UCL Urban Laboratory


Sol Perez Martinez

Civic engagement and Urban Studies Centres

Supervisors: Prof Jane Rendell (first), Prof Kathryn Riley (second)

Notting Dale Urban Studies Centres collage

This research examines the history of the urban studies centres movement in Britain between 1968 and 1988 and their contribution to civic engagement in architecture and urban issues. The thesis focuses on a network of architects, planners, geographers, artists and teachers who ran self-organised centres and projects to raise awareness and promote action in the built environment through education. Initially advocated by Colin Ward and the Town Country Planning Association through the Bulletin of Environmental Education, the urban studies centres (USC) spread organically, creating an alternative and autonomous model for public built environment education. 


Sol Perez-Martinez is an architect, researcher and curator. Before researching in the UK, Sol lectured in Chile and ran an architectural practice where she and her firm partners developed public and private projects. Since 2013, Sol has collaborated with teachers, artists and architects curating educational programs, conferences and exhibitions to widen participation in the construction of cities. Sol is a qualified architect in Chile, with master degrees in architecture and architectural history. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Institute of Education, UCL while working as a consultant in Chile and the UK.

Further links

Image: Notting Dale Urban Studies Centres