The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


‘Map-making by City-makers’: DPU research nominated for UCL’s #MadeAtUCL initiative

18 September 2019

We are excited that the action-research conducted in Lima as part of ReMapRisk and cLIMA sin Riesgo has been selected as “one of the top 100 stories of disruptive discoveries from UCL” and will be exhibited at the #MadeAtUCL festival on 5th October

Made at UCL

#MadeAtUCL is a new campaign which aims to make visible UCL’s impact on people, lives and communities through ground-breaking research and discoveries. The UCL community nominated hundreds of stories about the ways that UCL’s work has been touching lives whether through health, technology, culture, environment, community, justice & equality. These stories underwent a selection process involving staff and members of the public. 

The DPU’s ReMap Lima and cLIMA sin Riesgo action-research led by Prof Adriana Allen and Dr Rita Lambert has been nominated and selected as “one of the top 100 stories of disruptive discoveries from UCL

The DPU team together with inhabitants from the centre and periphery of the city of Lima used an innovative mapping methodology to better understand what is happening in marginalised settlements and inform solutions to improve the living conditions of impoverished dwellers.

Using drones, 3D modelling and on the ground contributions from local women and men, the team was able to build a 3D map of neighbourhoods which were otherwise unmapped. The process of mapping helped to better understand the everyday risks inhabitants face, such as rockfalls, housing collapse and diseases due to the lack of clean water and adequate sanitation. It helped to capture where these risks are located, who is affected and how they are produced. It also helped to quantify the considerable income, time and labour that the urban poor spend on improving collective accessibility, services and housing conditions.

This spatialised understanding was crucial to make the contribution of dwellers visible and to inform coordinated action to disrupt risk cycles.

Made at UCLThe results of the project so far have been influential on national and local policy for housing and services. A similar approach to participatory mapping with marginalised inhabitants has been adopted by Adriana and Rita in Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Karonga (Malawi), revealing the power of map-making by city-makers.

Please come and visit our exhibition at the Made@UCL Marquee on Saturday 5th October, 10am-4pm and listen to Adriana and Rita presenting our methodology at 3:30pm.

As part of the #MadeAtUCL campaign you can also vote for this project here (link)