Projects

A list of projects that RUL members are involved in:

SD4116 vol.2
Building Sustainable, Inclusive and Just Cities (Hons module)

RUL proudly presents: Sustainable, Inclusive and Just Cities, Vol.2

The Radical Urban Lab is proud and delighted to present its second book! Sustainable, Inclusive and Just Cities Vol.2 is our collective volume numbering 431 pages, featuring 46 contributions from around the world on the questions of environmental justice, housing, infrastructure and social exclusion. Our expert authors (all students in the 2023/24 cohort of Building Sustainable, Inclusive and Justice Cities, SD4116), present a major sustainability challenge that a city of their choice is faced with, along with suggestions to the community on how to go about tackling this without relying on the support of the authorities. The result is a

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Latest from the Lab

Where Earth Ends: Resources

Where Earth Ends wonders what our gardens and green (and blue) spaces were like in the past, and what they might be in the future. We are on a journey to (re)discover places familiar and obscure, exploring the rich lifeworlds around us using all our senses — and more. With support from the Scotland’s Future Series, we kicked off our programme with two ‘Plugging Into Nature’ interactive soundscaped walks through St Andrews, on Monday 10 June and Tuesday 11 June 2024. Upcoming events here. Listen to our soundscapes on SoundCloud and view our zine: Credits and contact Sources of maps used

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Blog

‘Where Earth Ends: Plugging Into Nature’ Events

Anna Arghiros, Julia Lurfová, Elizabeth Robertson and Benjamin Ong Have you ever wondered what our gardens and green (and blue) spaces were like in the past, and what they might be in the future? Let’s go for a walk! Join the Radical Urban Lab on a journey to (re)discover places familiar and obscure. Reflect on the past, experience the present, and ponder the future as we explore the rich lifeworlds around us using all our senses.  Programme of events, suitable for all ages:  1. Plugging Into Nature interactive soundscaped walk through St Andrews. 11am to 12pm, Monday 10 and Tuesday

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Where Earth Ends: Rediscovering and reimagining Scotland’s urban green spaces (Benjamin Ong)

While various sustainable landscape approaches are in motion — from edible gardens to wildflower meadows — biodiversity conflict (e.g., different expectations of landscape) remains a key obstacle to imagining and realising these alternatives. This conflict is evident around us, from so-called pigeon spikes to the debate around manicured vs. messy gardens. There is a fundamental need for reconciliation and a transformation of the human-nature relationship. The University recently awarded School of Geography and Sustainable Development PhD student and RUL member Benjamin Ong a Scotland’s Future Series grant for a project titled ‘Where Earth Ends: Rediscovering and reimagining Scotland’s urban green

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Behind barricaded doors: gender, class, and power in the London squatting movement  (Rowan Milligan)

I am exploring how gender and class condition power and hierarchy within the London squatting movement. Squats are a significant intervention in drawing the housing crisis out of an individualised, private sphere, and recasting it as a collective struggle. Many squats function both as a material solution to the housing problem through providing shelter and support whilst also functioning as social spaces, with cafes, bars, and other communal activities. As these are forms of resistance that are situated inside the home, I am examining whether these purportedly feminist and autonomous spaces subvert or replicate gendered/sexist divisions of labour and interpersonal

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Building sustainable, inclusive and just cities (Antonis Vradis and Hons colleagues)

Antonis teaches a new Honours module at St Andrews, Building Sustainable, Inclusive and Just Cities. In the module’s inaugural year (2020-21), Hons colleagues were asked to present a major urban challenge in a city that they were familiar with, and to explain how local communities could go about challenging this, without or against state intervention. The result was Community Power, a virtual special issue edited by Moriah Hull, Linda Eckefeldt, Mathilde Roze and Antonis Vradis. The interventions of colleagues in the years ahead will be posted here. Stay tuned… The module is running again in the 2022-23 year. /*! elementor

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Is Gentrification the new Colonialism? Perspectives from Political Geography (Josh Hazelbower)

This research examines how enduring colonial attitudes and practices treat land in Canada as a financial instrument, at the expense of its economic functions, including the provision of affordable housing. This research further considers how such practices cause land use inefficien-cies, pushing development to sprawl outward into Indigenous land not yet under colonisation. Aspects of these problems were identified long ago, in the era of Canada’s confederation (1867-1871), and were even then widely criticized for creating socio-economic inequality (George 1884). This earlier reckoning became known as the “land crisis” (Lough 2012). My re-search builds on a growing body of work

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Roaming the city of illusions: understanding migrant trajectories through their use of Information and Communication Technologies (Nerina Boursinou)

In 2014/2015, the EU faced one of the most severe border crises in its contemporary history, profoundly reshaping its governance structures and democratic values. Migrants crossing its land and maritime frontiers provoked a number of reactions from its institutions, politicians and citizens. Over the course of the following six years, the EU territory was re/formed through spatial contestations, severe border violence and xenophobic discourses. At the same time, the continent has witnessed unprecedented and decentralised solidarity actions toward these newcomers. In these ways, the continent’s ‘refugee crisis’ involved multiple dynamics between a range of actors and stakeholders, which were not

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Critical Understandings of Predictive Policing (Evie Papada, Giorgos Mattes and Antonis Vradis)

Evie Papada, Giorgos Mattes and Antonis Vradis are part of an international team of researchers looking at the impact of predictive policing. Critical Understanding of Predictive Policing (CUPP), is an international project running from 1 February 2021 until 31 January 2023 funded under the NordForsk Research and Innovation Programme on Digitalisation of the Public Sector (project no. 100786). It brings together seven partner organisations from five European countries – Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Estonia and the United Kingdom – to explore the digital transformation of law enforcement and its impact on crime detection and prevention. It aims to identify and critically

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Decolonising the City (DtC): co-designing a participatory arts-based research toolkit with migrant communities in Athens, Greece (Anna Papoutsi, Penny Travlou and Antonis Vradis)

Decolonising the City (DtC) is a Knowledge Mobilisation Award funded by the Urban Studies Foundation (USF). DtC follows on from our 2019 USF seminar series (Copenhagen, Barcelona, Athens), which brought together academics and practitioners to examine existing migrant welcoming practices and reached two findings. First: academic knowledge needs to be co-produced with the communities it addresses, in ways that are inclusive, relevant and useful to them. Second: this very idea of “urban belonging” is rapidly changing. In this moment of dual transition, migrants settle in European cities (often not their preferred destination) while receiving societies are faced with the legacies

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