The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Professor Delivers Keynote Lecture in Australia on Queer Infrastructures

14 September 2023

Professor Ben Campkin is presenting a series of talks on Queer Urbanism, hosted by the Melbourne Centre for Cities in association with Grimshaw Architects. 

Image: Ben Campkin, Queer Premises: LGBTQ+ Venues in London Since the 1980s (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023)

Prof Campkin gave the Melbourne Centre for Cities’ annual public lecture on 12 September, focusing on the ways urban governance and planning address sexual and gender diversity. His lecture argued that despite legal and policy protections, LGBTIQ+ populations and queer heritage have often been overlooked or poorly served in urban redevelopment; and that there are increasing imperatives for urbanists to address sexual and gender diversity carefully across different urban contexts, given the interconnectedness of cities, urban policy, practice and activism. 

The talks open conversations about recent grassroots and policy initiatives in London, Melbourne and other cities. Professor Campkin argues that, although imperfect and context-specific, these instances demonstrate how city authorities can make a positive difference, even where international urban policy-making faces barriers in addressing vulnerable LGBTIQ+ minorities. 
The Melbourne Centre for Cities was set up by the University of Melbourne to deliver research, action and training on urban governance. 
In addition to the inaugural lecture, the Queer Urbanism series, taking place from 11–14 September, includes two further talks, one on Queer Planning, for Grimshaw Architects, and one on Queer Preservation, for the University of Melbourne’s ‘Gender Sexuality Culture’ Interdisciplinary Research seminar series, a book launch for Prof Campkin’s new book, Queer Premises: LGBTQ+ Venues in London Since the 1980s (Bloomsbury, 2023), at Melbourne’s new purpose-built LGBTIQ+ centre, in the established LGBTIQ+ bookshop, Hares and Hyenas, and sessions with the Centre’s Studio N, postgraduate and research studio focused on managing cities at night. LGBTIQ+ store, The Bookshop Darlinghurst, Sydney, will also host a signing event for Queer Premises. 

Ben Campkin is Professor of Urbanism and Urban History at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and Co-Director of UCL’s Urban Laboratory. He is the author of Queer Premises: LGBTQ+ Venues in London Since the 1980s (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023) and Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture (2013), which won the Urban Communication Foundation Jane Jacobs Award (2015) and was commended in the Royal Institute of British Architects President’s Awards for Research (2014). Publications include Urban Pamphleteer (co-founder and co-editor, 2013–), Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies (co-editor, 2016), Sexuality and Gender at Home: Experience, Politics, Transgression (co-editor, 2017) and Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination (co-editor, 2007). He was the UK principal investigator on the EU Horizon 2020 project Night-Spaces: Migration, Culture and Integration in Europe (2019–23).

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Image: The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London. Image from a laser scan produced between Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, 2020. UCL Urban Laboratory, 2020.