UCL Urban Laboratory


University-led urban development as a resource for international urban education

Universities have a recognised function in delivering urban education through teaching and research across the disciplines. However they are increasingly playing a role as models for practice in urban development and regeneration, working alongside other actors and agencies in the delivery of spatial development projects as integral components of city renewal programmes.

Although some may dismiss universities acting in this role as just another breed of property developer, working towards the realisation of their own financial and spatial interests, this paper argues that many HE institutions internationally are taking their own spatial development projects seriously as an opportunity for exploring both the complexities of urban regeneration, and the scope for implementing best practice in programming, design, and engagement with urban communities. It suggests that emerging models of university development in cities internationally therefore have a significant contribution to make themselves to programmes of urban education, especially in relation to the ethical dimensions of urban regeneration (e.g. issues around displacement and gentrification), and the paper underlines the importance of adopting an international comparative perspective in this field.

15 minute paper by Clare Melhuish (UCL).

Session two (parallel panel one): 14.00 - 16.00, Thursday 17 September, Darwin Lecture Theatre. 


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