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    Archive for the 'Built Environment' Category

    New Practices in Urban Transformation: Towards inclusionary heritage

    By Guest Blogger, on 9 December 2017

    Written by Dr Lilian Schofield (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit)

    Bixiga, São Paulo

    Bixiga, São Paulo. Credit: Jen Leonard via Flickr

    Contemporary urban studies, especially those in global cities often acknowledge the challenges in city planning and a variety of urban development problems that are associated with rapid urban growth. The city of São Paulo, Brazil, which is one of Latin America’s most developed urban agglomerations, is no exception.

    The lecture by Nadia Somekh draws on 40 years of theory and practice, using the case of São Paulo’s Bixiga neighbourhood as an entry point to explore how a critical approach to urban planning practices can help city planners move towards a more inclusionary understanding of heritage management.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Re-orientating the Euro-centric bias in planning and urban studies

    By Guest Blogger, on 30 November 2017

    Written by Audrey Robeson, MSc Urban Studies student, UCL Geography

    With a room full to bursting, the launch of Urban Geopolitics: Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities, edited by Jonathan Rokem (UCL Geography) and Camillo Boano (The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL / Urban Lab), was clearly highly relevant to those studying, thinking, and researching contemporary urban studies. People lined up against the back wall, willing to put up with the lack of seating for a chance to hear some of the contributors give a brief presentation of their chapters. Afterwards, three guests were invited to give responses and their comments on the book.


    Image credit: Evelyn Teh



    Education Select Committee Brexit hearing session at UCL

    By Melissa Bradshaw, on 9 February 2017

    On 25 January, the Education Select Committee held the second Oral Evidence Session of its inquiry on the effect of Brexit on higher education (HE) at UCL.

    The committee heard evidence from UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur, NUS Vice-President (Higher Education) Sorana Vieru and representatives of University and College Union, Erasmus Student Network UK, Universities UK, the British Council and London Economics.

    There was a strong consensus on the potentially damaging effects of Brexit on HE, and an urgent call for the government to do more to address them.

    Professor Michael Arthur

    Professor Michael Arthur

    The hearing took place just over a week after Theresa May’s historic speech on the UK’s strategy for exiting the European Union, and evidence was heard in two panels.

    The Chair of the Education Committee, Neil Carmichael MP, began each session by asking the panellists for their reaction to the Prime Minister’s speech.

    Every one of the panellists welcomed the tone of the speech and its emphasis on a “global Britain”, but called for immediate action and more specific detail – particularly in regard to the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK.

    Referring to the Prime Minister’s expressed wish to guarantee the rights of EU citizens, Professor Arthur said: “I’d like to challenge the Prime Minister to go one step further and take the initiative to make the guarantee and challenge the rest of the EU to follow”, arguing that this would give Britain the moral high-ground and provide the negotiations a foundation of good will.

    The committee heard evidence of the significant contribution of the higher education sector to the British economy, including the contributions EU staff and students make to the wider economy when they are residing here.

    Dr Gavan Conlon (London Economics) also argued that, with education the UK’s fifth largest services export, the HE sector can generate revenue that could contribute to the government’s Industrial Strategy.

    The panellists spoke of the positive contributions that EU staff and students make in terms of diversity and ‘soft power’, contributing to Britain’s prestigious academic profile and giving their British peers invaluable experience in international engagement, leadership and collective problem solving. “For a global Britain we need global graduates”, said Rosie Birchard (Erasmus Student Network UK).

    The committee also heard evidence that currently UK HE “punches well above its weight” globally – thanks, in part, to our membership of the EU. Jo Beall (British Council) pointed to statistics showing that the UK leads the world in research quality (by field-weighted citation impact) and 1 in 10 world leaders were educated here.


    22 Gordon Street receives royal approval

    By Guest Blogger, on 22 December 2016


    Written by Nathan Capstick, UCL Bartlett Faculty Communications Officer

    Credit: Jack Hobhouse

    Credit: Jack Hobhouse

    With Christmas around the corner, it’s often easy for the celebrations to merge into one. The opening of 22 Gordon Street on Friday 16 December, however, was anything but your regular festive celebration.

    In a day with talks, tours, a visit from royalty and an impressive cake, UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and its School of Architecture returned home.

    The event itself had been a long time coming; everyone had for years acknowledged the irony that one of the best built environment faculties in the world was housed in, arguably, the worst building on campus.