province - Nan Sha Peninsula, Hai Xin Island, Sha Jiao Island and Tung Kok Tau Port developments.  In addition he directed a multi-disciplinary team to undertake the Kunming Dianchi National Tourist Resort Area, Yunnan Province.  He has participated in urban planning and design studies for the South Bund District and Zhangjiagang Port Zone in Shanghai, the Xidan Street West area of Beijing and urban development feasibility studies for sites in Beijing, and in Fujian, Zhejiang, Szechuan and Jiangxi Provinces.

He writes regularly on the subject of urban design, and is the author of ‘The Urban Design of Impermanence’ on Hong Kong, ‘The Urban Design of Concession’ on the Treaty Port Cities in China, and the forthcoming ‘Urban Design of Intervention’ on Asian cities.


Chairman of Project Chambers

PhD, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT)

AA Diploma in Planning, Architectural Association, 1971

Diploma in Architecture, University of Nottingham, 1968

Registered Planner in Hong Kong

President of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (2011-2013)

Vice-President of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design

Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute

Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners

Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong (2000-2004)

Chairman of HKIP Educational Accreditation Board (2009)

Visiting Scholar, Centre for Asian Studies, the University of Hong Kong (2008-2011)

Member of the Urban Design Group (UK)

Member of the Advisory Council for the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong

Member of the Hong Kong Harbourfront Commission

Member of the Hong Kong Government Land Advisory Policy Committee

Member of Hong Kong Trade Development Council Infrastructure Development Advisory Committee

Member of the Harbour Business Forum Best Practice Committee

URBIS Limited was established in Hong Kong in 1977 and has since undertaken over 1,850 projects ranging in scope from major strategic regional planning studies to the design of small private gardens.  Projects have included new town planning studies, landscape and recreation studies, major reclamation projects, urban renewal studies, golf and resort planning and design, and the detailed design and construction supervision of a wide range of landscape projects for both public and private sector clients.

URBIS was involved in producing the environmental framework for some of Hong Kong’s earliest new towns and town centres.  In recent years Urbis has played a leading role in the planning and development of Hong Kong’s Metro area, providing planning, urban design and landscape input to key redevelopment projects and, in the process, designing several kilometres of new waterfront.

URBIS has carried out more than 130 urban planning, landscape and tourism projects in the People’s Republic of China.  This has included work in most Provinces and the biggest cities.  Outside the PRC, Urbis has carried out projects in Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, India, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and the Middle East.

URBIS works closely with engineers, architects and environmental scientists on major infrastructure, highway and rail projects and has undertaken a large number of landscape and visual impact assessment studies for the public and private sectors. Major landscape design projects have included town parks, civic spaces, riverside promenades, landfill restoration and slope restoration works, and public and private housing schemes.

URBIS designs have won more than 95 awards from peer groups including the Urban Land Institute, the Landscape Institute, the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, the British Association of Landscape Industries, Hong Kong’s Green Award Scheme, the Shanghai Design Institute and the American Institute of Architects.

URBIS employs over 80 staff in offices in Hong Kong (head office), Shanghai and Dubai.  Several of the staff have been with the Company since its inception.  All key staff are experts in their own fields with a dedication to produce products of the highest calibre.  Professions represented within the company include Landscape Architects, Planners, Architects, Urban Designers, Horticulturists, Certified Arborists, CAD and IT Specialists and Graphics Designers.  URBIS operates a quality assurance system certified under ISO 9001:2008.

  • Central Police Station
  • Heritage Projects
  • Harbour-front Enhancement