UCL Urban Laboratory


Lubaina Mirza

Lubaina Mirza

Small Sites - Meeting Local Housing Needs?

Supervisors: Prof Jennifer Robinson (first), Dr Nikolaos Karadimitriou (second)

To counter London’s housing crisis, governments want 25% of new homes built on leftover gaps in existing neighbourhoods, on plots 1/3rd of a football pitch. Despite local hesitations stalling 63% of such sites, experts proclaim recent policy changes can provide locally representative, affordable and sustainable housing where market-led regeneration can’t. First, development participants must balance competing economic, social, environmental and political objectives - both locally, and beyond their remit. How will they cross-subsidise less viable sites, or learn from past development experience in a rapidly changing context where institutional objectives interact with situational variables to affect planned and built outcomes?


Lubaina is a design researcher with an interdisciplinary background spanning architectural and planning consultancy, regeneration project management, event and exhibition curation, and community organisation leadership. She coauthored 8 publications and initiated several multidisciplinary projects employing a range of spatial mapping, data science and qualitative research methods including ethnography, participatory action research workshops and collaborative design interventions. She had an itinerant upbringing in India and the Middle East, has lived in London since 2004, and is always up for travel, critical debate, and inter-disciplinary exploration.

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