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Why Mumbai should get over its obsession with cars

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City traffic in Mumbai. Photograph: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images

Dr Andrew Harris writes in The Guardian that Mumbai's transport policy continues to be skewed towards cars despite 91% of trips in the city being made on foot, or public transport. The article appears as part of the Guardian Cities Mumbai series.

Matthew Gandy's 'The Fabric of Space' published by MIT Press

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The fabric of space by Matthew Gandy

Matthew Gandy's new book The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination has just been published by MIT Press.

Clare Melhuish runs workshop at Engage 2014 conference

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Clare Melhuish (Urban Lab Research Associate) joins forces with Kim Townsend, UCL's Public Engagement Co-Ordinator (East), Andy Karvonen, Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Manchester, and Sam Wilkinson, Director of InSite Arts, to run a workshop at the Engage 2014 conference in Bristol on Wednesday 3 December, from 2-3pm.

How images shape our cities: UCL Urban Laboratory launches Picturing Place series with Guardian Cities

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Today marks the launch of an exciting new Guardian Cities series on urban images authored by Ben Campkin (UCL), Mariana Mogilevich (Princeton) and Rebecca Ross (Central Saint Martins).

Graffiti Sessions launches this December

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graffiti sessions

Graffiti Sessions is a three day event that welcomes authorities, academics, policy makers, artists, writers, community members and urban managers to come together in order to question value, creativity and control in relation to street art and graffiti.

Urban Pamphleteer #4: Doha Launch

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Urban Pamphleteer 4 Doha Launch Poster

The potential role of higher education in ‘activating’ city centres all over the world, as opposed to generating conflict between ‘town and gown’, was highlighted at the launch on Sunday of UCL Urban Laboratory’s Urban Pamphleteer #4, dedicated to issues around the rapid redevelopment of the historic centre of Doha, Qatar. The event, held at Doha’s most recognizable landmark, the Museum of Islamic Art, concluded with a presentation from Tim Makower, a British architect based in London and Doha, who stated ‘there is a real opportunity for higher education to activate old Doha. Experience tells us that urban mixed use, cultural heritage, and education are mutually beneficial’.

Urban Pamphleteer #3: Design & Trust now available

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The third edition of the Urban Pamphleteer has launched and is now available to download as a pdf.

Amit Chaudhuri to mark launch of Cities Imaginaries with lecture on 'The New Provinces'

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Amit Chaurduri

Amit Chaudhuri will host a lecture at UCL to mark the Department of English's City Centre joining the Urban Lab's Cities Imaginaries programme.

Cities Methodologies 2014

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Cities Methodologies 2014 poster

We are pleased to announce the programme of events for Cities Methodologies 2014. Led by UCL Urban Laboratory, Cities Methodologies is an ongoing programme of events and exhibitions dedicated to presenting, sharing and experimenting with new methods of urban research. Click on the image to view the programme (pdf).

Contributors announced for Cities Methodologies in October 2014

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Howard Read - The visual documentation of demolition within a contested regeneration site

UCL Urban Laboratory’s annual exhibition exploring innovative urban research returns 28th-31st October. After a record number of applicants for the open call in June, we are pleased to announce the list of artists, academics, students, independent researchers and groups who will take part in the exhibition and associated programme of events.

Urban Lab awarded Leverhulme funding for artist-in-residence to explore ‘hidden security’

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Max Colson, artist-in-residence

UCL Urban Laboratory is delighted to announce that UCL has received an award from the Leverhulme Trust to fund artist Max Colson as an artist-in-residence to work with Dr Ben Campkin during the academic year 2014/15.

Audio from Cities Methodologies Spring 2014: Buildings on Fire - towards a new approach to urban memory

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As part of the spring programme of Cities Methodologies in 2014, 'Buildings on Fire: Towards a new approach to urban memory' brought together a range of fire specialists, researchers, architects, curators and artists to explore the notion of fire as a methodological tool. The cross-disciplinary seminar featured a number of talks, of which three have been recorded. The audio is accessible below and on the UCL Urban Laboratory Mixcloud page.

Audio from Cities Methodologies Spring 2014: Learning to Walk roundtable

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As part of the spring programme of Cities Methodologies in 2014, the 'Learning to Walk' roundtable brought together a range of thinkers, practicioners, and artists who are engaged with walking as a method of understanding, and a way of experiencing, the city. The discussion focuses on the diversity of walks-based practices and different approaches for thinking about walking. The audio is accessible below and on the UCL Urban Laboratory Mixcloud page.

Beacon Bursary awarded to UCL Urban Laboratory

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UCL Urban Laboratory has been awarded a Beacon Bursary in the latest round of UCL’s public engagement grants. It will be used for the project, ‘Making sense of digital data’ - inclusive visualisation workshops as a component of participatory urban regeneration in Brixton. Research Associate Clare Melhuish will work with colleagues in ICRI Cities at UCL (Han Pham, Christian Jetter, and Lisa Koeman), and the Brixton Green community benefit society, to organise two inclusive workshops for local residents at Somerleyton Road, Brixton.

The Acoustic City

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The Acoustic City

Matthew Gandy (UCL Geography and UCL Urban Laboratory Director 2005-2011) has published an edited collection The Acoustic City (Jovis, 2014) with the Swedish sound artist BJ Nilsen, completed with the support of the Leverhulme Foundation, the UCL Urban Laboratory, and the UCL Grand Challenges programme.  The book consists of a series of cutting-edge essays on sound and the city accompanied by a specially commissioned CD with contributions from Félix Blume, Ekkehard Ehlers, Yui Onodera, Schneider TM and many other artists.

Cities Methodologies 2014: Call for Proposals

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Walking Methodologies audience

Cities Methodologies is a pan-UCL initiative to showcase innovative methods in urban research, drawing together work from undergraduate programmes, through to PhD studies, staff, and the wider research community.

Cities Methodologies Spring 2014 open 28 April - 2 May

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Cities Methodologies Spring 14 Poster

UCL Urban Laboratory will open the spring programme of Cities Methodologies from Monday 28 April to Friday 2 May 2014 in the UCL Slade Research Centre. The week-long programme is an ongoing series of events and installations showcasing innovative methods for the analysis and improvement of cities worldwide. The exhibition is open daily from 10:00 - 18:00.

Urban Lab representation at the 7th World Urban Forum

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This week UCL Urban Laboratory co-director Dr Camillo Boano, and DPU Director Prof Julio D. Davila along with a large delegation of DPU staff, including Dr Alex Frediani (UCL Urban Laboratory Steering Committee) are attending the 7th World Urban Forum (WUF) in Medellin, Colombia. The WUF is convened by UN-Habitat and takes place very two years in a different city. It is the largest international forum on urban issues, and welcomes researchers, policymakers, NGOs, community organisations, private companies and international agencies to join together in conversation.

Audio from 'Derek Jarman: Sites and Spaces' study day available

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On 13 February, UCL Urban Laboratory and the Slade School of Fine Art hosted a study day focused on the sites and spaces of Derek Jarman's life and work, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his death. This forms part of the wider programme of events being organised across the year celebrating the life and work of the artist and queer activist, Jarman 2014.

Urban Laboratory academics feature in BBC programme 'The Country Formerly Known as London'

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The Country Formerly Known as London

Urban Laboratory researcher Louis Moreno and Urban Laboratory Steering Committee member Michael Edwards feature in a BBC Radio 4 programme that asks the question, how would London look as an independent city-state? The Country Formerly Known as London aired on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 1 April at 20:00, presented by The Guardian's economics leader writer, Aditya Chakrabortty. It is available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer until Tuesday 8 April via this link.

Cities Methodologies Spring 2014

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Led by UCL Urban Laboratory, Cities Methodologies is an ongoing programme of events and exhibitions dedicated to presenting, sharing and experimenting with new methods of urban research. Each iteration takes a new form. Audiences encounter an eclectic array of approaches to the analysis of cities worldwide.

Ben Campkin on Derek Jarman’s King’s Cross in 3:AM Magazine

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As part of UCL Urban Laboratory’s Derek Jarman: Sites and Spaces study day on February 13, Dr Ben Campkin (Director, UCL Urban Laboratory) gave a talk on Jarman’s relationship with King’s Cross, which is now available to read via 3:AM Magazine.  

The talk introduced footage of King’s Cross made by Jarman and his collaborators for the Pet Shop Boys. These images comprised a promo for ‘Rent’ (1987) and a later Super 8 film that was made to be back-projected during the Pet Shop Boys’ 1989 tour as they performed the track ‘King’s Cross’. Completed before the King’s Cross tube station fire (November 1987) the song uses the area as a downbeat emblem of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, around the time that media hysteria on the AIDS crisis peaked. The elegiac footage imbues an everyday city space with poetic tension, echoing the track’s sense of suspension and disorientation. The essay can be read on 3:AM Magazine here.

Matthew Gandy lectures on 'Periodicities and metabolisms' at Harvard

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Matthew Gandy (UCL Urban Laboratory Director 2005-2011 and Steering Committee member) gave a lecture entitled “Periodicities and metabolisms” to the one-day conference “Projective views on urban metabolism” held at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design on 7th February 2014. While visiting Harvard Matthew also gave a podcast interview with Professor Neil Brenner for the Harvard GSD Urban Theory Lab, available here: http://urbantheorylab.net/podcast/

New publication available from the Development Planning Unit/ACHR Junior Professionals Programme

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In 2013, the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) launched a pilot internship programme in collaboration with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights and the Community Architects Network. Six DPU alumni spent six months working with communities in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, supporting  mapping, planning and design processes and discussions around issues of housing and land rights. Through this experience they shared their lives, perspectives, values and stories with communities across South-East Asia. A collection of essays recounting their experiences entitled 'Grounding Knowledge: reflections on community-driven development in South East Asia' is now available online. For more information on the scheme, please visit the DPU website.

Professor Oren Yiftachel delivers CITY Journal and UCL Urban Laboratory Lecture on Gray Space and the New Urban Regime

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Professor Oren Yiftachel

Professor Oren Yiftachel (Ben-Gurion University, Israel) visited UCL on January 30th to deliver the CITY Journal and UCL Urban Laboratory lecture. His talk titled ‘Gray Space and the New Urban Regime: Between Liberalism and a Creeping Apartheid’, focused on the causes of what he terms as ‘gray spaces’ – the unregulated urbanisation of people who are neither integrated into nor eliminated from society, are on the fringes and grey areas of legality and at the will of metropolitan politics. Full audio is avaliable below.

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