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    Archive for the 'Built Environment' Category

    Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination

    By Guest Blogger, on 17 July 2015

    pencil-icon Written by Freya Rudd, work experience student, UCL Communications and Marketing

    Virtual Control exhibition

    Can you have imagination where there is also control? Is freedom possible where there is security? These questions are explored in photographer Max Colson’s new exhibition, ‘Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination’, currently on display at the Practice Space of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

    Colson’s first solo exhibition at RIBA, presented and sponsored by UCL Urban Laboratory, showcases how public spaces seem to be guiding people toward social freedom and comfort; however, they are owned by commercial entities, with everyone venturing into these areas constantly being observed by security cameras, surrounding them at all times, watching.

    Colson graduated from UCL in 2007 with a BA in English Literature, and from London College of Communication in 2012 with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Since then, his work, mainly consisting of collaborations, has been exhibited at Brighton Photo Fringe, C/O Berlin and the UCL Slade Research Centre, just to name a few.

    His involvement in the works Hide and Seek: The Hidden Nature of Plant Life in High Security Spaces and Neighbourhood Watch have been printed in Hotshoe and Darwin Photography magazines. In 2013, he won the title of UK winner in the Flash Forward Emerging Photographer competition. These achievements caught the attention of the Leverhulme Trust, who offered him a grant in 2014. So far, I’d say he’s doing pretty well.

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    Thinking beyond sectors for sustainable development: How to make sustainable development happen

    By Guest Blogger, on 8 July 2015

    pencil-icon Written by Lucien Georgeson (UCL Geography)

    We have to break out of the silos; it’s clear that the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend on effective cross-sectoral governance and institutions. That is the powerful conclusion of a new book, Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development, launched on Wednesday by UCL Grand Challenges and the London International Development Centre (LIDC).

    Thinking Beyond Sectors examines the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and analyses the complex interactions between them. The main concept (see diagram below) is that the goals exist at three levels: ‘Well-being’, ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Environment’, and we must understand the complex interactions between and within all levels. Now that the SDGs and their targets are more or less decided, the big issue for the coming year is the challenge of designing institutions and governance structures to actually implement the SDGs.

    The ‘Levels’ of the Thinking Beyond Sectors approach

    The ‘Levels’ of the Thinking Beyond Sectors approach

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    UCL Communication and Culture Awards 2015

    By Siobhan Pipa, on 13 May 2015

    Last Thursday saw staff from across UCL gather together to await one of the most hotly anticipated announcements of the year. No not the General Election results – I am, of course, referring to the winners of this year’s UCL Communication and Culture Awards.

    Professor Michael Arthur

    Professor Michael Arthur

    Organised by UCL Public & Cultural Engagement and UCL Communications & Marketing, the awards, now in their second year, recognise the fantastic work done throughout the UCL community in spreading awareness of research and teaching through the media and cultural platforms.

    This can include working on television, radio, blogging, festivals, public events, arts projects and exhibitions.

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    Making Greater London the first National Park City

    By Guest Blogger, on 5 March 2015

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     Written by Hannah Sender, Research Assistant, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity

    Last week, the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity teamed up with the campaigners behind the Greater London National Park* to drive a debate on London’s green spaces and green infrastructure at a conference in the Southbank Centre.

    The Reimagine London conference saw academics, practitioners and politicians come together to argue their case for what a new National Park City could achieve for the natural and cultural heritage of London.

    What is a National Park City?

    London's Battersea Park

    London’s Battersea Park (credit: Tim on Flickr)

    The idea of making London the first National Park City has gathered momentum since it was first conceived by National Geographic explorer and geography teacher Daniel Raven-Ellison last year. Daniel’s vision features London as a biodiverse landscape boasting enough substantial natural resources and cultural capital to be worthy of a new title: a National Park City.

    Daniel proposes that, since we already have the natural capital, Londoners could take the principles of National Parks – to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area” and “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the park by the public’ – and apply them to their city.

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