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    Archive for the 'Built Environment' Category

    Lebanon and the Syrian refugee crisis – lessons to be learnt

    By Guest Blogger, on 12 December 2016


    Written by Lilian Schofield, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit 

    lebanon-refugees-distribution-511x414The debate and discourse surrounding migration and the current refugee crisis is one that can be contentious and to a certain extent emotive bringing about polarised stands amongst different parties. The surge of refugees to the UK and other European countries in the past few years has been a major issue to politicians and consequently, been in the foreground of policy makers as well as a topic of great concern among its citizens.  So serious is this issue that it has been regarded as a major emergency and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel stated that ‘the issue of asylum could be the next major European project’ (Berry et al 2016).

    Read more on the UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit blog.


    Collective practices vs. the Neoliberal City?

    By Guest Blogger, on 29 November 2016


    Written by Harshavardhan R Jatkar, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit 


    Has democracy failed to resist the neoliberal vision of the city and does architecture have anything to contribute to the debate? A presentation by Leonardo Cappetto, an architect and co-founder of Grupo TOMA, came as a fresh and potent ray of hope on Thursday evening – 17th November 2016. Thanks to Dr. Camilo Boano, Leonardo was invited to present at the Development Planning Unit.

    His presentation commenced by juxtaposing the rise of populist right-wing politicians almost all around the world and the seeming demise of an alternative to the neoliberal city. But the optimism rose as he presented the work done by the Chile based collective – Grupo TOMA towards attempting to find that alternative.


    The promise of an alternative reflected within the very structure of Grupo TOMA, defying the norms that governed the 20th century professional world.

    Grupo TOMA is a collective of architects without any hierarchical internal relationships.

    It is a nomad organisation that resents the idea of growth for its sake and it works with temporal communities inherently being denied the chance for any permanent architectural statement.

    What motivates a group of architects to let go of the egotistic practice of the 20th century?

    What inspires their continuing reconciliation with temporal existence?

    Leonardo’s presentation was just a glimpse into some of the aspects that may answer these questions. (more…)

    UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UN Habitat III Conference

    By Guest Blogger, on 24 October 2016

    pencil-iconWritten by Alexander Macfarlane, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit

    Last week in Quito, Ecuador, more than 36,000 global urban actors gathered for Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, culminating in the adoption of a “New Urban Agenda”, meant to guide the actions of national governments in pursuit of a more sustainable urbanisation.

    The conference aimed to build on the work of Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996 and Habitat I in Vancouver in 1976. Habitat III represents the opportunity to make a real transformative commitment in pursuit of a sustainable and just urban future, and will coordinate global action on sustainable urbanization for the next 20 years.

    The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) at UCL have actively been contributing to the Habitat III between 17th – 20th October, and were represented by 11 academics in Quito, with staff members participating and contributing to 15 official events.



    Leading researchers debate survival to 22nd century at It’s All Academic Campaign launch

    By Guest Blogger, on 16 September 2016

    pencil-icon Written by Abigail Smith, Head of Supporter Communications – Office of the Vice-Provost (Development)

    Some of UCL’s leading academics joined together last night for a public event to answer the question “How Will Society Survive to the 22nd Century?” at the launch of It’s All Academic – UCL’s biggest ever philanthropic giving campaign.

    With a target of £600m, the Campaign aims to raise more money and engage more people with UCL and our work than ever before.

    UCL President & Provost Michael Arthur announces the Campaign total

    UCL President & Provost Michael Arthur announces the Campaign total

    The launch event brought nearly 1,000 people to UCL’s Logan Hall to hear what the future might hold from a great line up of speakers, chaired by ITN Economics Editor and UCL alumna and honorary professor Noreena Hertz.