Soft Cities

Colm Lacey - Soft Cities

Soft Cities is a boutique consultancy practice offering a variety of services to the design, development and construction industries. We provide holistic development management and leadership services, as well as guidance and advice on how to develop productive relationships between consulting and development disciplines, and between the public and private sectors. We understand that client needs can be disparate and dynamic, and we are able to offer hands-on help in sourcing, appraising, assembling, planning, designing, procuring, delivering and communicating transformational urban projects. 

Colm Lacey - Soft Cities

Soft Cities was established by Colm Lacey who has has over 20 years of experience in development, housing and regeneration. Colm is Group Director of Capital Projects for one of the largest further education groups in the UK and Chairs the Board of London CLT, an affordable housing organisation delivering high-quality, community-led homes on a variety of sites across the capital. 

He is an expert panel member on the Design South East group providing design review and analysis services across SE England, and sits on the judging panels for numerous industry awards including AJ Architecture Awards, Construction News Awards and the Building Design Awards. He holds masters degrees in Economics, Politics and Urban Design and is a regular contributor to housing, architecture and construction related publications promoting equitable housing models, good design and responsible urbanism. 

Previously, Colm was Founding Managing Director and CEO of Brick By Brick, a multi-award winning development company and architecture practice. From setting up the company in 2016 to his departure in 2022, Colm grew it to become a national leader in council-led development with an annual turnover of over £100m. In 2023, the company began to be wound down by its shareholder Croydon Council in the wake of severe national local authority funding challenges. It leaves a lasting legacy in the form of c800 new homes and a range of commercial spaces across 25 brownfield sites, helping to address local housing need and permanently influencing the quality of the local urban environment. The Brick By Brick programme was referred to in the Architects Journal as ‘a truly pioneering piece of pan-borough urban thinking’ and the completed projects attracted a raft of industry awards

Prior to this, Colm held a variety of senior level roles delivering public housing, major capital projects and mixed-use regeneration programmes across London, including time at LB Newham as Director of Regeneration, Planning and Olympic Legacy, at LB Croydon as Director of Development and at the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) and Greater London Authority leading on strategic regeneration projects throughout the city. 

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