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UCL Urban Laboratory




Centre Manager

Steering Committee

Student Academic Representatives (StARs)

Student Academic Representatives (StARs) are elected to represent students’ views to UCL. At the beginning of each academic year, two postgraduate research students are appointed as the UCL Urban Laboratory StARs. They represent students’ views to our Steering Committee, which meets termly, to ensure we engage with the student body effectively in our decision making processes. StARs liase with UCLU and UCL staff to resolve issues.

StARs sit on various committees at a programme, faculty and University level, at which they act as the voice of students, ensuring that UCL takes into account the needs of students in its decision making processes. StARs achieve this through liaising with UCLU and UCL staff to resolve issues.

Current representatives are:

Vacancy x2

Artist in Residence

International Advisory Board

İpek Akpınar (Istanbul Technical University)

Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia)

Stephen Barber (Kingston University)

Neil Brenner (Harvard University)

Dominic Church (German Sustainable Building Council DGNB)

Mustafa Dikec (École d’urbanisme de Paris)

Michael Edwards (University College London)

Adrian Forty (University College London)

Susanne Frank (TU Dortmund University)

David Gissen (California College of the Arts)

Stephen Graham (Durham University)

Jane M. Jacobs (Yale-NUS College)

Gareth Jones (London School of Economics)

Roger Keil (York University, Toronto)

Jorge Francisco Liernur (Torcuato Di Tella University)

Patrick LeGales (Sciences Po Paris)

Julia Lossau (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Iain Low (University of Cape Town, African Centre for Cities)

Jeremy Melvin (Royal Academy)

Ayodeji Olukoju (Caleb University, Lagos)

Kate Orff (Columbia University)

Vyjayanthi Rao (Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research)

Rebecca Ross (Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design)

AbdouMaliq Simone (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)

Erik Swyngedouw (Manchester University)

Karen Till (National University of Ireland Maynooth)

Visiting Researchers

Current researchers

Past visiting researchers

Dr Beatrice de Carli

Insurgent Regeneration. A critical review of notions and practices

Beatrice de Carli completed her architectural studies at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, including a PhD in Architecture & Urbanism developed in collaboration with the University of Leuven, Belgium (2011). She has previously held positions as Research and Teaching Assistant at Politecnico di Milano, and has worked in practice in Milan for several years. Since 2011, she has been teaching Urban Design and Urbanism at Politecnico di Milano and KU Leuven. She joined the Urban Lab in January 2014 under the Bartlett Visiting Research Fellows scheme, as part of the Cross-Disciplinary Research Programme and will be supervised by Dr Ben Campkin (UCL Urban Laboratory) and Dr Adriana Allen (Bartlett Development Planning Unit). During her tenure at UCL Beatrice will work on a project entitled ‘Insurgent regeneration. A critical review of notions and practices’. The project investigates the notion of ‘insurgent regeneration’ as a means to explore the capacity of occupant practices to inform and steer state-led discourses on ‘sustainable urban regeneration’ in inner city areas of the global South. As such, the project aims to address two distinct challenges: the cyclical decay and deterioration of cities and their sustainable resurgence and adaptation, and the housing crisis in the global South – particularly in its manifestation through the informal occupation of vacant and deteriorating buildings and site.

Her research focuses on issues of territorial regeneration, housing and participation in architecture and urban design, specifically in contexts of conflictive spatial change and/ or scarce resources. She is interested in developing creative research and teaching methodologies and alternative modes of spatial practice, including an on-going interest in activist practices in urban contexts. She is a member of Architecture Sans Frontieres Italy, an architectural NGO that works between architecture, community and international development. Recently she has been appointed as vice chair of ASF International. 

Eduardo Canteros

Social Work Department, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago

Urban Values from a Grassroots Organisation In Urban Regeneration Process

Eduardo Canteros is a sociologist and social worker who has recently submitted his thesis in Architecture and Urban Studies. He has worked in community participation programmes in public and private organisations, and in academic positions in different social sciences schools in Chilean universities. 

Eduardo has research interests in urban collective action, citizen participation, and community knowledge and expertise. Eduardo joined the Urban Lab in January 2014 under the Bartlett Visiting Research Fellows scheme, as part of the Cross-Disciplinary Research Programme. While at UCL Eduardo will be working on a project entitled 'Urban values from a grassroots organisation in urban regeneration', supervised by Dr Ben Campkin (UCL Urban Laboratory) and Dr Alexandre Apsan Frediani (Bartlett Development Planning Unit) using qualitative methods to examine the values around which communities organise when they critique and reject regeneration proposals. The project will build on research conducted in Chile and will involve a comparative dimension.

Dr Andy Merrifield


Dr Andy Merrifield will be working on Neo-Haussmannization, mentored by Urban Laboratory Steering Committee members Michael Edwards (The Bartlett School of Planning) and Professor Murray Fraser (The Bartlett School of Architecture).

Andy Merrifield is a writer, social theorist and urban geographer with a PhD in Geography from the University of Oxford. He has taught at assorted universities in the UK and USA. Merrifield is co-editor (with Erik Swyngedouw), of The Urbanization of Injustice (1995) and author of eight books, including Metromarxism (2002), Dialectical Urbanism (2002), Guy Debord (2005), Henri Lefebvre: A Critical Introduction (2006), Magical Marxism (2011) (which was shortlisted for the 2012 Bread and Roses Prize), and most recently, The Politics of the Encounter: Urban Theory and Protest under Planetary Urbanization (2013). 

His many essays and reviews have appeared in publications including AdbustersThe NationHarper’s MagazineNew Left ReviewHarvard Design Magazine, and The Times Magazine

Andy's new book, The New Urban Question, will be published by Pluto Press in March 2014.

Andy will be leading a seminar series for postgraduate research students and advanced undergraduates during his time at UCL on 'Urban theory and protest: from collective consumption to predatory dispossession'. For more information please click here.

Professor Thea Brejzek

Zurich University of the Arts

The politics of performance

Professor Brejzek is director of the PhD on Scenography at Zurich University of the Arts, and currently Visiting Fellow at UTS Sydney. Professor Brejzek will be Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL from January to September 2013 as part of a larger research project she is working on, linking up over 10 institutions internationally to explore the politics of performance.

Dr Robin Kim

Department of Geography/Urban Laboratory

JHK Urban Research Lab, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Robin Kim’s project explores urban regeneration in London, with particular focus on the area between St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern formed by the artery of the Millennium Bridge and Peter’s Hill. The proximity of Tate Modern to St Paul’s has helped shape this new axial pedestrian link and strengthened the relationship between the commercial centre of the City and the cultural hub of Southwark. At the same time, the narrative of urban intervention created by the new urban quarter has contributed to the transformation of that part of central London. The aim is to explore the form and role of this new urban axis and the way it has reshaped central London’s socio-spatial geography. Historical references and policy documents are used to analyse how planners, civic authorities and historians have considered integrating the north and south of the River Thames. For purposes of spatial and visual analysis, conventional survey maps, drawings, sketches, photographs, planning documents and development plans are employed. The research also involves site observation, visitor surveys and Millennium Bridge pedestrian counting data analysis to explore the usage pattern of the axial space and the improvement of pedestrian accessibility on both riversides. This project is supervised by Professor Matthew Gandy.

Anna Mayr


Global cities discourse in urban transformations

Anna Mayr, a PhD candidate at the graduate school URBANgrad at the urban research center of TU Darmstadt, visited the Urban Laboratory in March 2012 and participated in the International Stadtkolloquium. Anna's research is on global cities discourse in urban transformations, taking a comparative view on Johannesburg and Delhi. Her doctoral research project compares local visions of becoming a world-class city in Delhi and Johannesburg.

Aditya Mohanty

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

The politics of governance amongst civil society organisations in Delhi

Aditya Mohanty, a PhD student from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, was awarded a Commonwealth Split-Site Doctoral Scholarship to spend a year (2011-12) at the UCL Urban Laboratory and Department of Geography under the supervision of Dr Pushpa Arabindoo. His research examines the politics of governance amongst civil society organisations in Delhi.

Professor Susan Parnell

University of Cape Town

Leverhulme Visiting Professor

Professor Susan Parnell from the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences and the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town joined the Urban Laboratory in January 2012 as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor. She worked with Professor Jenny Robinson in the context of the Urban Laboratory to support international urban teaching and research at UCL. Professor Parnell presented a Leverhulme public lecture in May entitled ‘The Crisis in Urban Studies: revolution, reform and reconstruction’. She also undertook teaching and other public lectures in the Geography Department and at the Development Planning Unit, including a Dialogues in Development seminar series at the DPU on African perspectives on urban development planning. She travelled to Manchester and Edinburgh to present further Leverhulme public lectures and build links between UCL, UCT and urban groupings in those Universities. Professor Parnell was also invited to contribute to a range of policy-related discussions, notably with the government Department for International Development.

Maider Uriarte Idiazabal

University of the Basque Country

Fringe landscapes

Maider Uriarte Idiazabal is a PhD candidate at the University of the Basque Country who visited the Urban Laboratory for 6 months, funded by the UPV-EHU. Her research on the urban fringe was supervised by Dr Ben Campkin and Professor Nick Gallent and was presented at Stadtkolloquium 2012.


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