UCL News


UCL joins #WeMakeCamden campaign for a better, fairer place to live

23 September 2021

Leading academics from UCL will be joining a series of events aimed at making the area a ‘better, fairer, place to live’ as part of its partnership with our local London borough of Camden.

camden 1

The council’s We Make Camden: Communities Taking Action campaign, launched this week, is asking citizens, organisations and businesses to come together to tackle local challenges and explore the role that each can play in creating lasting change.

At the centre of the initiative are four ‘missions’ - developed in collaboration with UCL’s Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose(IIPP) - through the Camden Renewal Commission which aims to  make ambitious and transformational change by 2030.

The four areas of focus for achieving a fair, sustainable economy and address inequalities in the borough are:

  • Access to food for all: Everyone in the borough will be able to eat well every day with nutritious, affordable, sustainable food. 
  • Sustainable neighbourhoods: Camden’s estates and their neighbourhoods will be creative and sustainable. 
  • Opportunities for young people: Every young person will have access to economic opportunity that enables them to be safe and secure. 
  • Diversity in positions of power: Those holding positions of power in Camden will be as diverse as our community – and the next generation ready to follow. 

This week’s activities are designed to encourage people to share experiences and expertise to ensure ‘no one is left behind and everyone has a voice’.

camden youth

Mariana Mazzucato, UCL Professor of the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Director of the IIPP, will join the Leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould, to visit a community space for climate and eco action.

The ‘Think and Do’ project was developed in response to a citizens’ assembly in the borough on the climate crisis. It includes pop-up events, such as one on the Ossulston Estate in Somers Town where the visit will happen today. The aim is to demonstrate how local communities are working together to act on the climate crisis.

Other events include a ‘Food Mission’ panel discussion at Rhyl Community Primary School on ways to tackle food poverty, both now and longer term.

UCL has a long-standing relationship with Camden Council, most recently signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December 2020. The MoU formalised a partnership between two leaders of change, providing a framework to work closely together for the health, wealth and wellbeing of the community they both serve. 

camden diversity

Professor Alan Thompson, Pro-Provost (London), UCL and lead for the Camden-UCL MoU has pledged his support for this week’s initiative. He said:

"UCL is delighted to support Camden on the #WeMakeCamden initiative and more broadly their missions for the borough. #WeMakeCamden is about bringing the borough together to ‘renew’, to imagine what achieving the missions looks like and for organisations, businesses, communities and local people to think about what roles they can play in achieving local goals.

“Through our work with Camden, and our wider role as an anchor in the borough, we whole heartedly support and advocate those activities, which will help make the Camden missions a reality". 

UCL and Camden have a rich history of working together for the benefit of local people. Together they have been: 

Bringing in expertise through initiatives including the Evaluation of Health and Care Citizen’s Assembly, Covid-19 behaviour change, Rapid Evaluation and Learning Service

  • Mobilising residents to design solutions to challenges such as Clean Air Hack, Think & Do UCL, Listen & Respond, Citizen Scientists on Wellbeing Index, Design with Families
  • Working together to improve education, health and care outcomes via strategic relationships with UCL’s Institute of Education, UCL sponsorship of the UCL Academy and links with University College London Hospital (UCLH) 
  • Collaborating to secure world-leading facilities via a strategic planning agreement with UCL, development of a world leading neuroscience facility 
  • Building coalitions to tackle long term challenges e.g., Camden Renewal Commission partnership. 

To see more, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCijktOcL8KAbfqUILNTXUuQ



  • Images by Josh Knowles