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Interim research findings: university spatial development and urban regeneration

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University regeneration

New university developments are moving away from out of town campuses and focusing on integrated urban sites with good access to amenities and affordable housing. There are also high expectations of universities to lead the way in realising flagship developments which exemplify best practice in urban design, environmental and social sustainability. But universities are complex organisations and such projects require strong leadership, good communications, and solid financial underpinning to be successful.

Urban Pamphleteer is 'Magazine of the Week' on MagCulture

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Urban Pamphleteer featured on MagCulture

MagCulture have featured the Urban Pamphleteer in its 'Magazine of the Week' feature.

Matthew Gandy wins 2014 Meridian Book Award for ‘innovative’ The Fabric of Space

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The fabric of space by Matthew Gandy

Matthew Gandy, Professor of Geography and former Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory (2005-11), has been awarded the 2014 AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography for his book The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination.

Call for Papers: Cyborg Cities and Urban Resilience

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Cyborg Cities_CLP

How can we engage with the dynamic and boundary-breaking role of technology and infrastructure in the Cyborg City within the context of global city region resilience? Cities have long embodied cyborg attributes with their complex interplay of socio-political, physical and digital infrastructures. Yet despite scholarly recognition of the fluid and constantly changing human-technology interface in ‘big infrastructure’ cyborg debates (smart grids, smart meters, public Wifi, national broadband networks and ‘big data’), policy and industry commentary on cyborg relations places clear demarcations between the social and the technical. Bringing an understanding of this dynamism and tension to contemporary city and infrastructure debates is critical if we are to understand, prepare for and develop new relations and adaptations in the cyborg city, particularly when systems are threatened or break down.

Call for Contributions: Urban Pamphleteer #6 Global Education for Urban Futures

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Urban Pamphleteer 1-4

Proposal deadline: Wednesday 25 March, 12pm GMT

Guest Editors: Paola Alfaro d’Alençon, Rupali Gupte, Johannes Novy, Mika Savela, Ben Campkin

DPU summerLab 2014 pamphlet now available

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Each summer the DPU summerLab hosts a workshop series in cities around the world – seeking to stimulate and provoke a reconsideration of the role of designers in promoting spatial justice. Now, the 2014 series pamphlet is available online. You can download the document (pdf) for free or read the document on issuu.

Call for Papers: Urban Lab+ London Symposium 2015

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Urban Lab +

Global Urban Higher Education: the challenges and potentials of internationalisation

Urban Lab+ London Symposium, 16-17 September 2015 

Call for Proposals: Open Source Housing crisis

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Open Source Housing

With a shortfall of 100,000 units per year and a decline in the availability of social tenancies, London's developers and housing associations add to the already considerable cost of housing by charging for the service of organising groups of people with the common need of accommodation. Those in need are often forced to accept precarious dwelling conditions, in buildings that are poorly designed, cheaply constructed and disadvantageously financed. The political and financial structures, such as the mis-alignment of average wages to the GLA’s interpretations of ‘affordability’ and predominance of insecure tenancies, that fuel London’s housing crisis continue to evolve beneath the radar of public scrutiny.


We are convening a workshop concerned to scope communication technologies with potential to disrupt these conditions. This workshop is concerned with the design of network-based tools that would nurture a many-to-many approach to 1) better understanding and engagement with policy changes and relevant expertise; 2) experimenting with alternative models that destabalise the central role of the developer / housing association in decision making about the future of housing in London.

The outcome of this workshop will be a special issue of the Urban Pamphleteer. Our starting vision for this is a catalogue of transformative tools, tactics, and ideas from a variety of perspectives featuring contributions by select workshop participants. Urban Pamphleteer is a series of publications that confront key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives. Issues are distributed for free in print and digitally. Urban Pamphleteer is a collaboration between Central Saint Martins and the UCL Urban Laboratory.


The workshop takes place on 13 March 2015 (10.00-16.30) at Central Saint Martins in the Graphic Communication Design studios and runs as part of CSM's Restless Futures Events Series. Confirmed participants so far include Joel Gethin Lewis, Adam Greenfield, and Dawn Foster. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, but please note that we are unable to cover additional costs.

We would like to hear from anyone who thinks they might have a contribution to make to this workshop. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to Shauna Scott (s.scott@csm.arts.ac.uk) and include a 100 word expression of interest that indicates something about your background and reason for wanting to get involved by 16 February. We will select approximately 18 participants representing a wide range of concerns and disciplines. We want this discussion to be highly interdisciplinary and we encourage participation from a wide range of fields, professions and community groups.

Thank you.

Rebecca Ross, Shumi Bose, Shauna Scott & Ben Campkin

Contribute to the new project 'London is Changing'

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London is Changing

London is Changing is a research project studying the impact of economic and policy changes on the culture and diversity of London.

Urban Lab partners with Somerset House and A(by)P for 'Mapping the City' exhibition

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Mapping the City

UCL Urban Laboratory is partnering with Somerset House and A(by)P to support the Mapping the City exhibition and events programme, opening on Thursday 22 January.

How Ruth Glass shaped the way we approach our cities

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Ruth Glass footage

In her carefully crafted introduction to the book London: Aspects of Change in 1964, the urban sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term ‘gentrification’. The term, referring to demographic shifts within an urban community, subsequently spawned an extensive and ever-growing field of urban research and debate.

Is urban graffiti a force for good or evil?

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Graffiti Sessions street art

Athlyn Cathcart-Keays writes for The Guardian on the debate over urban graffiti, drawing on the recent Graffiti Sessions conference co-hosted by the UCL Urban Laboratory.

New research blog launched by Urban Lab Artist-in-Residence

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Max Colson's Photo Recall

Max Colson, Urban Laboratory Artist-in-Residence 2014-15, has launched a new research blog, Photo Recall, complementing his residency.

UCL Urban Laboratory Activities Report 2012-14

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Cover image for Activities Report 2012-14

Publication date: December 2014 / Download (pdf) report by clicking on the icon below.

This new report covers the activities of the UCL Urban Laboratory across the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, with information on research, events, and staff.

Discussing the legacy of urban theorist Bernardo Secchi

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Bernardo Secchi

Urban Lab Co-director Camillo Boano discusses the legacy of the urban theorist and planner Bernardo Secchi, who passed away in September 2014, in Society and Space.

No regrets for police officer 'graffiti artists love to hate'

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Image credit: Sonia P. Sanchez Lopez

The Guardian report from the recent Graffiti Sessions conference hosted by Urban Lab and the Graffiti Dialogues Network at Central Saint Martins, with an article highlighting DC Colin Saysell's presentation on the first day.

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).

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