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New Practices in Urban Transformation: Towards inclusionary heritage

GuestBlogger9 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.

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

GuestBlogger30 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.

Geopolitics-event-image

Image credit: Evelyn Teh

 

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UCL Festival of Culture: Urban Well-being

James LRussell31 May 2016

urban-wellbeingAs part of the UCL Festival of Culture, Dr Gustav Milne – Honorary senior lecturer in the UCL Institute of Archaeology –  gave a talk on Tuesday 24th May, entitled ‘Urban well-being: How to live paleolithically-correct lives in a 21st Century City’.

The idea that we as humans are not necessarily designed for the urban environments that many of us now dwell in is not necessarily a new one, but the extent to which this affects our health and life expectancy is more strikingly marked than might be expected.

Gustav began by outlining how our biology evolved thousands of years ago to support the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and explained that while the environments we live in have changed, our basic physiology hasn’t. We were told that our biological legacy dates back 6 million years – our physiology and lung system have not really developed since then.

Gustav mentioned the Grand Challenges project that UCL Archaeology has partnered in with Transport for London and Arsenal football club, along with several other organisations, which examined the health profiles of different social groups and populations within Greater London.

The research carried out for this project discovered a noticeable difference in life-expectancy between residents in boroughs with large areas of green space, from those who live which are densely built-up and populated. Contrary to what we often hear, the figures obtained during this research indicate that it’s not about social class or income but where you live.

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DPU SummerLAB: Common Grounds, Mostar

GuestBlogger29 September 2015

pencil-icon Written by Hannah Sender, Projects and Communications Officer at UCL Institute for Global Prosperity

The UCL Development Planning Unit’s SummerLAB aims to bring together a group of people from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to work on a single project over a week, confronting major challenges facing contemporary urban life in four different settings. This is no simple task. Having recently returned from the Mostar-based SummerLAB – Common Grounds – I can attest to the numerous struggles and successes of some 20 participants faced with the challenge of creating a common ground in the still divided city of Mostar.

Although several of our group were former DPU students, the SummerLAB also had in its cohort a theatre producer, an established architect and a forestry student.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (credit: Renata Summa)

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (credit: Renata Summa)

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