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What does the future hold for London beyond the 2012 Games?

news editor20 March 2012

By PhD Planning Studies students Gabriel Silvestre & Lucy Natarajan

Many Londoners are wondering what will happen after the Olympic Games in London this summer, especially those studying planning at UCL. At the time of writing, the university is in talks with the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), the body tasked with managing the development of the Olympic 2012 venues after the Games are over. They are discussing a potential additional campus in Newham, next to the Olympic Park. Lessons from the Bartlett School of Planning’s latest London Planning Seminar demonstrate that there is a wide range of factors that can help shape the future of London’s East End.

Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design at the OPLC and Professor John Gold from Oxford Brookes University spoke at a double-bill seminar on the evening of 15th March. The event, entitled ‘Olympic Planning: London Beyond 2012’, focused on evaluating the developmental trajectories of Olympic host cities, including London and others. These distinguished speakers shared their experiences and knowledge, and explored post-Olympic scenarios for London. They asked: What does the history of the Olympics tells us about the urban outcomes? How will the planned Olympic spaces integrate with the wider area? How does London’s post-Olympic work compare with the experiences of previous urban regeneration programmes?

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Landscape and Critical Agency Symposium

news editor27 February 2012

Written by Tim Waterman, Writtle School of Design.

The ability to dominate and bend the planet to our creative or destructive will has guided our collective action in the landscape in recent centuries, but a richer idea of the landscape and our engagement with it may yet save us.

The Landscape and Critical Agency symposium at UCL on 17 February brought together 12 committed advocates for landscape in a one-day single-panel event designed to situate this discourse firmly within the range of disciplines concerned with the built environment.

The symposium posed the question:

“What agency does landscape possess, as a means of territorial organisation and creative production, to engage critically with the conditions that define the collective aspects of our environment?”

Bestowing agency upon the landscape itself is the first crucial step towards engaging in a conversation with it rather than perpetuating the obliterating human monologue to which we seem so tied.

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