UCL Urban Laboratory


Book launch: Global Undergrounds

14 June 2016, 6:30 pm–8:30 pm

Sewers in Brighton

Event Information

Open to



The Peter Hall Room (G01), Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0NN

Over the last two centuries, the world's cities have undergone dramatic vertical, above-ground transformations. But at the same time, they have sunk themselves into the ground, in the form of sprawling tendons of tunnels, caverns and bunkers - conduits for transport, utilities and communication or spaces of shelter and storage. Global Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within (Reaktion, 2016) charts the global reach of urban underground spaces, collecting stories of subterranean sites around the world to reveal the profound - but often unseen - ways they have changed our lives.

UCL Urban Laboratory is hosting a special launch event for this new book by Paul Dobraszczyk, Carlos Lopez Galvis, and Bradley L. Garrett on the evening of Tuesday 14 June. Harriet Hawkins (one of the book's contributors and a lecturer at Royal Holloway) will chair a discussion with the book's authors on the remarkable diversity of manmade underground environments, from their astonishing range of architectural approaches to the many cultural meanings they carry, whether as places of hope, fear, memory, labour or political resistance.

Undergrounds are places that can tell a city's oldest stories or foresee its most distant futures; they are places ultimately of both incredible depth and breadth, serving city dwellers not just with the logistics of day-to-day life but as crucial parts of a city's mythology.

The book will be available via Reaktion Press for a 20% discount at the launch, and will be available for purchase publicly following the launch on 20 June.

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