UCL Urban Laboratory


Evaluating the impact of university development on urban areas and heritage

13 December 2019

Research scoping workshop hosted by Dr Clare Melhuish as a follow-up to an initial collaborative workshop at Roma Tre University in Rome in May 2019, funded by the UCL Cities partnerships Programme.

Industrial heritage in Ostiense, taken during the Roma Tre workshop in May 2019

The purpose of this second meeting was to introduce researchers from the Department of Architecture at Roma Tre University and the Department of Conservation at University of Gothenburg to the UCL East project in its surrounding urban context, and the institutional ambitions for this initiative. It was held at The Bartlett Real Estate Institute at Here East and at UCL Bloomsbury, and included a walk around the Olympic Park, Stratford International, and Stratford town centre areas.

The workshop, supported by funding from the UCL-University of Gothenburg Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, was convened to explore the parameters for a future research project comparing the impact of university developments on their neighbourhoods in three case study sites:

  • Roma Tre Università degli Studi in Testaccio-Ostiense, Rome;
  • UCL East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding boroughs;
  • University of Gothenburg in the centre of Gothenburg at campus Nackrosen

It was framed by the ongoing research collaboration in the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (Curating the City research cluster) around the role played by universities in the construction of urban heritage narratives which drive regeneration programmes in different cities, particularly of post- industrial areas. It set out to interrogate how heritage represents both an obstacle to, and an opportunity for regeneration, and what kind of strategies can be mobilised by universities to position archaeological and urban heritage as a resource for construction of possible futures for the city in the UK/European/Scandinavian context.