How to create quality of life in cities – podcast with Lucy Bullivant
In this episode of #TheSpeakerShow, Maria Franzoni interviews Lucy Bullivant.
‘Lucy Bullivant is a place strategist, curatorial director and award-winning author currently working in a senior strategic engagement role in local government. She is passionate about community engagement, urban progress and collaborative approaches to improve local neighbourhoods. She believes strongly in the power of cross-sector, cross-cultural collaboration, having successfully delivered a range of projects of social value internationally.
In this fascinating episode, we discuss:
Reviving the UK’s high street
Temple Bar London talk series
Temple Bar London’s architectural talks, which Lucy Bullivant, Trustee, curates, have been livestreamed since July 2020 as a way to ensure our events programme kept going in an accessible form. The series has proved consistently highly stimulating, and it has been an immense pleasure to host our speakers. We extend our gratitude to everyone who has taken part. In October we launched Temple Bar’s in-house talks at our newly refurbished home on Paternoster Square, and hosted full house audiences there for the first time.
The 2022 talks season was packed with first rate, wide-ranging and up-to-the-minute content. Owen Hopkins, architectural curator and writer, and Director of the Farrell Centre, Newcastle, opening in spring 2023, spoke about creating the vision and plans for this new civic institution. Femi Oresanya, Principal, HOK, discussed Diversity and Collaboration in Architecture. Photographer Niki Gorick talked about the theme of her latest book, ‘Faith in the City of London’, revealing a sense of the spiritual life of the Square Mile. Architect Christina Norton, Partner, Soundings (April), in ‘Walking the Walk: Re-imagining public space, 2012-22’, provided fascinating insights into the practice’s commitment to raising the quality of community engagement and public realm across all their schemes in London. The Trust supported fundraising for Ukraine as part of ‘Kharkiv Residency Slovo: Art and Architecture under fire in Ukraine’, our moving conversation with the film director Jonathan Ben-Shaul and his Ukraine-based collaborator, producer Mykola Naboka, about ‘What Shall We Do With These Buildings?’ their documentary-dance film exploring the legacy of Soviet architecture in Kharkiv, Ukraine, made in 2021 before Russia invaded the country (May).
In ‘Public Offerings’, architect Yemi Aladerun, Senior Development Manager, Meridian Water, at Enfield Council (end May), discussed the avenues she is following to engender positive change on issues regarding collaboration and partnership, housing delivery, inclusion and representation in the construction industry. In June, architect Lauren Shevills, co-founder Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), and Place Shaping Officer at Westminster City Council, told us – in ‘Collective Action’ – about her own committed role in campaigning for action on climate change, how and why ACAN came into being, and what the activist network plans next.
In October Temple Bar London hosted its first in-person talk at Temple Bar – ‘Bjarke Ingels Group in London’ – with speakers Andy Young and Lorenzo Boddi, Partners at BIG London, the global architectural firm founded by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. The two architects explored the growth of BIG’s London office and their projects including Google London at King’s Cross, on Fleet Street at the former Daily Express building site and CityLife Milan.
The autumn programme continued with ‘For the Love of Materials’ by architect Mary Duggan, Principal of Mary Duggan Architects, and her materials-first approach promoting a new form of creative agency; ‘Media Art and the City: Aspirations and Approaches’ showcased the work of architect Jason Bruges, founder of interactive art/architecture consultancy Jason Bruges Studio, and author and cultural historian Margaret Willes, ‘In the Shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral’, explored her new book published by Yale University Press in March.
All Temple Bar London’s talk videos to date, along with a selection of thematic short films made by members of The Architects’ Company, can be viewed on the TBL website and on the Temple Bar London YouTube page.
Dugnad Days – Sletteløkka
In October 2022 as part of our participation as exhibitors in the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 – Mission Neighbourhood, we staged a roundtable exploring how participatory community activities support neighbourhood identity and amenity at Sletteløkka in Oslo, more widely in Scandinavia and across the world.
Venue: the former Edvard Munch Museum, Tøyengate 53, Oslo, Norway
Sat 29 Oct 2022, 13:00-15:30hrs.
Dugnad Days – exhibited in the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 – is an ongoing participatory community project staged in Sletteløkka, Oslo, with the neighbourhood’s residents, local council Bydel Bjerke and a team of architects, artists and engagement strategists. This ongoing grassroots initiative demonstrates the value of creative relationships and bonds forged as part of community collaboration to realise much needed social infrastructure to help cultivate neighbourhoods’ future identities as diverse and thriving places of shared value. Dugnad Days’ approach to community engagement draws on the Norwegian concept of ‘dugnad’, reimagines project governance as a shared participatory process and supports the building of Sletteløkka’s neighbourhood identity and amenity for its residents.
This roundtable explores in depth how the Sletteløkka community collaboration model has been evolved. What are the challenges and opportunities of working together on shared spaces to nurture their social value for residents? What is the impact? What is your view? How can participatory community work creating social infrastructure for residents be given a higher priority by more municipalities?
We have invited participants from Sletteløkka and others working on the project, along with some guest specialists. Join us to find out more, and have your say.
The goals, processes and lessons of participatory community collaboration for new social infrastructure at Sletteløkka. Hear from Alexander Eriksson Furunes, Lucy Bullivant, Dugnad Days team; Ragnild Olaussen (Programme Leader, Bydel Bjerke), participating residents Heshmat Hakimelahi (Sletteløkka Grendhus Committee) and Carina Wilberg, representing Sletteløkka youth, and Christian Pagh, Director and Curator, Oslo Architecture Triennale. Questions and feedback by the audience.
A critical focus on best practice in participatory community work globally. Alexander Eriksson Furunes, in discussion with Maria Årthun, Lucy Bullivant, Gabriela Forjaz, Ryoko Iwase, Kozo Kadowaki and Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr., Maria Cau Levy and Toshikatsu Kuchi (Dugnad Days team), Anisha Jogani, Placemaking, Croydon Council/members of the Croydon Urban Room team and Christian Pagh, Director and Curator, Oslo Architecture Triennale, discuss the merits of international examples including the UK, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Japan and China. Questions and feedback by the audience. We round off by summarising the roundtable findings, and providing clear and inspiring take aways.
Lucy to participate in ETH Zurich’s ‘Designing Urban Imaginaries in Colombia’ forum and as co-author, Colombia Urban Transformation Program publication, 2022-23
I am contributing my specialist knowledge of narrative-driven place shaping, including community-driven perspectives on design processes in Latin America and other global contexts, to a new publication about the projects of the Colombia Urban Transformation Programme, led by Professor Hubert Klumpner, Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich. I am one of a number of leading experts contributing essays to the design manual and logbook due to published by Architangle, Berlin, in 2023), and taking part in Designing Urban Imaginaries in Colombia, an associated forum at the Fabrica de Cultura, Barranquilla, Colombia.
Tara Gbolade’s talk for Temple Bar Trust – 18 October 2021
Tara Gbolade is an RIBAJ Rising Star Winner and co-founder of Gbolade Design Studio, recently shortlisted for the BD Young Practice of the Year Award. The practice specialises in sustainable design with insight from existing communities. Tara is a co-founder of the Paradigm Network, a professional network championing black and Asian representation in the built environment; and she sits on the steering group of Architects Declare. Her expertise in design and planning policy saw her lead the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town Sustainability Strategy – an ambitious planning guidance for Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils. Tara is a member of a few Design Review Panels in and around London, and sits on the Public Practice Board as an Alumni Observer. She is a member of the advisory committee for the Guys & St Thomas Charity Impact on Urban Health initiative.
Lucy is Expert Specialist for the Design Council’s multidisciplinary networkLucy is “delighted to be continuing her association with Design Council as an ‘expert – specialist’ in its new diverse, multidisciplinary network of experts addressing major social, environmental and economic challenges. The network of ambassadors, associates and specialists, and corporate partners ‘collectively embodies Design Council’s commitment to make life better by design’, delivering place design services, innovation, systems and service design across the UK. By better reflecting underrepresented groups, the new network ensures Design Council’s design support and advice is not only for a diverse society, but given by a network representing that diversity, enabling Council clients to best serve their communities and the UK’s social environment more widely.
Lucy becomes an Associate – Specialist, Design Council
As an Associate – Specialist I will be informing Design Council’s thinking and approach, contributing to research, policy and thought leadership. I look forward to working with the Council, its clients and members of the new network, applying my intercultural experience and skills in place strategy, including co-creating and moderating participatory processes for equitable and inclusive, regenerative and distributive design outcomes.”
The full list of corporate partners, associates and specialists can be seen here.
Stephanie Edwards, Urban Symbiotics – Temple Bar Trust talk, 4 March 2021
Stephanie Edwards, architect, urbanist and cofounder, Urban Symbiotics, gives the next talk in our Temple Bar Trust Pathfinders series, 4 March, 6:25-7:45pm GMT, which I am chairing. Sign up details here.
Urban Manifesto webinar series – latest episodes
We’ve hugely enjoyed creating and hosting our webinar series, Urban Manifesto, launched in May 2020, to create a manifesto for a happier, healthier and liveable urban future as the world transitions from the COVID emergency into a new era, collaborating with a wealth of speakers from different disciplines around the world. Urban Manifesto is co-hosted by Lucy Bullivant, place strategist, author & founder of Urbanista.org and Prathima Manohar, founder of think-do-tank The Urban Vision. The latest episodes explored Urban Innovation with Philipp Bouteiller, CEO, Berlin TXL – the Urban Tech Republic, and Meridian Water – Creating a new piece of city, with Peter George, Programme Director, Meridian Water, and Lisa Woo, Head of Placemaking. See videos of the episodes below.
Urban Manifesto 2021 kicked off on Wed 7 April, 3-4pm GMT, with guest speaker Indy Johar, architect and cofounder of Dark Matter Labs and 00 Architecture. Watch the episode here.
For our first episode live cast on 26 May 2020 we explored ‘Streets as Places of Mobility and Interaction’ with London-based architect Dinah Bornat and Demetrio Scopelliti, advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Milan. Urban Manifesto is co-hosted by Lucy Bullivant, place strategist, author & founder of Urbanista.org and Prathima Manohar, founder of think-do-tank The Urban Vision.
MARCH Architectural School, Moscow – Architectural (De)Schooling in the Age of Quarantine, online talk series
Lucy Bullivant gave a talk together with collaborator Alexander Eriksson Furunes on 2 July 2021 at 16:00 GMT (Moscow, 19:00 GMT+3).
Applying pedagogical processes as part of ongoing architectural and cultural practice transcends the traditionally contained model of an academic environment. Instead of an ‘ivory towers’ approach, intensive applied educational activities in specific local contexts serve to enlarge a combined practical and conceptual awareness of real sites, as part of an ethos of lifelong learning.
Norwegian architect Alex Furunes brings students into most of his international projects, in Vietnam, Hunan and Shenzhen, engaging them with citizens to design and build. British place strategist, curator and author Lucy Bullivant engages in educational processes through projects using a range of media which serve to draw out new, hybridised relationships between teacher and taught, transcend disciplinary boundaries and localise impacts through participation. This can be seen in a few of their collaborations with communities and students on Biennale projects: one, a collaboration with Shenzhen university students and a knitted garment factory in the urban village of Baishizhou for the UABB Biennale, Shenzhen, 2016; the other, a close collaboration with CAMI migrants support centre and students of FAU Mackenzie to design banners in the Sao Paulo Metro as part of the São Paulo Biennale, 2017. A third and ongoing project is the building of a community centre in Oslo, initiated as part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2019.
Mobilising the Periphery, ANCB Berlin
Urban peripheries are typically perceived as presenting only big challenges or problems. Lucy contributed an essay, ‘Dynamic Urban Regeneration in London’, to Mobilising the Periphery: Incubator for Urban Development, the 135 page publication from the Aedes Urban Laboratory, Berlin (2019), gathering together 48 multidisciplinary responses – initially presented at a series of symposia staged between 2015 and 2018, and now as a set of illustrated summaries – each of them alternatives to different peripheral situations.
Full details and ordering information here.
Dwell in possibility: liveable urbanism
Dwell in possibility: liveable urbanism – inspired by the title of the poem by Emily Dickinson – is the latest issue of Lucy’s webzine Urbanista.org. It analyses today’s capacities for high quality public housing and liveable urbanism more broadly, investigating emerging strategies and projects in the UK, across Europe and in Mexico. Urbanista.org puts cohousing, participatory placemaking and deliberative democracy centre stage in liveable urbanism’s next chapter. Thanks a lot to everyone who helped create this issue!
To Meridian Water…and Beyond
‘Making Meridian: Enfield faces its future’ is a new article by editor-in-chief of Urbanista.org Lucy Bullivant which featured on the cover of the 152 page winter issue of New London Quarterly published with a redesign by Stefano Meroni. In it she explores Enfield Council’s creative leadership impacting its bespoke approach to Meridian Water. Along with other top priorities for the borough and its communities. Check it out! Available to buy online here or you can read the story in full (without illustrations) on the Meridian Water website. Erratum: Sarah Cary, Executive Director, Place, at Enfield Council, for the last two years, took up her post in March 2018. Apologies for the gremlin in the works, Sarah.
Lucy speaking on cultural infrastructure and placemaking at MIPIM UK, 15 Oct 2019
Lucy was a panel member at MIPIM UK, Old Billingsgate, London (14-15 October), on ‘Cultural infrastructure and placemaking: Its role in positioning a city as a destination and value creation’, staged on 15 October. The panel explore a range of questions including, how can new developments in cultural infrastructure and placemaking shape the future of UK cities? How do we promote quality in design, future thinking and knowledge sharing? And how do we overcome the gentrification challenge to retain the culture of a place? Sir Horace Jones Stage. Chaired by Fiona Bruce, British journalist, broadcaster and TV presenter (second from left, below), with Lucy Bullivant, Director, Lucy Bullivant & Associates (second from right, below); Sherry Dobbin, Partner, Futurecity; (left, below) Ros Morgan, Chief Executive, Heart of London Business Alliance (right, below); and Tony Reeves, Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council (middle, below).
Speakers Associates is handling Lucy’s speaking engagements
Keynotes provide a unique event experience. Lucy creates and presents engaging and original public keynote talks, and chairs important panels and roundtables at venues around the world. She puts together a bespoke content strategy around your speaking priorities, and connects with audiences before and after her speech or panel.
Lucy only speaks about things she knows and cares about: topical, meaningful issues of architecture, urban design and planning, unpacking complex themes by simply telling a memorable story with a sense of humour to arouse enthusiasm and unity, and leaving the audience with actionable tools. She deepens her points with compelling imagery, and weaves in anecdotes about her personal international research of best practice exemplars.
As a chair Lucy is organised, inclusive, attentive, firm and positive. She sets the right tone in her introduction and creates a good narrative flow. Check her out co-hosting Urban Manifesto, the webinar series she set up with Prathima Manohar in 2020 here.
Lucy shares your event on her social media platforms (Lucy Bullivant and Urbanista.org).
If you prefer to work with an agency you can also book Lucy through her speaking agent, Patrick Nelson at Speakers Associates +44 (0)115 9713173 email@example.com.
Lucy’s Speakers Associates profile page with video clips is here.
May 2019: Dugnad Days, our participatory design project, is chosen to be part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 on the theme, Enough: the Architecture of Degrowth
Our new participatory design project Dugnad Days, selected for the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, is on show in The Library, a major OAT exhibition, which is taking place at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo from 26 September-24 November. The Triennale is the Nordic region’s biggest architecture festival, and one of the world’s prominent arenas for dissemination and discussion of architectural and urban challenges. See Lucy’s article in Urbanista.org about the OAT 2019 and Dugnad Days, and her review of OAT 2019 in The Architects’ Journal.
The Dugnad Days team is Alexander Eriksson Furunes, a Norwegian architect and participatory design specialist; Lucy Bullivant; Mattias Josefsson, architect and teacher at AHO (Oslo School of Architecture) & BAS (Bergen Architecture School) and Maria Årthun, a recent architecture graduate of AHO and co-founder of Makers’ Hub. Bydel Bjerke, the local borough council, is one of the project funding partners of Dugnad Days along with KORO – Public Art Norway. Through a series of workshops with members of the local community we are programming, designing and renovating a vacant space at Sletteløkka, a suburb of Oslo, into a ‘grendehus’ – a new community centre for residents. Aurora Brekke has made a new short documentary film about Sletteløkka, the lives of residents and the new ‘grendhus’ project developed through the dugnad workshops. The film is on show at The Library in the community section.
We aim to show how, through participatory placemaking, a collective, bespoke process of building resilience and social sustainability in Sletteløkka can be built. Dugnad Days is coopting the longstanding Norwegian dugnad tradition of co-production and co-creation with citizens – practices fostering human and environmental wellbeing. Through Dugnad Days’ process of dugnad inspired workshops to create a ‘grendehus’ – a community centre – from a disused structure – the aim is to facilitate a process of direct democracy at Sletteløkka impacting community wellbeing and self-determination.
Oslo Architecture Triennale (OAT) 2019, which has the theme ‘Enough: the Architecture of Degrowth’ is curated by British architect and writer Maria Smith; Canadian architect and educator Matthew Dalziel; British critic Phineas Harper; and Norwegian urban researcher and artist Cecilie Sachs Olsen. The team is challenging the supremacy of economic growth as the basis of contemporary societies and investigating alternatives, asking ‘how should architecture respond to a climate emergency and social division? What kind of architecture will we create when buildings are no longer instruments of financial accumulation? What will our environment look like when it is human and ecological flourishing that matter most?’.
These burning questions drive the OAT 2019 programme of exhibitions, sound installations, theatre, performance, roundtables and workshops, engaging and inspiring debate about the future roles of architecture and urbanism between professionals, business communities, decision makers and the public across borders, social layers, sectors and professions, locally, across the Nordic regionally and internationally.
OAT’s major exhibition will be The Library, staged at the National Museum, a project celebrating the value of sharing, de-commodification, and democratisation of goods and ideas at the heart of a degrowth community. Our project, Dugnad Days will be featured in a ‘library of futures’ of over 65 exhibits, it will include drawings, models, materials, artefacts and devices by local and international practitioners presented in four sections, the subjective, the objective, the systemic and the collective.
The Dugnad Days project started in April with Furunes, Josefsson and Årthun running a number of idedugnad (ideas) workshops in Sletteløkka. At these, community members have been brainstorming and summarising the activities they want to prioritise for their ‘grendehus’ (community centre). Their discussion revolved around how these activities could be managed, and what each one needed in the way of elements, resources and plans. Then responsibility for each one was assigned to a key person or people, from within the group. A reporter from the local newspaper in Sletteløkka joined the second workshop and gave the project a good write up. With two workshops under their belt, the local residents taking part used the opportunity to set up their own Velforenging (residents’ association) of Sletteløkka.
Empowered by their formal status and with clarity on everything they want to achieve to make the community centre happen, they then move on to byggedugnad (construction) workshops to bring the resulting overall spatial and artefact designs into being. As part of the curatorial team, Lucy Bullivant is writing stories about the community’s progress for Urbanista.org, her webzine on liveable urbanism and will play a contributing role in the final workshop discussions and event preparations before the OAT 2019 is launched.
On show to the public in OAT’s Library exhibition from 26 September for the Dugnad Days project will be visuals documenting what everyone did at the workshops and, to help visitors implement their own dugnad for a local project of theirs, an illustrated booklet about dugnad-inspired participatory processes will be available.
Dugnad Days is one of a host of fascinating sounding projects that make up the OAT 2019 – which has already tested the water with events anticipating its curatorial programme over the last year. It epitomizes how through focussing their own work and values in their local community, drawing on a rich tradition reinvented for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, citizens can foster a degrowth approach to sustainable futures. Characterised by cultural richness and social justice, it is one they can continue to build together on their own terms.
Spring 2019+: Lucy researching and writing a new edition of Masterplanning Futures, her award-winning book for Routledge
Event: Book Talk: Masterplanning Futures
Venue: NYC Center for Architecture, USA Date: 14 February 2013
Speaker: Lucy Bullivant Hon. FRIBA
Respondents: Adam Lubinsky, Managing Principal, WXY Studio; Tom Jost, Principal, PB Placemaking; and James von Klemperer, FAIA, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Moderator: Ernie Hutton, FAICP, Assoc. AIA, Co-chair, AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee, Principal, Hutton Associates/Planning Interaction
Organizers: AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee & AIANY Oculus Committee
Event: Masterplanning Futures lecture, given at Territorial Encounters, the 2nd annual Future Cities Lab Venue: ETH Zurich, Switzerland Dates: 10-11 September 2012 Speaker: Lucy Bullivant Hon FRIBA Panel moderator: Kees Christiaanse, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, Institut für Städtebau, ETH Zurich
In the past, spatial masterplans for cities have been fixed blueprints realized as physical form through conventional top down processes. These frequently disregarded existing social and cultural structures, while the old modernist planning model zoned space for home and work. At a time of urban growth, these models are now being replaced by more adaptable, mixed use plans dealing holistically with the physical, social and economic revival of districts, cities and regions. Through today’s public participative approaches and using technologically enabled tools, contemporary masterplanning instruments embody fresh principles, giving cities a greater resilience and capacity for social integration and change in the future.
Lucy Bullivant analyses the ideals and processes of international masterplans, and their role in the evolution of many different types of urban contexts in both the developed and developing world. Among the book’s key themes are landscape-driven schemes, social equity through the reevaluation of spatial planning, and the evolution of strategies responding to a range of ecological issues and the demands of social growth.
Drawing on first-hand accounts and illustrated throughout with colour photographs, plans and visualizations, the book includes twenty essays introduced by an extensive overview of the field and its objectives. These investigate plans including one-north Singapore, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, Xochimilco in Mexico City and Waterfront Seattle, illuminating their distinct yet complementary integrated strategies.
Masterplanning Futures is a key book for those interested in today’s multiscalar masterplanning and conceptually advanced methodologies and principles being applied to meet the challenges and opportunities of the urbanizing world. Lucy’s research for the 2012 edition was enabled by grants from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the SfA (the Netherlands Architecture Fund), the Danish Embassy and support from the Alfred Herrhausen Society for attendance at Urban Age conferences globally.
“Lucy Bullivant has completed and published in Masterplanning Futures a comprehensive outlook on some of the most relevant large scale developments in the world that are configuring a new understanding on the role of master plans.” – Manu Fernandez, Human Scale Cities
“The book sets out to explore the diverse range of activities within the broad – and questionable – banner of ‘masterplanning’. Bullivant examines a wide range of design interventions in the city, the motivations of designers and patrons and their relationship to place and culture.” – Jonathan Kendall, Architecture Today
“Set against the wider horizon appearing in the wake of the global economic crisis, this book presents a thoroughly researched argument for a reclaimed approach to masterplanning. A lively, discursive introduction charts how masterplans can no longer be singular, top-down prescriptions but must offer a collective vision and operate as a framework that can be adapted over time.” – Juliet Bidgood, Issue 128, Autumn 2013, Urban Design
“A handsome tome, well written, extensively researched and beautifully illustrated.” – Tim Catchpole, Issue 127, Summer 2013, Urban Design
“There is an almost mythical quality to the place called city – where those that have achieved a certain convergence of cultures and resources become iconic in the map of the world – the pleasure of them transcending the work they are made of. Masterplanning Futures makes a worthwhile casebook for these possible cities.”— Juliet Bidgood, Urban Design Group Journal
“Bullivant’s presentation was like a speed-mentoring session through her very thoughtful and detailed book, beginning with the over-arching premise that there has been a “necessary evolution” from 20th-century top-down master planning, which tended towards a “cut-and-paste urbanism,” to 21st-century bottom-up “adaptive” planning. The challenges facing cities and regions today, she said, require “a dynamic relationship and equilibrium” between those top-down aspirations of the past” and “bottom-up thinking” of today.” – Kirstin Richards, AIA New York