The Unruly Subject of Urban Neighbourhoods: Research, Intelligence and Process in Urban Change

The Unruly Subject of Urban Neighbourhoods

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How can we nurture and forge a strong, legitimate and significant civic identity for 21st century neighbourhoods and cities?

Part of the lecture series between between UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and the British Library on Rethinking Public Value and Public Purpose in 21st Century Capitalism.

Through examples of international and UK civic projects, Lucy Musgrave shows a new field of practice in urbanism that has emerged to forensically study urban conditions and needs in order to propose change that is inclusive, rich in meaning, forward-thinking and human-centred.

This radical approach refuses to shy away from the inherent ‘messiness’ of urban neighbourhoods and their existing social networks, so easily swept away in the rapid churn of new development. Instead, it employs a new way of looking at and acting in the city; a process of analysing the complexity of what exists in urban neighbourhoods; bold, strategic thinking about urban change; and communicating new ways for neighbourhoods to thrive.

Lucy shows how spatial, cultural, social and economic conditions can be used to design inspiring, ambitious and tangible strategies for the future, and why it is in the interest of the private sector to adopt a strategic approach to city development that focuses on the value of long-term stewardship. Finally, she demonstrates the power of using evidence-based briefs to forge partnerships between politicians, policymakers, investors and users, build civic identity and catalyse urban change that addresses real need.

This event has taken place, but you can watch a film of it below.

Lucy Musgrave is the founding director of Publica, a London-based practice that specialises in strategies and design for public space, urban design and masterplanning. Publica’s recent projects range from an ambitious vision for the Oxford Street district, to spatial and cultural strategies for the City of London, to the restoration and redesign of Bond Street and Hanover Square. Publica has recently launched two major research studies, Place, Spaces, Work: The Creative Industries in London, and Vital Neighbourhoods: Lessons in International Housing Renewal, and is leading work for a cultural vision for the River Thames for the Mayor’s culture team and the Port of London Authority.

Over a 25-year career, Lucy has played a key advisory role in policy recommendations, strategic planning and the advocacy of design quality. She is currently a Mayor’s Design Advocate, sits on the board of the new social enterprise, Public Practice, the Mayor’s Night Time Commission and the Sounding Board for the
Mayor’s Public London Charter. Lucy is a member of the Barbican Centre Board, National Infrastructure Commission Design Group and Expert Advisory Group.

Lucy is co-author of Design and Landscape for People: New Approaches to Renewal, published by Thames & Hudson. She was previously Director of the
Architecture Foundation.

In association with the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Name: The Unruly Subject of Urban Neighbourhoods: Research, Intelligence and Process in Urban Change
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546