UCL Global


An ANCI Mayoral Visit with the Cities Partnership Programme

16 December 2019

In early October 2019, a delegation of forty young mayors and civic leaders from all over Italy came to UCL to engage with leading academics and practitioners on innovative practices around urban regeneration.


The visit was part of the Cities partnerships Programme, a cross-UCL initiative that supports, funds and promotes the work that UCL academics carry out with partners in major cities. Rome is the first location for the programme, which is now in its second year.

The mayoral delegation was from ANCI, the National Association of Italian Municipalities, a membership organisation which represents and safeguards the interests of municipalities throughout Italy.


The Challenges of Urban Regeneration

UCL’s Urban Lab, Innovation and Enterprise and Cities partnerships Programme convened a conference that explored key areas of urban regeneration, governance, sustainability, housing and community engagement. The programme was introduced by Dr Clare Melhuish, Director of Urban Lab and featured sessions by UCL colleagues including Dr Jenny McArthur, Lecturer in Urban Infrastructure and Policy, Joanna Marshall-Cook, Senior Sustainability Manager, Giorgio Talocci, Teaching Fellow at the Development Planning Unit, and Dr Jan Kattein, Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive of Camden Town Unlimited also led a session on regeneration. The delegation spent time in the busy, diverse borough of Camden, and visited UCL’s historical Bloomsbury campus before going on a tour of the award-winning HQ of Camden Council. The conference was also attended by representatives from the British Council, the Italian embassy, and the FCO.

ANCI’s mayoral delegation had a chance to discuss contemporary and emerging issues relating to urban governance. Locating it in the London borough of Camden provided an opportunity to consider these relationships on a local, metropolitan, national and global scale.

The ANCI delegates came to London with a range of aims and agendas – some hoped to use the visit to help develop and shape their careers. Others will use the topics discussed as a catalyst for looking at issues in their own geographical areas of focus. 

Antonella Galdi, Chief of Publica-ANCI Young administrators school, said: “This conference was the first of its kind organised by Publica, ANCI's school for young administrators. Our goal was to broaden the horizons of our young Italian administrators, and give them inspiration about new approaches and methodologies. Given the positive feedback expressed by the participants, we can say this experiment was successful!"

Michele Pianetta, Vice President of ANCI Piedmont, said, "This was a high-level training experience. The participating administrators saw first-hand the positive effects of various urban regeneration initiatives implemented in London, from Camden Town to Kings Cross. Activities like this conference help us to reflect on the challenges of the future. We came back from London feeling very positive, and happy to have also been able to present the small but significant practices we have undertaken ourselves both in Italy and specifically in our own region, Piedmont."