The Bartlett


UCL Urban Laboratory joins The Bartlett

20 September 2021

The Bartlett Faculty is delighted to share that from this academic year, UCL Urban Laboratory will be an independent academic unit within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment.

Nocturnal demolition

The formalisation follows detailed consultation with the Urban Lab Co-Director group and 30+ members of the Urban Laboratory Steering Committee, the Bartlett Dean Christoph Lindner, The Bartlett Management Advisory Group, and the Deans of Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Social and Historical Sciences.

Since its beginnings in 2005, the UCL Urban Laboratory has flourished as a trans-faculty, cross-disciplinary research centre, bringing together the very best of urban research from the arts, humanities, built environment disciplines and social sciences, with its administrative home first in the Department of Geography (SHS) and then in The Bartlett Faculty Office. 

Through a commitment to cross-disciplinary enquiry and external engagement, UCL Urban Laboratory has enabled collaboration with a wide range of external organisations, makers, activists, academics and students, nationally and internationally. Now, more than ever, it is vital to establish a more secure and sustainable home for its innovative and creative network of urbanists and expertise extending across the University and beyond.

Going forward, the UCL Urban Laboratory will be able to recruit lecturers, host researchers and support students more effectively from its new base in The Bartlett, while still maintaining its established cross-faculty governance structure and opportunity for future Urban Laboratory directors to be recruited from any faculty. The Bartlett is confident that this move will ensure that UCL Urban Laboratory can further the impact and quality of its research in line with the original vision of Urban Lab as a generator of collaborative and holistic approaches to complex urban problems.

UCL Urban Laboratory will continue to play a key role in the development of The Bartlett at our UCL East campus through collaborative programming for the Urban Room and Memory Workshop with the School for Creative and Cultural Industries, as well as through its new teaching programme: MASc Global Urbanism. This will be the first taught degree housed solely within the Urban Laboratory since MSc Urban Studies settled in Geography a decade ago, providing a fantastic opportunity to grow UCL’s cross-disciplinary community of urban researchers and practitioners of tomorrow. Urban Laboratory students, drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, will make a strong contribution to UCL departments beyond the Bartlett through their studies and activities.

Dr Clare Melhuish, the Director of UCL Urban Laboratory said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the enormous contribution from the Co-Director team and Steering Committee, and the Faculty Deans of SHS, Engineering, and A&H who have supported Urban Lab’s work consistently for many years, that has made this next step possible. It is thanks to the spirit of collaboration, creativity and commitment that UCL Urban Laboratory has been able to flourish over the years, becoming increasingly visible, diverse and dynamic in its contribution to urban research and teaching. Collectively, we also thank Dean Christoph Lindner and The Bartlett for sharing in this vision, offering this exciting opportunity, and supporting us to thrive in partnership with other faculties.”

Christoph Lindner, Dean of The Bartlett, Faculty of the Built Environment said:  

“We are delighted that The Bartlett can provide an administrative home to the UCL Urban Laboratory while supporting the lab’s ethos and practice of cross-faculty collaboration.”
Image: 'Nocturnal demolition' by Tom Farshi, 1st place, 2020 Urban Laboratory Photography Competition