UCL URBAN LABORATORY

The UCL Urban Laboratory, established in 2005, is a university wide initiative to bring together the best urban teaching and research at UCL.

Conference Tickets: https://linktr.ee/UCLurbanlab

Operating as usual

Photos from UCL URBAN LABORATORY's post 09/07/2024

UCL Urban Lab's Memory Work exhibition launched at the UCL Urban Room on Friday 05 July.

In 2022, Urban Lab introduced the theme of Memory as a biennial framing for its investigations and collaborations. This exhibition is a point of connection for researchers from different disciplines in the Urban Lab network - architecture, urban design, planning, anthropology, geography, public history, development studies - to consider how memory features in their own urban research and teaching.

Memory work, as a methodological and material type of research labour, is a way to make sense of the complexity of urban lived realities, and to link time and space from a human-centred point of view. The 'work' also references how researchers become active agents in speaking to how the past informs the present.

Among other contributions, Memory Work includes ‘Memory in Suspense’, an installation by Clare Melhuish exploring the entanglement between memory, heritage, colonialism and emancipation in Kingston, Jamaica; and ‘Archivo Vivo’, Catalina Ortiz's collaborative research from Medellin, Colombia, which uses weaving to explore communities' multi-temporal struggles about their connections to the territory.

The exhibition takes the form of an incomplete maze - each section is a fragment of deep and complex research projects. Glimpsing into and through them mimics the layered realities of memory work.

Memory Work runs until 16 August - visit UCL Urban Room at 1 Pool Street, E20 2AF to explore the show.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/jul/memory-work-exhibition-ucl-urban-room

04/07/2024

Launching tomorrow, UCL Urban Room’s new Memory Work exhibition explores key questions about the past and future of urban living through a memory lens, and presents different creative approaches to engaging research. The exhibition is curated by Clare Melhuish and Kara Blackmore, and includes research from across UCL.

Smell, Memory & Urban Attachments
Ava Fatah gen. Schieck

This cross-disciplinary installation focuses on the interaction between the built environment and sensory experiences through co-creation and research collaboration in real-world settings. This display shows how scents can be linked to powerful memories, especially when tied to specific experiences. The insights presented in the speech bubbles are generated from the cross disciplinary project Smell Care, led by Marianna Obrist from UCL Computer Science, with a six-month feasibility study with participating households. They embarked on intensive sensory journeys using novel digital technology, reflecting on their experiences through diary-keeping and interviews. The study has enabled the research team to develop fresh critical perspectives on concerns around social disconnections in urban life, through the re-evaluation of sensory experience as a crucial determinant of how we relate to people and objects around us and imagine alternative futures.

Find out more about the exhibition: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/jul/memory-work-exhibition-ucl-urban-room
Find out more about the research behind this installation: https://www.smell-care.co.uk/home

01/07/2024

A new exhibition at UCL Urban Room explores key questions about the past and future of urban living through a memory lens, and presents different creative approaches to engaging research. The show explores the theme of memory in urban research, and how creative outputs might provide more engaging entry points for understanding the complex evidence that arises from urban investigations.

This showcase connects research by members of the UCL Urban Laboratory Steering Committee, and includes the work of the Lab's previous Director, Clare Melhuish and current Director, Catalina Ortiz.

'Memory Work' is open to all from 05 July–16 August.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/jul/memory-work-exhibition-ucl-urban-room

01/07/2024

🕒 Attention Night Workers! 🕒

Complete UCL Urban Lab’s Voices of Nightworkers Survey to tell us about your experiences of working at night.
- Make your voice heard
- Help improve conditions for night workers in London
- Participate in a workshop (for a fee)

Find out more and begin the survey at this link:

https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=_oivH5ipW0yTySEKEdmlwmeFZCv2qk9AjTORA2VTpPpUOFQwTzJCUUZBOFc5N0xPME02NDNPUlNUNy4u

📸 : Riders waiting for orders in London. Alex Macfarlane, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, 2024

24/06/2024

Students from The Bartlett, UCL's Faculty of the Built Environment, recently took part in the industry-based 'Building a Better Future Consultancy' project aimed at enhancing student employability. They tackled real-world industry briefs addressing critical challenges in the built environment.

As part of the project, students also visited project host offices/sites which included a south London council, H***e Lea, Gensler, C40 Cities and AtkinsRéalis. This opportunity enabled students to collaborate within multidisciplinary teams, enhancing their soft skills alongside like-minded peers.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/news/2024/jun/bartlett-students-participate-building-better-future-consultancy-project-boost

20/06/2024

A new exhibition at UCL East, H is for Hostile Environment, created by/with east London artists from migrant backgrounds, explores how government policy co-opted large parts of UK society – doctors, landlords, employers, homeless services – into policing UK borders.

The exhibition features a film by Edwin Mingard and Keren Weitzberg, which explores migration and asylum seeking in east London as part of Trellis - a programme that cultivates opportunities for collaboration between artists, UCL researchers and east London communities.

📍 First Floor Galleries, Marshgate, E20 2AE
🗓️ 27 June 2024–09 August 2024
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-east/events/2024/jun/h-hostile-environment-exhibition

19/06/2024

The latest UCL Urban Laboratory Activities Report, covering our key areas of activity and engagement in 2021–2023, is the last report from Professor Clare Melhuish's directorship from 2018–2024.

"The report presents snapshots of a multitude of projects, events and people that have shaped the identity and contribution of our network of urban scholarship and engagement during these eventful years." - Prof Clare Melhuish

Read the report: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/news/2024/jun/urban-lab-publishes-activities-report-2021-2023

12/06/2024

Speculative Worlds 2024: Exploring Sensorial Landscapes and Walking Practice
​19 and 20 June, Stave Hill Ecological Park, London SE16 6AX

Speculative Worlds Research Collective's third annual Summer Lab will host a walk as a method to ‘re-imagine the built and natural environment’ and explore Southeast London's sensorial landscapes. The Summer Lab series brings together postgraduate and early-career researchers, practice-based researchers and artists to collaborate on world-building and making over two days to imagine alternative pasts and potential futures.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/speculative-worlds-2024-sensorial-landscapes-and-walking-practice-registration-905898706417

Photos from UCL URBAN LABORATORY's post 11/06/2024

Explore the new Urban Laboratory Activities Report! The latest report looks back at Urban Lab's activities, achievements and areas of focus between 2021 and 2023, and is the last activities report by departing Director of Urban Laboratory Professor Clare Melhuish. Read the report online at Issuu or download it from our website.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/2021-2023

London National Park City: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience 07/06/2024

Next week, 13 June: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience

London was designated as a ‘National Park City’ in 2019, with the ambition to ‘turn London into a more liveable, workable and sustainable city’, emphasising the importance of the relationship between environmental stewardship and socio-economic inclusion in the metropolitan area.

This workshop, presented by London National Park City and the London Hub of Heritopolis, will explore the progress of that ambition, both as a policy tool to mobilise the ‘power of nature’, and in articulating integrated conceptualisations and knowledge of urban-natural culture and heritage in the metropolis.

London National Park City: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience This workshop presented by London National Park City and the London Hub of Heritopolis will explore progress in developing the potential of London’s National Park City.

Urban Mediations: International Conference on the Narratives, Ecologies, and Poetics of the City 24/05/2024

CALL FOR PAPERS: Urban Mediations: International Conference on the Narratives, Ecologies, and Poetics of the City
Hong Kong, 05-06 December 2024

This international, interdisciplinary conference aims to uncover emergent frameworks and methods for the interpretation and analysis of literary, filmic, and cultural texts relating to the profound transformation of cities around the world across the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Proposals must be received by 27 May. Find out more at the link below.

Urban Mediations: International Conference on the Narratives, Ecologies, and Poetics of the City Home CFP Workshops Programme Urban Mediations: International Conference on the Narratives, Ecologies, and Poetics of the City (Hong Kong, 5-6 December 2024) City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon To…

23/05/2024

UCL Urban Laboratory and The Bartlett School of Architecture are partnering with the UCL Social Data Institute, the Greater London Authority and Didobi Ltd on ‘Data After Dark’, a project researching the inside lives of London’s night-time economy workers and inviting input from 1.32 million Londoners who work at night.

The insights collected will guide the development of more inclusive policies and improve support mechanisms for London's nocturnal workforce.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/news/2024/may/ucl-researchers-partner-greater-london-authority-explore-londons-night-time-economy

(Local) actions shaping urban environmental trajectories in the global South 22/05/2024

Join The Bartlett Development Planning Unit UCL for an event exploring the impact of David Satterthwaite's work on urban environmental debates and practices.

📅 29 May
🕟 16:30–18:00

🔗 Register now https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/events/2024/may/local-actions-shaping-urban-environmental-trajectories-global-south

(Local) actions shaping urban environmental trajectories in the global South Please join us for this DPU70 Dialogues in Development Session in which we will examine how the work of our Visiting Professor David Satterthwaite has influenced the DPU and the wider field of urban environmental debates and practices.

22/05/2024

We’re hiring! Urban Lab is looking for an administrator to support the group Architects for Gaza (AFG) - a multidisciplinary collective of nearly 100 architects, environmentalists, planners, engineers, academics, researchers, and practitioners, exploring reconstruction possibilities and necessities.

The role is 7.3 hours a week with an aim to be ongoing from 1st June, working either from home or the UCL office.

Deadline is 27th May midnight (extended from 23rd May). https://portal.unitemps.com/Search/JobDetails/33692003

If you miss the deadline write to [email protected] and [email protected] with a CV and the subject “Architects for Gaza”.

20/05/2024

Novelist, memoirist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo will deliver this year’s public Cities Imaginaries Lecture, discussing her three non-fiction works and their themes of self, memory and place, introduced by Prof Matthew Beaumont. Followed by a Q&A.

‘When it comes to spinning light and shadow on the complexities of living, loving and language, Xiaolu Guo is one of the most valuable writers in the world.’ Deborah Levy

🗓️ 03 June, 18:00 arrival for 18:30 start
📍 Waterstones Gower Street
🎟️ £5.00

Book your place:
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/jun/cities-imaginaries-lecture-2024-xialuo-guo

13/05/2024

Join UCL Department of Geography on 20 May for a discussion about cycling and sustainable transportation planning in Mumbai with anthropologist Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria.

Jonathan will present insights from his forthcoming book 'Mumbai on Two Wheels: Cycling, Urban Space, and Sustainable Mobility' (University of Washington Press, 2024), with responses from Alan Latham and Mirza Saaib Bég.

🔗 Register now: https://bit.ly/4dv4nNH
📙 Learn more about the book: https://bit.ly/4dB41F6

JWL Festival 2024: Community activism in the Westway, North Kensington 09/05/2024

Tomorrow, Dr Pablo Sendra will lead a walk along the Westway in North Kensington and explore how community activism and social movements have shaped the area.

The walk is part of Jane's Walk London, a festival of free, citizen-led walking conversations which take place in London and around the world every year in May.

🕙 10:00–11:30
📍 Meet at Westbourne Park station

Book your place

JWL Festival 2024: Community activism in the Westway, North Kensington North Kensington understood from its grassroots movements

London National Park City: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience 08/05/2024

Coming soon: London National Park City: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience
Thursday 13 June

London National Park City and the London Hub of Heritopolis present a workshop exploring progress in developing the potential of London’s National Park City.

Book your place:

London National Park City: Integrating Natural & Cultural Heritage to Build Metropolitan Resilience This workshop presented by London National Park City and the London Hub of Heritopolis will explore progress in developing the potential of London’s National Park City.

06/05/2024

Tomorrow at UCL East Cinema, 14:00-19:30: Olympic Urbanism

An afternoon symposium exploring city responses to hosting the Olympic Games and their subsequent legacies and sustainability.

The symposium accompanies a special ‘Olympic Urbanism’ edition of the Planning Perspectives journal and the launch of the fourth edition of Olympic Cities, edited by John and Margaret Gold.

International scholars and contributors will explore the changing ideas and practices that have influenced how cities have responded to hosting the Games, discuss the lessons about legacy and sustainability that can be learned from previous events and anticipate the challenges facing the host cities of Games to come.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/may/olympic-urbanism-past-present-and-future

Unruly Bodies | Matthew Beaumont & Annie Olaloku-Teriba 01/05/2024

Podcast: Unruly Bodies

Urban Lab's Co-Director Professor Matthew Beaumont discusses his new book, How We Walk: Frantz Fanon and the Politics of the Body (Verso Books, 2024), on the Verso Podcast with Eleanor Penny and Annie Olaloku-Teriba.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/versobooks/unruly-bodies-matthew-beaumont-annie-olaloku-teriba?

Unruly Bodies | Matthew Beaumont & Annie Olaloku-Teriba On this episode of The Verso Podcast we’re going on a deep dive into the work of the psychiatrist, political theorist, and philosopher Frantz Fanon. Our wonderful host, Eleanor Penny, sat down with Ma

25/04/2024

Join us on 07 May for an afternoon symposium exploring city responses to hosting the Olympic Games and their subsequent legacies and sustainability.

The symposium accompanies a special ‘Olympic Urbanism’ edition of the Planning Perspectives journal and the launch of the fourth edition of Olympic Cities, edited by John and Margaret Gold.

International scholars and contributors will explore the changing ideas and practices that have influenced how cities have responded to hosting the Games, discuss the lessons about legacy and sustainability that can be learned from previous events and anticipate the challenges facing the host cities of Games to come.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/events/2024/may/olympic-urbanism-past-present-and-future

The Power of Residents 18/04/2024

Next Thursday 25 April, Komedia in Brighton will host The Power of Residents, a short film programme to support the release of A Difficult Place by John Edwards and Katy Beinart, who completed her PhD at Urban Lab. The event will raise funds for Phoenix Food Shop, which provides low cost food to the local community. The films give voice to communities impacted adversely by gentrification and the politics of austerity, with the event highlighting filmmaking as a tool for activism.

Book tickets: https://www.picturehouses.com/movie-details/019/HO00014470/the-power-of-residents #:~:text=This%20screening%20of%20three%20shorts,Phoenix%20Arts%20Space%20in%202023.

The Power of Residents A fundraiser and film programme of shorts, ticket sales go towards Phoenix Food Shop“How is a film going to change public opinion?” - Dear Babylon, Ayo AkingbadeThis screening of three shorts has been curated to support the release of A Difficult Place filmed in Brighton by John Edward

Weather Matters 11/04/2024

CALL FOR PAPERS: Climate Mobilities: Adapting to Shifting Landscapes and Uncertain Futures

Independent student-led climate change and environmental journal Weather Matters invites submissions for its next issue. This issue will probe how climate mobilities reveal the interconnected and interdependent stakes of survival, adaptation, and flourishing amid accelerating climate change.

Themes include but are not limited to:
- Making Place in Shifting Climates
- Climate Risks, Mobility, and Politics
- Movement, Immobility, and Navigating Climate Uncertainty

Please submit papers by 16 April.

Weather Matters Over the past three decades, warnings of a climate-induced migration crisis have proliferated across global security, environmental, and humanitarian discourses. The International Organization for Migration estimates that up to one billion people will be ‘environmental migrants’ by 2050 (IOM 202...

Join us in Copenhagen | 10th Nordic Geographers Meeting | NGM 2024 11/04/2024

CALL FOR PAPERS: Transitioning Geographies, 24–27 June 2024

The 10th Nordic Geographers Meeting, taking place in Denmark, invites submissions on how research can contribute towards understanding contemporary biophysical, environmental and societal transitions across local, national and global scales and in different contexts; and how to direct knowledge and interventions towards more sustainable, resilient, just and equitable transitions.

Submit papers by 15 April here:

Join us in Copenhagen | 10th Nordic Geographers Meeting | NGM 2024 Meet geographers from around the world for the 10th Nordic Geographers Meeting, exploring the dynamics of transitioning geographies from June 24th to 27th, 2024

Photos from UCL URBAN LABORATORY's post 08/04/2024

The UCL Urban Room exhibition, 'Navigating the System', is open now at the inaugural Festival Printemps des Humanités at The Aubervilliers, Campus Condorcet in Paris.

The exhibition tells the story of how canal dwellers navigated both the courts of London and the bureaucratic British health system. The stories of the inhabitants of the boats reveal the intimate perspective of these people who make up a heterogeneous group. Their experiences highlight the system's inability to reconcile their specific lifestyle with the universal right to health.

The exhibition started as a research project by Joseph Cook (UCL Anthropology) and Nura Ali (UCL Institute for Global Prosperity). It was previously shown at UCL East and supported by funding from UCL Grand Challenges, UCL East Community Seed Fund, and UCL Urban Room. The festival is free and open to all.

More details: https://www.printempsdeshumanites.fr/fr/un-parcours-culturel/le-parcours-du-21-mars/navigating-the-system?mc_cid=ea93b9ab61&mc_eid=fb7d81618a

02/04/2024

Global Urbanism lecturer Dr Njogu Morgan has secured £10,000 funding from UCL-Wits University Strategic Partner Funds to research mobility and cycling history across 16 African cities for 'Cycling Cities: The African Experience', to be published in May 2025. The project is part of the Cycling Cities publication series, which covers 100 years of cycling policy and practice around the world in 50 cities in 25 countries.

Read more: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/urban-lab/news/2024/mar/urban-lab-researcher-explores-mobility-and-cycling-history-african-cities

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