UCL Urban Laboratory


UCL Urban Laboratory release new edited anthology Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies

10 November 2016

Engaged Urbansim: Cities and Methodologies

We're pleased to announce the release of Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies, a new UCL Urban Laboratory edited anthology, on 1 December 2016. Published by I.B Tauris and edited by Dr Ben Campkin and Professor Ger Duijzings, the book showcases the exciting ways urbanists are responding to the variety and dynamism of contemporary cities and urban experience across the globe.

Stemming from the Urban Laboratory's ongoing exhibition and events programme Cities Methodologies - organised in collaboration with the UCL Slade School of Fine Art - Engaged Urbanism contains contributions from over forty urbanists using novel combinations of practice - from activism, architectural design and undercover journalism, to film, sculpture, performance and photography - in a diversity of cities worldwide. Acting as a handbook for urban research practices, it offers succinct, candid and carefully illustrated commentaries on the trials and successes of risk-taking research, revealing how urbanists collaborate across fields of expertise, inventing or adapting methods to suit bespoke situations.

Co-editor and Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, Dr Ben Campkin said: "Engaged Urbanism is a timely response to how governments and other agencies right now are acutely focused on the future of cities worldwide, as the recent launch of the New Urban Agenda at Habitat III, and the Sustainable Development Goals attest."

"With this in mind, we think it's an important moment to be making the case for an experimental turn in methods of researching and understanding cities. We view Engaged Urbanism as a handbook of inventive approaches that will inspire researchers, activists, policymakers and service providers everywhere to question hierarchies of expertise, and work with available resources towards deeper knowledge that will in turn influence improved practice and more equitable cities."

In a response to the book, Professor AbdouMaliq Simone, author of City Life from Jakarta to Dakar, said: "In the juggernaut knowledge industry, too little attention is paid to what knowledge really does. Engaged Urbanism provides a wide canvas of what actually does and could take place in urban spaces and provides creative methodological tools for supporting these actions, drawing out unanticipated, neglected and suppressed resources from even the most mundane, opaque or desperate places.

"In putting all our sensory capacities to work, it offers evidence of the efficacy of methodological invention and demonstrates the possibilities researchers, activists, service providers, and policymakers everywhere have available to deepen their understandings of urban life and to work creatively with what is available to them."

A launch event takes place at the Free Word Centre in London on 9 December 2016 (RSVP on the Free Word website), where the book will be available for the discounted price of £15. The book will be available on general release in the UK from 1 December 2016, and internationally on 30 December 2016.

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