What we do

The LSDG aims to achieve a sustainable neighbourhood for the long term on the South Bank in Leeds – the whole area between the River Aire and the motorway.

We are developing a coherent single vision of the potential of a significant area of brownfield land. We are helping to deliver elements of that vision when opportunities arise.

Who we are

We are an informal group of professionals and locals who want to influence the future of Leeds. We particularly focus on the South Bank area of the city centre.

We are a multi-disciplinary, budget-less group brimming with good will and determination to see the city develop in ways that improve well being and reduce adverse environmental impacts. Drawing on a multitude of talents, involving anyone who has an interest in contributing, we can achieve a better long-term future. A greener, fairer more prosperous future that is not just for a privileged few.

So far, the group includes: architects, surveyors, transport consultants, planners, developers and other entrepreneurs, historians and geographers, an urban forester, artists and a sculptor and people whose main interest is in communication and creating links between individuals and organisations.

Our story

The Leeds Sustainable Development Group arose from a series of happenings starting in 2008. Over 300 people were invited by the City Council to attend a City Centre Vision conference in the Town Hall. We heard inspiring ideas from other cities and we energetically debated various topics of relevance to the future of Leeds city centre.

However, when a document was published a few months later (Leeds Initiative, 2008) many people considered that it could have been more visionary. The following year, Leeds Civic Trust published a discussion document setting out some aspirations for the longer term future of the city centre and suggesting ways of bringing about change to achieve the aspirations (Leeds Civic Trust, 2009). In addition, a vision of the city centre in 2020 was published in the Yorkshire Evening Post – a scenario setting out a very different kind of city centre: green, clean, creative, convivial.

This was a starting point for the architect who drew together a small group of professionals. What would our focus be? We quickly alighted on the need for a coherent vision for the significant area south of the river where most of the sites are vacant or in uses that are unlikely to persist and where there is no overall planning policy. And we took the name Leeds Sustainable Development Group.