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BUDDlab series

BUDDlab is published by the Development Planning Unit, UCL. The Development Planning Unit is an international centre specialising in academic teaching, practical training, research and consultancy in sustainable urban and regional development policy, planning and management.
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BUDDlab Volume 1 - October 2010
Wales Workshop

Since the beginning of time, the art and act of building has been at the core of human evolution and our relationship with the specific landscapes that surround us. And while the idea of building with traditionally local materials and resources still exists in parts of the world, in many western societies, the opportunity to initiate and engage in an actual building project is difficult in comparison to the amount of ideas that are hatched on a drawing board or computer.

For the past years, the Wales Workshop at CAT-Machenllyth has provided a platform for BUDD students to escape the urban confines of London, and gain hands-on skills utilizing local resources and methods while further building upon their group dynamics outside the classroom. BUDDlab Volume 1 captures the essence of these experiences, offering a collection of essays regarding the conceptual multiplicity of ‘building’ and the role of practitioners, as well as the reflective voices of past students. People are at the heart of building and the Wales Workshop would not have been possible without the passion and dedication of our esteemed colleague, Maurice Mitchell of the London Metropolitan University, the fine hosts and facilities at CAT-Machenllyth and indeed the many BUDD students who have trudged its grounds.

Foreword -Caren Levy
Materials that Fit -Maurice Mitchell
Reflecting on Action -Camillo Boano
Building Dimensions -William Hunter
Student Voices

BUDDlab Vol 2 - June 2011
BUDDcamp, Brescia-Italy

...In ‘Trading Cities 1’ from his now seminal text Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino describes the city of Euphemia as a place “where the merchants of seven nations gather at every solstice and equinox.” These merchants arrive at Euphemia for trade and simultaneously develop an evening cultural exchange, “sharing tales of wolves, sisters, treasures” unifying merchants from different nations along their travels for financial gain. Though cultural diverse, this sharing of second hand experience of the world serves to connect specific lifestyles, thereby giving Euphemia a distinct social identity.

Unfortunately, in most urban areas throughout the world, this symbolic and evocative aura of collectiveness falters by way (among other things) of stereotypical fear and fragmentation. Nestled near Brescia, Italy’s main central square, the Quartiere Del Carmine, was a place not unlike Euphemia. Though finding itself in a state dereliction in the ‘70s and ‘80s, subsequent refurbishment and transformation in the ‘90s has given way to a completely gentrified character with pockets of mixed immigrant areas. A major consequence of this development is that it has stifled the use of open spaces and semi-public spaces where everyday meetings took place and strong social ties were formed and thrived. However, despite this challenge, small groups of women have initiated projects underlining good neighbourhood practices that revolve around a network of open houses where immigrant families develop ‘care’ practices at different levels...

FOREWORD - William Hunter
INTRODUCTION - Agostino Zanotti
BUDD 2011 Class

BUDDlab Vol 3 - February 2012
"Speculations on a Good City"

“Through its complex orchestration of time and space no less than through the social division of labor, life in the city takes on the character of a symphony: specialized human aptitudes, specialized instruments, give rise to sonorous results which, neither in volume nor in quality, could be achieved by any single piece.”

The symphony of Lewis Mumford’s city is one of progressive innovation, an evolving repository of meanings and memories. It distinguishes itself from other scales of creation due to the way density harnesses and gives rise to a new energized circuitry manifest in social activity and material artefacts. Yet the city, with all this dynamic sophistication, is arguably just as imperfect. Essentially the city provides the location for culture to feed, to roam, and to make mischief.

Indeed plenty of mischief occurs in cities- from the wallows of criminal activity, to uneven capital distribution and societal fragmentation brought about by neoliberal urban planning. Hardly a city in the world can claim exclusion from these debilitating forces. But certainly these rather negative and challenging facets of human nature are not the only defining features of our cities. After all, cities everywhere are counteracting these realities with ever-competing campaigns of unique and attractive urban projects and initiatives, cultural experiments, and overall positivity. The burning question then is not one of perfection, but rather considers what factors and criteria can simply render a ‘good city’?...

Preface - William Hunter

THE GOOD CITY: Inclusive City: Recognition, Redistribution and Representation for Negotiating Insurgent Citizenships - Veyom Bahl

Cultivating Innovation: Seeds of a good city and the case of Rosario - Krista Canellakis

Shaking Up the City: From Street Art to Creating a Sense of Place - Melissa García-Lamarca

Two Ideal Contemporary City Visions: England and Chile: Daniela Godoy

Musings on a Networked City - Benjamin Leclair-Paquet

Memory City- Still Learning from Las Vegas - William Hunter

Composing the City: Urban Feedback, Connectivity & Strengthened Identity - Andrew Wade

Good for whom? Nick Wolff

The concept of the good city is inherently subjective -good for whom? Beyond the physical infrastructure, the concept of a city is also made up of its visitors and workers, the role that the city as a functioning entity performs and the influence that it brings to bear on those outside its borders, which may reach from the local to the global. However the group that has the greatest stake in the notion of a good city are its residents, and it is they with whom this essay will be primarily concerned. The essay will approach the good city as one that is good for all its residents. It is therefore directly concerned with the concept of social justice.

AFTERWORD - Camillo Boano



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