Teach-out 7 March

Caring for the City: how a university learns from working with urban activists

Added Monday 5th: here is a fuller programme of the week: DXgmhtBX0AAmcWl.jpg

Added Wednesday 7th: the event happened, thanks to a brilliant gathering of students, staff and community people. There is a slide show at JustSpace.org.uk and a report will follow.

The JustSpace network of community and activist groups in London spent the last 2 years preparing its own plan for London, tackling the affordability of housing, the protection of the real economy and ethnic diversity, being serious about air quality, reducing the need to travel and proposing more food growing. Now the Mayor has produced hs draft of the next London Plan and Just Space has just submitted its response.  The Mayor’s draft is in most (not quite all) respects the opposite of the community plan, entrenching the power of real estate and financial interests & paying only lip service to real citizen participation. This event is the first exposure of this citizen response.

UCL students, researchers and staff from 6 departments in 3 faculties have played a lot of active roles in research backup to these citizen initiatives and some of these actions will be reported on Wednesday.

Alongside the strike of University workers called by UCU in defence of the decent staff pension scheme, there is a programme of special events with a focus on challenges to the orthodoxies of elite university practices. There is a programme of Bartlett contributions at s-t-r-i-k-e.org here and a fuller listing from Jane Rendell here http://www.janerendell.co.uk/the-strike-chronicles

The event is 1300-1500h (roughly) on Wednesday 7 March at 52 Gower Street WC1E 6EB in the basement where UCLUCU has rented space off-campus for such events. So there are no picket lines to cross.

You are very welcome to come and take part – as a community activist or as a student or as staff (or anyone). The structure of the event will be very fluid and will depend a lot on who shows up. One fix is that it will start with a short presentation of the Just Space community groups’ response to the new draft London Plan —a response to which a number of UCL students and classes have contributed research. This response is a major challenge to the Mayor:  citizens are demanding a different London.

Please use the comment space below to make suggestions or offers of contributions, or email m.edwards@ucl.ac.uk putting WEDNESDAY in the subject line.


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