UCL Grand Challenges


"Students in the East" map UCL in London

21 June 2017

A group of UCL staff and students mapped their connections with London, and reflected on UCL's aim to be "in London, of London and for London".

What do you get if you cross a group of UCL staff and students with an A0 map of London?

Organised by Students in the East, a collaborative staff-student Changemakers project co-led by the Bartlett Faculty Office, UCL Urban Laboratory and an interdisciplinary team of students, this event provided a space for staff and students to reflect on how they inhabit and use London.

With UCL East billed as "a model for the university campus of the future" and, more imminently, Here East opening in September 2017, Students in the East aims to ensure that collaborative staff-student perspectives help shape the dialogue. London is clearly key to UCL staff and students' experience, but very little is known about students' connections with the city - particularly in the context of East London.

Over the space of two hours, hundreds of coloured dots were plastered across the city, indicating people's houses, favourite restaurants, picnic spots, volunteering sites and academic connections. Conversation ranged from the cheapest place to buy a head of broccoli, to the best night out in Shepherd's Bush, to UCL's presence on the Olympic Park.

Although staff and students clearly live all over London, the bulk of activities mapped were based in Zone 1: very few were located around Stratford and the Olympic Park. The findings of this event, along with all Students in the East project activity, will form the basis of a report with student-generated recommendations for UCL in East London.

Students in the East is co-led by Esme Stallard and Theo Harrison (Bartlett Masters Students), Rebecca Payne (Bartlett Faculty Office) and Jordan Rowe (UCL Urban Laboratory). In addition, the team comprised of 10 support students from across UCL: Azra Gordy and Keelan Fadden-Hopper (Arts and Sciences), Anne Pool (Geography), Rachel Tyler (Architectural History), Oscar Wong (Mega infrastructure planning), Naomi Seow, Amy Curtis and Chris Adan (Urban Studies), Simone Van der Schot (Molecular Biology) and Julian Ganz (Spatial Data Sciences & Visualisation).

The project was funded by UCL Changemakers and the Bartlett Faculty Office, with support from UCL Grand Challenges.

by Rebecca Payne, UCL Bartlett