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African Voices @ UCL

20 - 29 January 2016

African Voices Logo

African Voices @ UCL

UCL will formally launch its African Studies Research Centre with a series of events at the end of January 2016. The events will be held under the title 'African Voices @UCL' and have been funded by UCL Grand Challenges. African Voices will emphasize our goal of co-producing knowledge about Africa with African colleagues on the continent and in the diaspora. 

Further details.

All events in the African Voices series are convened by the UCL African Studies Research Centre with support from the UCL Grand Challenges.

Transport systems and well-being in Nigeria: socio-economic development and environmental change

12.30—2.00 20 January 2016

UCL IAS Common Ground Room, South Wing, access from Main Quad

Speaker: Dr. Ibidun Adelekan, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Chair: Dr. Catherine Holloway, Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, UCL

Transport systems facilitate people’s access to economic opportunities, social services, markets, places of recreation and other services and have a key role in the economy. There are also several negative effects of transport systems on quality of life. Understanding and maximizing the potential in the nexus of transport, socio-economic development and human well being has become important to planners and policy makers in developed countries. There is need to factor in such relationship in the planning of transportation systems in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

The paper examines transport systems and human well-being nexus in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, in the context of socio-economic development and environmental change. The evolving nature of risks associated with the development of Nigeria’s transport systems in relation to the pattern of social and economic development since the commencement of large-scale exploitation of crude oil in the country is analyzed. The environmental dimension in form of climate change and increased rate of urbanization as additional stressor on transport systems is also explored. The combined effects on different dimensions of human well-being in Nigeria and specifically in urban settings are described.

It is expected that this paper will provide new insights into contextual issues of socio-economic development, environmental change, transport systems and quality of life in Africa.

Further details and registration

Heritage, marginality and hybridity in the gold fields of south-eastern Senegal

5 P.M. 22 January 2016

UCL IAS Common Ground Room, South Wing, access from Main Quad

Lecture by Dr Ibrahima Thiaw, University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar
Over the past millennia, South East Senegal has gained the reputation of an important gold mining region. Today it still lives by that reputation as it continues to attract global investments. The region of has a fascinating past through medieval times, slavery, colonialism and the recent effects of gold mining on national and regional population mobility, and on the preservation of cultural and natural resources. The effects imposed by culture and sociopolitical organisations on small-scale decentralized communities have been vast. 

Further details and registration

Transcending the Past and Reimagining the Future of the South African University

6.00 P.M. 25 January 2016

JZ Young Lecturer theatre (access direct from Gower Street)

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Adam Habib will discuss how, for universities to lead social change, they have to exist within a higher education system that is responsive to the diverse and multiple needs of the economy and society. Any serious analysis of the higher education system over the last two decades must confront the challenge of trade-offs among equally important, competing imperatives, and the contesting philosophies that have come to define the post-apartheid education project at South Africa’s universities.

Further details and registration

African Question Time

6.15 P.M. 26 January 2016

Anatomy G29 J Z Young LT - GOWER STREET London WC1E 6BT GB

This will be a topical discussion in which our panel of visitors from Senegal, Uganda and South Africa are posed questions by the audience at UCL and (via the miracle of technology) by students from around Africa. 

  • What are the opportunities and challenges that Africa faces in the future? 
  • What are the big current issues for higher education in Africa? 
  • What differences will it make to Africa now that half the population live in cities? 
  • What should the priorities be in African health sectors? 
  • Do traditional rulers have any role to play in African politics?"

If you have a question you would like to ask the panel please add it to the registration form, or email

Further details and registration

Launch of African Voices Photo Exhibition

7.45 P.M. 26 January 2016

South Cloisters
African Voices Photo Competition

Launch event for the “African voices @ UCL” photographic exhibition, in the company of the UCL Provost and with performance by the griot Mosi Conde.

Further details

UCL African Caribbean Society Talent Show and Cultural Gala

29 January 2016

Main Quad Marquee

Look out for tickets on the UCL African Caribbean Society website

London's Housing Crisis - Question Time

London's Housing Crisis

A UCL Grand Challenges and Public Policy Question Time Event

13th April 2016

Darwin Lecture Theatre, UCL

Housing is one of the key issues in London’s mayoral election. Spiralling property prices, limited housing stock and a rapidly-growing population are making it increasing difficult for Londoners to find a place to live. Home ownership has become accessible only to the wealthiest and rented accommodation is under enormous pressure, offering substandard or prohibitively expensive options that offer no long-term security.  

What can be done to address London’s housing crisis?

Does the current policy debate offer the right answers?

Who are the key stakeholders and how can they work together to deliver solutions?

UCL Grand Challenges and UCL Public Policy are hosting a ‘Question Time’ event on London’s housing crisis ahead of the Mayoral election, bringing together stakeholders from public policy, the private sector, NGOs and others to consider the most pressing housing issues for London and potential solutions. 

The panel will be chaired by Peter Wynne Rees CBE (UCL Professor of Places and Planning, and former City of London Planning Officer). The panel members are:

  • Duncan Bowie (University of Westminster)
  • Alice Martin (New Economics Foundation)
  • Austen Reid (Circle Housing)
  • June Barnes (Board member, Urban & Civic property developers) 

Register for your free place


iDIBE Town Meeting

29 September 2015


UCL Town Hall meeting to discuss the potential for a new UCL-wide institution for Digital Innovation in the Built Environment.

The rapid growth in computing power and digital communications is enabling radical changes in the ways in which the built environment (both buildings and infrastructure) is conceived, developed and operated.  This is true both for applications of direct relevance to the built environment (e.g. BIM – Building Information Modelling) and also indirect relevance (e.g. cyber security).

The developments of Smart Cities, Big Data and the Internet of Things introduce increasing complexity, as well as many new research and teaching challenges. UCL has a number of 'islands of excellence’ in relevant research, but these are, at best, partly connected.  As such, we are missing out on opportunities on synergies in research, teaching, consultancy and CPD.

To improve our internal understanding and external impact in this area, we would like to discuss the idea of a new virtual institute within UCL, to act as a Socio-Technical Centre for Digital Innovation in the Built Environment.  A possible vision for this might be for: 

"UCL to be clearly positioned as the global leader in digital innovation in the built environment, expanding and developing its existing strengths in The Bartlett and Engineering Faculties, whilst also incorporating social and behavioural sciences."

In order to capture as many views as possible, we will be holding a Town Meeting, and you are warmly invited to come along, hear what is said and have your own say.

Professor Tim Broyd Professor of Built Environment Foresight, The Bartlett
Professor Alan Penn  Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
Professor Alexi Marmot Professor of Facility and Environment Management
Professor Jeremy Watson  Vice Dean: Engineering Sciences, Engineering Faculty
Professor John Shawe-Taylor Head of Computer Sciences, Engineering Faculty
Professor Jon French Head of Geography, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences
Dr Anne Kemp Atkins Fellow, Atkins
Mark Bew Chair of UK Government BIM Task Group

To confirm your attendance please email Tracey Cresswell at, using the Subject of ‘iDIBE Town Meeting’. 

Rethinking Transport Appraisal 2

Developing the Approaches to Transport Appraisal

Rethinking Transport Appraisal - 2

5-7 P.M. 9 July 2015 

Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Wilkins Building

Appraisal plays a critical role in prioritising investment in transport. The current approach, based on CBA and MCA (cost-benefit and multi-criteria analysis) has attracted criticism for, among other things, failing to properly take environmental and societal impacts into account.

This is the second of two UCL seminars bringing together national and international expertise to address the problem.

The seminar series will help to inform the work of UCL, as a lead partner in the EU INTERREG IVB SINTROPHER project which is considering the role of the transport appraisal process in funding public transport infrastructure in ‘peripheral’ urban areas.


Professor Peter Jones (Centre for Transport Studies, UCL)


This free seminar was followed by a reception in the Wilkins South Cloisters from 7 p.m. - View the event page at Eventbrite

Supported by:
Logos for Transport Appraisal: BSP, Public Policy, GCSC and UCLTI

UCL Bartlett School of Planning
UCL Centre for Transport Studies
UCL Transport Institute
UCL Public Policy
UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities

Urban Alchemy

Urban Alchemy, a book based on the small grant "Deconstructing Demolition: Journeys through scrap and salvage", was launched June 24th 2015 in UCL Construction welfare canteen.

Leverhulme artist in residence Hilary Powell uses imaginative salvage to explores regeneration and economic transition. This cloth-bound gilt edged volume examines a core ‘family’ of demolition site materials, from asbestos to zinc.

Book launch in UCL construction welfare building canteen

3x4: Exploring metaspace platforms for inclusive future cities

3x4 image

15-26 May 2015 Alchemy Festival
28-31 May 2015 Web We Want Festival
Southbank Centre, London & India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Free Event in the Level 2 Foyer (Green Side) at Royal Festival Hall

Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities is supporting the 3x4 installation at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank. You can immerse yourself in the virtual world of 3x4 between the 15th and 25th of May as part of the Alchemy Festival, and then from the 28th until the 31st of as part of the Web We Want Festival

3x4 merges two identical 3x4 metre spaces in London and Dehli. Visitors to the Southbank Centre in London will be sharing a virtual 3x4 space with visitors to the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Participants coexist and interact with one another in the "same" room.

3x4 is a collaboration between Professor Paul Sermon at the University of Brighton, Dr Claire McAndrew at The Bartlett, UCL, Swati Janu, a Delhi-based architect, and Vivek Muthuramalingam, a photographer based in Bangalore.

The project is supported by the UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Why 3x4?

In megacities such as Delhi and Mumbai - and within one of the fastest growing cities within the world, Ahmedabad - more than 50% of the population live in informal urban settlements. 3x4 metres is the plot size seen to be provided in some resettlement colonies, a government initiative which relocates people within informal inner-city settlements to vacant land on the periphery. 3x4 looks at informal settlements differently where informality is not viewed as a problem, but a promising new model of urbanism for the global south. 

Rethinking Transport Appraisal 1

Critically Examining the Current Approaches

Rethinking Transport Appraisal -1

5-7 P.M. 1 June 2015 

Roberts Lecture Theatre 421
Roberts Building
UCL Torrington Place

Appraisal plays a critical role in prioritising investment in transport. The current approach, based on CBA and MCA (cost-benefit and multi-criteria analysis) has attracted criticism for, among other things, failing to properly take environmental and societal impacts into account.

This is the first of two UCL seminars bringing together national and international expertise to address the problem.

The seminar series will help to inform the work of UCL, as a lead partner in the EU INTERREG IVB SINTROPHER project which is considering the role of the transport appraisal process in funding public transport infrastructure in ‘peripheral’ urban areas.

  • Dr Shepley Orr (UCL Centre for Transport Studies): Introducing Transport Appraisal
  • Professor Bert van Wee (Delft University of Technology): Transport, Ethics and the Appraisal of Transport Projects
  • Professor Petter Naess (Norwegian University of Life Sciences): Inaccurate and Biased: Cost-Benefit Analyses of Transport Infrastructure Projects

This free seminar was followed by a reception in the Roberts Building Foyer from 7 p.m. View the Eventbrite page for the seminar.

Supported by:
Logos for Transport Appraisal: BSP, Public Policy, GCSC and UCLTI

UCL Bartlett School of Planning
UCL Centre for Transport Studies
UCL Transport Institute
UCL Public Policy
UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities

Climate Change – Adaptation, Resilience & Risk

Adaptation, Resilience & Risk

A Franco-British bilateral conference

UCL, Tuesday 2 June 2015 5pm – 7pm (followed by a drinks reception) 

Climate Change – Adaptation, Resilience & Risk

UCL’s Grand Challenges programme and the French Embassy in London are pleased to invite you to the third in a series of Franco-British bilateral events being held in the run-up to the COP21 summit in Paris this December. 

This public debate will address the challenges of delivering climate change adaptation measures in France and the UK, with a keynote lecture by Célia Blauel, the Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the city’s climate plan. 

A panel of senior figures in the UK and French climate change fields will debate the implications of the two countries’ climate change adaptation plans, drawing on insights resulting from a series of workshops due to take place earlier that day on the subject. 

The debate will be moderated by Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s Environment Analyst.

Book Your Place


Welcome remarks Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost Research
Introduction to debate and speakers Roger Harrabin, BBC Energy and Environment Analyst
COP21: French perspective HE Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador, Embassy of France in the UK
Keynote lecture Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor, City of Paris - Environment, Sustainable Development, Water, Climate Plan portfolio
Key messages of the afternoon Professor Chris Rapley CBE, UCL Earth Sciences; Chair, London Climate Change Partnership
Panel debate on outcome of afternoon workshop discussions Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor, City of Paris - Environment, Sustainable Development, Water, Climate Plan portfolio
  Professor Nicolas Beriot Secretary General, French National Observatory on the Effects of Global Warming, Ministry of Ecology, Paris
  Professor Mike Davies Professor of Building Physics and Environment, UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
  Professor Lord John Krebs FRS Principal, Jesus College, Oxford; Chair, UK Adaptation subcommittee
  Alex Nickson, Strategy Manager for Climate Change Adaptation and Water, Greater London Authority
  Professor Hervé le Treut Senior Researcher, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory; Professor Sciences, Ecolé Polytechnique
  Tim Reeder Regional Climate Change Programme Manager, Thames Region, UK Environment Agency
Q&A Moderated by Roger Harrabin Energy & Environment Analyst, BBC
Closing remarks Professor David Price
Drinks Reception 7 p.m. — 8.30 p.m.


Stadtklang: The Acoustic City


6.00 PM 14 September 2014

Arcola Theatre Bar, 24 Ashwin St, Dalston E8 3DL

Stadtklang (urban sound) is a fitting venue for a book that explores the soundscapes of the built environment. The UCL Urban Laboratory is hosting a launch event for The Acoustic City (Jovis, 2014) by Matthew Gandy and BJ Nilsen at the Arcola Theatre Bar in Dalston on the 14th of September.

You do not need to book for this event and entry is free.

Find out more
The Acoustic City is an an edited collection of cutting-edge essays on sound and the city accompanied by a specially commissioned CD with contributions from Félix Blume, Ekkehard Ehlers, Yui Onodera, Schneider TM and many other artists. Edited by Professor Matthew Gandy (UCL Geography) and the Swedish sound artist BJ Nilsen. It was completed with the support from the The Leverhulme Foundation, the UCL Urban Laboratory, and the UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities.
Location map for Arcola Theatre Bar, 24 Ashwin St, Dalston E8 3DL

The Smeed Report at fifty: will road pricing always be ten years away?

6.30 PM, 7 October 2014

Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, UCL Anatomy Building, Gower Street

In 1964 Reuben Smeed’s report showed that road pricing was not only technically possibly, but could provide benefits to the economy, reduce congestion and improve public health. However, apart from some notable exceptions, including the London Congestion Charge, the idea of charging to use roads has been repeatedly rejected by politicians. 

Is it time to implement the recommendations of Smeed's report fifty years after it was published, or is road pricing still ten years away from general acceptance?

Stephen Glaister (Director of the RAC Foundation and Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London) and Richard Allsop (Emeritus Professor of Transport Studies and former director of the UCL Centre for Transport Studies) will discuss the future of road pricing.

The event will start at 6.30 pm (refreshments available from 6.00 pm) with a brief introduction to the work of Reuben Smeed by UCL's Professor Allsop. Professor Glaister will speak for 45 minutes, after which Professor Allsop will respond.  There will then be an open Q&A session.  At 7.45 pm you will be invited to join us in UCL’s Garden Room for a buffet dinner.

Citizen Cyberscience Summit 2014

The 3rd Citizen Cyberscience Summit February 2014

Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities was one of the supporters for the 3rd Citizen Cyberscience Summit in February.

Original Announcement for Citizen Cyber Science

Citizen Cyberscience Summit 2014

Citizen Science, amateur involvement in science that predates professional science, is currently undergoing a renaissance.  Citizen Cyberscience is a rapidly expanding field, enabled by the Internet and a variety of affordable technology,.

Hear from leading figures in citizen science, explore public engagement and participation and see how citizen science is being used in the developing world. A series of presentations and panels will be followed by a hackday at UCL (which has seen the start of many great ideas, new collaborations and prototypes, including the Air Quality Egg)

  • Day 1 - Thursday 20th Feb @ the Royal Geographical Society, London
  • Day 2 - Friday 21st Feb @ University College London
  • Day 3 Hackday - Saturday 22nd Feb @ University College London

As you would expect for a conference that celebrates the power of using ubiquitous, powerful, networked technology for science and inclusion, the Citizen CyberScience was live-streamed, blogged and the hashtag #CCS14 filled the twittersphere with comment and pictures.

You can find out more about what happened at the conference by visiting Storify or reading Po Ve Sham - Professor Muki Haklay's blog.

UCL's interdisciplinary Extreme Citizen Science research group

ExCiteS brings together scholars from diverse fields to develop and contribute to the guiding theories, tools and methodologies that will enable any community to start a Citizen Science project to deal with issues that concern them. With an interdisciplinary research approach we aim to provide any user, regardless of their background or literacy level, with a set of tools that can be used to collect, analyse and act on information according to agreed upon scientific methods.

Retrofit series

Retrofit series


Event series and prize workshop from Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities and Future of London

Panel Discussion Series

In May 2014 UCL's Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities will be running a series of events focusing on non-domestic retrofit. 

When a building is no longer fit for purpose it can be abandoned altogether, demolished and perhaps replaced with a new structure. Refurbishing and retrofitting offers an alternative, using new layouts and new technologies to extend the useful life of a building.

This series focuses on the retrofit of non-domestic buildings, something which has not received the same level of attention as retrofit for homes. Ensuring a sustainable future for urban areas involves overcoming a number of challenges for the buildings that provide key infrastructure, including workplaces, warehouses, shops and hospitals.

Challenges include efficient use of resources, increased resilience, ensuring comfort in a changing climate and meeting the changing needs of the buildings' users. These are challenges that cannot be solved entirely, or even mainly, through the construction of new buildings, retrofit of the existing stock has a very important role to play in ensuring a sustainable future.

Ensuring successful retrofit depends on a number of factors, including available technology, current policy, making a business case and understanding human behaviour.

Join us for three panel discussions which will explore these issues in relation to  three different drivers for retrofit: the environment, heritage, and health.

You can register for the panel sessions on Eventbrite

Retrofit for...
   7th May 5.30-7pm
Eventbrite - Retrofit for... Environment - Panel Discussion at UCL
Retrofit for...
   13th May 5.30-7pm
Eventbrite - Retrofit for... Heritage - Panel Discussion at UCL
Retrofit for...
   Postponed - new date will be announced soon
Eventbrite - Retrofit for... Health - Panel Discussion at UCL


Retrofit series 2014Retrofit-for-environment-thumbnailRetrofit for heritage poster thumbnailRetrofit Series QR code

You can register for the panel sessions on Eventbrite

Prize Workshop

A prize workshop will be held in June. The participants in the workshop will prepare proposals for cross-disciplinary retrofit research.

Details of the application process coming soon.


London 2062 Book Launch

Imagining the Future City: London 2062 published November 2013

Imagining the Future City: London 2062

A book based on the London 2062 work, edited by Sarah Bell and James Paskins, will be published in November 2013. You are cordially join the discussion about London's future on Monday the 18th of November as we launch Imagining the Future City: London 2062.


6pm, 18th November
G04 Chadwick Building, UCL

  • UCL’s Grand Challenges—Prof. David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research)
  • Imagining the Future City—Dr Sarah Bell, Co-editor
  • Future of London—Jennifer Johnson, Programme and Research Lead-Future of London
  • Governing London in 2062: The City of Any Dreams?–Prof. Mike Raco, Chair of Urban and Regional Governance, Bartlett School of Planning

  • Gazing into the Crystal Football–Dr George Myerson, Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Life Writing Research, King’s College London & Prof. Yvonne Rydin, Chair of Planning Environment and Public Policy, The Bartlett School of Planning

  • Networking with refreshments
  • Copies of book for sale


Sustainable Resources Conference

Sustainable Resources for Sustainable Cities

from GCSC & Institute for Sustainable Resources

9.00 5th November to 12.00 6th November 2013

Location: UCL

Sustainable Resources for Sustainable Cities Conference Page

sustainable resources sustainable cities logo

Cities or, more broadly, urban areas - densely packed, complex, built systems - are home to over half the of world’s population. With this trend of increasing urbanisation worldwide, urban sustainability has been identified as a key area of societal relevance, an area in which a solid research base can inform policy and practice. 

The Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities (GCSC) exists to initiate and support cross-disciplinary research into urban sustainability. Sustainability in the urban context is inextricably linked to resource flows. Among the minimum requirements for a city’s population are housing, food, safe water, waste disposal, and energy for heating and cooling. 

Cities must draw on global resource networks to provide the raw materials to build new infrastructure, maintain current systems and retrofit existing buildings. Cities also generally rely on a ‘hinterland’ to supply the energy, food, water and other resources they require. Sustainable cities rely on the sustainable provision and use of resources, and this reliance provides a clear link between GCSC and the work of the Institute for Sustainable Resources. 

The symposium specifically looked to address the challenges around provision of resources for growing urban populations, with regard to the physical built environment, infrastructure, transport and water.  It aimed to address the question of how cities can continue to meet their present needs without compromising the future of the city, the region or the planet.


In addition to the symposium itself, a number of activities were funded to further research into sustainable cities across UCL. Details of these activities and outputs fro the symposium can be found below:

Thinking Across Boundaries: Planning Dilemmas in the Urban Global South

The notion of the ‘urban global south’ looms large in contemporary debates about urbanisation, development and globalisation. UCL's Development Planning Unit (DPU) is critically reflecting on this dominant theme. It convened a panel discussion at the 2013 Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference in London and commissioning a video featuring the DPU in conversation with key actors in the debate.

Thinking across boundaries considers three main questions:

  1. Why call it the urban global south?
  2. What kind of practice does it require?
  3. What kind of theory is required for the urban global south?

DPU Thinking across bounderies: Planning Dilemmas in the Global Urban South from Development Planning Unit on Vimeo.



UCLTI Town Hall Meeting

UCL Transport Institute Town Meeting

4.30–6.00 p.m. Monday, 20 May 2013

Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT

A town hall meeting was held on Monday 20 May to discuss plans for UCLTI (UCL Transport Institute). The event featured talks from a range of speakers, including:

  • Dr Nicola Christie Director, UCL Centre for Transport Studies (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) 
  • Professor Peter Jones Chair of Transport and Sustainable Development (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering)
  • Professor Alan Penn Dean of The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment
  • Deirdre O'Reilly Head of Social and Evaluation Research Department for Transport
  • Andreas Markides Chair of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation's Learned Society & Technical Board
  • Dr Louise Atkins UCL Psychology
  • Dr Jenny Mindell  UCL Epidemiology and Public Health

The town meeting was followed by a networking reception.

GCSC is working with Dr Nicola Christie to create a pan-UCL Transport Institute.

Find out how the UCLTI plans to harness expertise across UCL and show how our research addresses safety, culture, health, wellbeing, accessibility, economic growth, and security.

Objectives of the UCL Transport Institute

  1. Provide a centrally located transport hub to coordinate transport-related research across UCL’s ten faculties
  2. Develop a new web portal which will act as a platform to create collaborative research bids
  3. Create a community of interest by developing a public engagement programme of seven seminars themed on research related to the values of transport entitled ‘Mind the gap’—translating research into practice 
  4. Use EPSRC Impact Acceleration funding to disseminate and promote the policy relevance of our research for practitioners, public and policy makers via briefing notes and published papers to be made available via the UCLTI web portal
  5. Develop a new MSc in Transport, Health and Policy
  6. Develop income generating CPD and consultancy activities
  7. Hold a number of interdisciplinary research bid ‘sandpits’ based on key challenges

Launch of Urban Pamphleteer

Launch of Urban Pamphleteer

6.30 pm Friday, 26th April

Join Ben Campkin, Rebecca Ross and Guglielmo Rossi for the launch of Urban Pamphleteer issue #1, ‘Future & Smart Cities’. Each illustrated pamphlet in this series collates and presents expert voices, across disciplines, professions, and community groups, around one pressing contemporary urban challenge. The intention is to confront key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives, in a direct and accessible tone, drawing on the history of radical pamphleteering.

Small Grants Showcase and Reception

Small Grants Showcase and Reception

28th – 30th January 2013

The Grand Challenges held a showcase in the South Cloisters between the 28th and the 30th of January 2013. The event featured posters from the interdisciplinary collaborations that have been made possible with Small Grants funding.

Festival of Chinese Film and the Body

Festival of Chinese Film and the Body

Festival of Chinese Film and the Body

In the lead up to Chinese New Year 2013, the UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity will be showing four recent Chinese films. 

These will be related to the UCL Grand Challenges themes:  

Global Health, Intercultural Interaction, Sustainable Cities and Human Wellbeing. 

This event is curated by Patrizia Liberati, PhD candidate at Peking University.

The screenings will be presented by three film specialists: in Chinese film, the history of medicine in film, and film and intercultural interaction respectively. 

They will also feature a Q&A session with some of the directors in China. 

Admission is open and free of charge to all members of UCL and registered Friends of UCL CCHH.

The full programme is on the Festival webpage.

The Festival forms part of the new CCHH course Chinese Film and the Body.

Tuesday 15th January 2013
Festival of Chinese Film and Body


London 2062—London’s Energy Future

Executive Suite, Front Engineering Building, University College London

19 March 2012

London’s demand for energy resources comes from three primary activities: heating buildings, transport and electricity. London has always imported most of its energy as coal, gas, oil and electricity. Renewing London’s energy infrastructure will be vital for maintaining our position as a ‘world city’ over the next 50 years as the centres of global economic activity shift eastwards. This event brought together sector specialists to debate the technological and policy challenges facing practitioners in the coming years to ensure that London has a forward looking energy strategy, that is resilient to major global shifts. Chair: Andy Deacon, Head of Local Delivery, Energy Saving Trust


  1. Prof. Paul Ekins, Professor of Energy and Environment Policy, UCL Energy Institute
  2. Peter North, Senior Manager – Programme Delivery (Sustainable Energy), GLA
  3. Prof. Bob Lowe, Professor of Energy and Building Science, UCL Energy Institute
  4. Bob Fiddik, Team Leader - Sustainable Development & Energy, LB Croydon

Download presentations

London 2062—London’s Housing Challenge

4 April 2012

Executive Suite, Front Engineering Building, University College London

Chair: Will McKee (Chair, Mayoral Outer London Boundary Commission)


  • Dr Ben Campkin (UCL Urban Lab and UCL Bartlett School of Architecture)
  • Sofie Pelsmakers (UCL Energy Institute)
  • David Lunts (Interim Executive Director for Housing, GLA)
  • David Baptiste (Head of Housing Supply, LB Ealing)

The future continued growth of London will expose sharper housing differentials in the decades ahead. In 2031, London’s population is expected to be 10.1 million inhabitants which implies a need for about 1.6 million new houses and 1.5 million replacement houses. Numbers and space requirements are but two of the issues here; there will also be new demands and pressures caused by accessibility and the liveability of individual places. This event will bring together leading academics and practitioners to debate how we overcome the immediate financial and delivery challenges facing the housing sector to meet these larger long term challenges for London.

Download Presentations

London 2062—The Future of London's Economy

20th April 2012

Executive Suite, Front Engineering Building, University College London


  • Mark Kleinman, Assistant Director for Economic and Business Policy, GLA
  • Michael Edwards, The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL
  • Jurgen Essletzbichler, Geography, UCL
  • David Fell, Director Brook Lyndhurst

London’s position as a centre of global trade and finance is at once a source of resilience and vulnerability. London’s economy has shown itself to be diverse enough to absorb major shocks so far, but the future of the financial sector is highly significant to the future of London. The future of London’s finance sector depends on the recovery of the global economy and the development of the Asian economies, which may increasingly attract financial as well as manufacturing industries. Past investments in infrastructure and human capital provide a strong foundation for maintaining a position of global strength, though by no means secure it. This event will explore the key actions that need to be undertaken to maintain, grow and diversify London’s economic strength in the years ahead.

Download Presentations

London 2062—The Future of London's Transport

23rd April 2012

Executive Suite, Front Engineering Building, University College London

Download mp4 version (compatible with most mobile devices)

Chair: Brian Collins (Chair of Engineering Policy, UCL Faculty of Engineering Science)


  • Prof. Sir Peter Hall, UCL Bartlett School of Planning
  • Dr Robin Hickman, UCL Bartlett School of Planning
  • Richard Di Cani, Director of Transport Strategy and Planning, Transport for London
  • Ian Lindsay, Director of Land and Property, Crossrail Ltdg

Alongside increases in population size and economic activity, demand has risen for all modes of transport across London. Congestion currently occurs on the radial routes into the city, on the orbital routes around the city, and at key points where long distance and short distance commuting traffic intersect in outer London. Air traffic and the use of London’s five airports have also increased. In 2003, the Department for Transport reported that air traffic had increased six fold between 1970 and 2002, to some 200 million passengers per annum. By 2020, the figures are projected to double again. This event will explore the range of potential, modal, technological, and policy responses to these trends to ensure that London develops a sustainable transport system in the years ahead.

Download presentations

Shaping Cities for Health (Lancet Report)

Transport and the Olympic legacy: driving innovation

6.30–9.00pm 11 September 2012

UCL Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1
Blurred bus

Extra pressure on London's transport systems during the Olympics is forcing both the public and private sectors to try innovative ways to spread demand and use the road and rail networks more efficiently, from new delivery patterns to greater use of the web and twitter. This event will look at some of the successful innovations which ensured that the goods were delivered and that people got around during the Olympics, and that can be built upon to improve ways in which transport is delivered in London in the future.

Chaired by Prof Peter Jones (UCL Transport & Sustainable Development)

Presentations and Panel discussion:

  • Dr Andy Chow, (Lecturer in Transport Studies, UCL Centre for Transport Studies)
  • Dr Jon Reades, Research Associate, UCL Centre for Advanced Spacial Analysis

Followed by a drinks reception in the UCL South Cloisters   

Event video


The Long Legacy: London 2062

6.30-9.00pm 13 September 2012

UCL Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1 
St Pauls and Millennium Bridge

What will London be like 50 years after the Olympics? The London 2062 project has asked UCL academics, students and partners from other organisations to look at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This event is the public culmination of a series of workshops and symposia addressing different aspects of the future of London (organised by Dr Sarah Bell @sarahjaynebell and Prof. Mark Tewdwr-Jones @profmarktj).

The panel will be chaired by Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost Research, and will include eminent speakers who have contributed to the London 2062 project, including:

(Dis)Comforts of Home: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Domestic Energy Use

13-14 September 2012

Picture of terraced housing

(Dis)Comforts of Home was a two-day symposium held at UCL that explored how comparative cultural perspectives on the concepts of ‘home’ and ‘comfort’ can help us understand, learn from, and influence the behaviour that drives domestic energy consumption.

Contributors to the symposium included:

  • The School of European Languages
  • Culture and Society
  • The School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)
  • Geography
  • Anthropology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • The UCL Energy Institute
  • UrbanLab
  • The London Consortium

As well as paper presentations there will be two documentary screenings with panel discussions.


The Ingredients of a Zero Carbon Zero Waste City:

Evolving a ZEDquarter with examples from the ZEDfactory

20th January 2011

Beddington Zero Energy Development is the UK’s largest mixed use sustainable community. It was designed to create a thriving community in which ordinary people could enjoy a high quality of life, while living within their fair share of the Earth’s resources.

BedZED was designed by ZEDfactory, and developed by the Peabody Trust. It was completed and occupied in 2002. The community comprises 50% housing for sale, 25% key worker shared ownership and 25% social housing for rent.

Prior to forming ZEDfactory, Bill was an associate architect for Michael Hopkins and Partners working on the award winning Nottingham University Campus. He also developed the environmental strategy and façade design for Portcullis House, this followed 4 years of research collaborating with the leading environmental consultants in Europe, including Arups, CSTB Nantes, Christian Bartenbach and Conphoebus.

Bill has also taught at the Architectural Association and Kingston University and regularly speaks at a range of seminars and conferences all over the world.

In 1995 Bill built his own house, Hope House which is a prototype low energy live/work unit in which he and his family now live.

Healthy Cities Symposium

4th May 2011

After the success of the first UCL-Lancet Commission on the Health Effects of Climate Change, UCL and The Lancet are collaborating again on a second report, this time on Healthy Cities under the banner of the UCL Grand Challenge on Sustainable Cities.

The project has involved a number of academics from a variety of disciplines coming together to deliver a report. The first section of the report has a historical and conceptual focus and the second half deals with a number of built environment interventions and their impact on health.  The report includes a number of case studies of various cities across the world and concludes with a set of recommendations for policy.

A symposium was held on 4th May 2011 at which key arguments were presented from the project and valuable feedback gained prior to formal submission of the report to The Lancet in June 2011.

The Global Carbon Project: anticipating the evolution of CO2 trends

Held on 22nd March 2011

In spite of growing recognition of the role of CO2 for global warming, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning have accelerated in the past 10 years.
The Global Carbon Project seeks to provide latest figures on the emissions and sinks of CO2, and to anticipate the trends for the coming years.
Economic drivers and the shift towards coal as a fuel source are key to the recent growth in CO2 emissions, but the first signs of impacts from regional and international policies to limit CO2 emissions are beginning to appear.

The presentation below reviews the efforts to provide latest information on the emissions and sinks of CO2 by the scientific community through the Global Carbon Project.
Click here to download the presentation slides.

Heritage and Climate Change: Protection at any cost?

A One Day Discussion Forum

Thursday, 5th May 2011

What should the long-term priorities in the intertwined fields of planning and heritage be? Should we first put in place low carbon futures, to achieve that dimension of sustainable living? Are more immediate social or economic goals higher up the list? Or should we maintain or move to a situation where heritage value, however defined, tends to trump either of these goals?

Are there simply planning and heritage “corners” to be fought, or can an overarching value position be constructed?

This dilemma is becoming sharper. The reason is climate change. Major infrastructure schemes have been proposed to try to secure more sustainable futures in Britain. Recent examples include the Severn Barrage, the High Speed 2 rail route from London to the North, and large wind farms on and offshore. All would cause significant damage to historic sites, if constructed. At the same time there are, or will be, thousands of small proposals, from putting solar panels on Tudor farmhouses to heat storage facilities dug into urban back gardens. How do we decide on the balance of energy sustainability vs. heritage protection, viewed from our respective professional positions? The politics of lobbying and democratic politics hold major sway here. National Policy Statements, for example, are being drawn up in the energy and transport fields, which will frame the largest project decisions; meanwhile, the government’s new localism agenda is set to create a seismic shift in the planning regime. But professionals and communities alike need to form views on the basis of coherent arguments.

Planners and those in heritage professions (including archaeologists, historic buildings and conservation specialists) come at this set of questions from different angles. This one day workshop aims to bring some practitioners from each “side” together to debate the issues, and reach initial conclusions – or start a process to that end.

  • Dr Joe Flatman, Senior Lecturer, UCL Institute of Archaeology, London
  • Dr Tim Marshall, Reader, Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University
  • Professor Yvonne Rydin, Director, UCL Environment Institute, London

To view the programme please click here.

Download the summary report by clicking here.

Click on the links below to view the presentation slides:

Previous Years


Planet U(CL): Embedding Sustainability in Universities

Lessons and Guidelines Drawn for Other Divided Cities

Cities Methodologies

The Future of Urban Studies

Return of the Slum

Urban Water Poverty – workshop


UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities: Launch

Cinema & Climate Change

The Age of Stupid – screening and panel discussion

Invisible – screening and panel discussion

Growing a New Piece of City: Designing a legacy for 21st-century London – panel discussion

Just Enough: Sufficiency and the cultural imagination – one-day symposium

UCL Energy Institute Launch

Climate Change: The biggest global-health threat of the 21st century
The UCL–Lancet Commission on Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change

City Visions – UCL Urban Laboratory Launch

Disaster Risk Reduction for Natural Hazards: Putting Research into Practice – Disaster risk reduction conference held in November 2009

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