Volunteering opportunities autumn 2015

October 9, 2015

As in previous years, there are opportunities for UCL students to work with and for community and activist groups on London planning this year. The School of Planning is working with the Just Space network to set up and support the opportunities. Two meetings are about to take place at which these will be outlined and relationships set up. There is one evening and one afternoon meeting so that more students can fit one in to their timetables. Come to whichever is more convenient.

These are opportunities to work voluntarily, outside your formal course, so you should take care not to shoulder responsibilities which are unrealistically heavy. Students in two MSc programmes —Spatial Planning and Urban Design and City Planning— will ALL be doing work of this sort with community groups and neighbourhood forums starting in January so should probably not also take on these volunteer rôles.

To find out more about what has been done by past students in supporting community groups, browse the rest of this site. An updated pamphlet will be available any day.

The meetings well be: Monday 12th October 1700h-1900h and Wednesday 14th October 1400h-1600h, both in Roberts Building room 110. This is the new Engineering building opposite Waterstones bookshop on Torrington Place. No booking necessary. If you are unable to come to either meeting and want to find out more, contact m.edwards@ucl.ac.uk

UCL Bursaries – closing 30 October

October 2, 2015

Beacon Bursaries for public engagement
Deadline: 30 October 2015
Do you have an innovative idea that will help you connect your research or teaching with people outside UCL? If you do, and you need guidance, support and money, you could apply for a Beacon Bursary. Up to £2000 per project is available to UCL staff and research students and we particularly encourage applications for projects in East London as UCL is aiming to develop relationships with local people in advance of the building of UCL East.

To find out more, and to download the guidance and application forms, visit the Public Engagement Unit’s website:

Student reports coming online

May 22, 2015

During 2014/15 groups of UCL students have been working on assignments devised to support community groups at various scales in London. Some of these reports are – with agreement of the authors – being made available here.

London-scale studies

Students in the course Citizen Participation in Metropolitan Planning urbng007 have this year been focussing on topic studies designed to support Just Space groups in thinking about the next London Plan – setting the agenda instead of reacting to the Mayor’s drafts. These reports will be posted here as they become available:

Alternative Forms of Housing Report examines UK and some international experience of diverse forms of housing supply, ownership and management and the roles each might play in London – Community Land Trusts, co-housing, co-ops, self-build and so on. There are many links to source material.

Environment report UCL June 2015 surveys the range of environmental issues which are, or should be, covered in the London Plan, emphasising the inter-dependence of the fields, often treated in isolation.

Neighbourhood level studies

An entire class of 90 masters students in the Bartlett School of Planning worked in 2015 in support of 6 neighbourhood groups working on Neighbourhood Planning or similar projects. Details of the module BENVGPLD From Strategic Visions to Urban Plans are here and some of the many reports produced are being made available here (with the authors’ consent) for download. More may be added.

Workshop on neighbourhood planning

March 16, 2015

Saturday 28 March: there will be a day-workshop on neighbourhood planning presented by Just Space neighbourhood groups which have been working with UCL students and staff from January to March 2015. The workshop will take place in Mile End. Details, programme and (free) booking here.

To new UCL students 2014

September 22, 2014

Effective engagement with community groups

In conjunction with the JustSpace.org.uk network of community groups in London we offer this year:

 1  A specialised optional module urbnG007 Citizen participation in metropolitan planning

  • Wednesdays 1100-1400h Term 2
  • Work in groups to support local organisation engaging on London planning problems at all scales
  • 15 Credits (UCL standard module)
  • Assignment designed to be of use to the group you work with. hand-in after easter break
  • Students from BSP, Geography, DPU, Enginering and any other UCL Masters programmes
  • For more, search urbng007 on Moodle or read the module outline

 urbnG007 recent topics & student reports –  scroll down

2  Opportunities for individual students to volunteer to work with community groups

  • Neighbourhood Forums and other local community planning
  • Borough-level plans
  • Greater London: London Plan and transport / infrastructure / housing debates

Research / mapping / surveys / design workshops / explaining documents / finding international examples / transcription

Next: Come to one or other of these meetings: Thursday 2 October 1700h in Central House room G01 on the ground floor or  Wednesday 8 October 1400h in Chadwick 2.18 which is just beside the front lodge of UCL, at the entrance to the front Quad from Gower Street.  This is a change of venue for the 8 October meeting.

Reports from student collaborations in 2014

May 29, 2014

UCL students working with community and environmental groups in 2013-14 are now being completed and some are being posted here to make them widely available.

Two people have been working with the Regent’s Network and with local groups in the Old Oak Common Opportunity Area and have written reports designed to support the case for the use of the canal – which runs right through the Opportunity Area – to carry freight, particularly spoil and debris from demolition and excavation and construction materials, thus reducing the very heavy road traffic which the development threatens to impose. The work is in two parts:
Part A by Rebecca Payne Part A – Canal freight RP examines the waterborne freight issues in terms of the policies of various bodies and the scope for action.
Part B by Kate Beeching Part B – Barging In KB exploring the complex responsibilities for canal freight development in relation to the proposed HS2.

DCLG meet UCL on NP

May 14, 2014

James Dadge and Mick Duggan from the DCLG team which runs Neighbourhood Planning addressed a meeting of students and staff at UCL Bartlett Planning (and Urban Studies), with an update on NP progress.  Eleanor Lowenthal spoke about work being done to support Our Tottenham by various students, while Thomas Zhong described work over the last two years supporting a Neighbourhood Forum in Brent.  Presentations here to download:

DCLG: 140512_UCL DCLG Presentation_JD MD (has useful onward links)

Tottenham: Eleanor Lowenthal TottenhamPresentation

Brent: Thomas Zhong CHURCH ROAD, ROUNDWOOD Brent

also useful: new crowd-sourced bibliography on NP: http://bit.ly/1liqaIs

There was a strong discussion and it is clear that student groups can really contribute valuably to the work of Neighbourhood groups and Forums. UCL seems to be pioneering on this.

Students support community conference on opportunity area planning: report now out

May 3, 2014

A number of UCL student volunteers helped to organise, run and record an important conference held by the London Tenants Federation and Just Space for community groups seeking to influence the planning of the 33 large “Opportunity Areas” in which much of London’s major construction is under way or planned. This event was part of a project funded by the Trust for London to support community engagement in six fast-changing parts of the city and it drew heavily on the 25-year experience of campaigning at King’s Cross. The conference report is linked from the JustSpace web site and a PDF is on the LTF site.

The conference also saw the launch of a web-based map linking community activity in London which is part of the same project.

Elephant Walworth NF video

April 16, 2014

Fabien Cante, UCL student, helped the Elephant and Walworth Neighbourhood Forum by shooting a video with them in March/April 2014. Here its is:  

Students signing up for busy year 2013/14

November 14, 2013

14 November 2013 Nearly 40 UCL students (mainly from the Bartlett School of Planning) have signed up to do volunteer work this year with community organisations in London planning, in collaboration with the Just Space network. Issues include neighbourhood planning in various localities from Church Road Brent to Canning Town Newham / work on borough local plans at Greenwich and Hillingdon / to London-wide issues preparing for the build-up to the GLA’s next London Plan, expected to be out for consultation in January 2014, supporting the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit and developing the use of waterways for freight.


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