How can we forge a more holistic, integrated approach to urban design? A way of operating that fully embraces the social and cultural aspects of community life and brings about liveable urbanism? Urbanista.org is a webzine of critical perspectives on the contemporary urbanist scene: its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Peripheral vision allied with a synergistic approach is needed to tackle today’s complex challenges. Urbanista.org investigates the ways in which multidisciplinary design and management teams are responding to social, cultural, political and economic forces globally, along with the underlying issues impacting quality of life globally.
It shines a light on how potentials can be unlocked. What capacities exist – including participatory placemaking, for example, or community land trusts – to create liveable urbanism, that need more exposure? What are the obstacles? Which aspects of past ideas are well past their sell-by date and need junking if there is going to be real progress and genuinely equitable outcomes? What emerging tools and strategies need much more airtime?
A lot of good stories about aspects of these issues get overlooked or remain untold. There is a global gap in critical coverage and discussion of these cross-sector, multidisciplinary issues which transcend national boundaries. Urbanista.org’s incisive global radar unfolds narratives. It critically analyses contesting realities, helping readers feel more engaged with the issues and empowered to take further steps to address them in a positive way.
Why Urbanista? – Urbanista.org’s inaugural issue – was followed by issue 2, Local-Eyes! on participatory placemaking. Issue 3, Sustainable Urbanism New Directions, a collaboration with Qatar University, was published in May 2018, and Dwell in Possibility: Liveable Urbanism, in 2020.
Urbanista.org webzine for liveable urbanism was founded by Lucy Bullivant Hon FRIBA, a leading place strategist, curatorial director and award-winning author, director of her own consultancy firm, Lucy Bullivant & Associates. As a unique cultural media platform dedicated to urban design and adaptive planning in an era of inexorable challenges faced by cities globally, Urbanista.org is not interested in novelty for the sake of it. We reserve the right to cut a necessarily broad swathe through topics but give the strongest focus to very specific situations and challenges. Urbanista.org’s approach to design and technology is hybrid and always closely related to social and cultural issues and impact. What are the relationships, tools and processes transcending outdated silo thinking with the civic agency to make a difference, now and in the future?
As part of its public outreach Urbanista.org also curates and stages talks, roundtables, seminars and exhibitions locally and internationally, collaborating with notable partners including the Center for Architecture in NYC; and in London, Tate Modern; Limewharf, the futures gallery in London E2; the Urban Design Group (UK); the Bow Arts Trusts; the Livesey Exchange; and Roca London Gallery; in Berlin, ANCB; in Oslo, the Oslo Architecture Triennale’s 2019 and 2022 editions; in Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Architecture Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2015); and in São Paulo, the São Paulo Bienal of Architecture (2017).
Urbanista.org has been designed by &&&, London, a design agency reclaiming graphic design in the purest form as a powerful tool to intuitively communicate across all platforms.
Urbanista.org invites contributions from suitably qualified specialist writers and practitioners based around the world. If you have an idea for a feature you would like to discuss, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a 300 word outline of what you have in mind and a 300 word bio.
To subscribe to the Urbanista.org e-newsletter announcing our forthcoming issues and our events in alliance with different partners, please register below.
Urbanista.org partners and supporters
Lucy has been supported in her research of content on Urbanista.org by a range of bodies including London School of Economics Cities/Alfred Herrhausen Society and the Latvian Embassy/Latvian Investment and Development Agency. Urbanista.org issues 1 and 2 and their associated events, in particular, were realised with the kind support of Dargan Bullivant, Thomas Ermacora, LSE Cities/the Alfred Herrhausen Society, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the Urban Design Group. Issue 3, Sustainable Urbanism: New Directions, is based on the illustrated proceedings of a Qatar University international workshop of the same name, a professional collaboration with Qatar University (Professor Anna Grichting), supported by the Qatar National Research Fund. A printed version of the publication was released simultaneously. See the issue for further details.
“It is wonderful that there is a website like Urbanista.org that focusses on current topics about urbanism on so many different levels. Questions concerning the future of the city, sustainability in cities, geographical, political and social changes are of course issues that all architects and planners need to keep abreast of and it is particularly interesting to see the attention that is given on Urbanista.org to conferences and news about the latest urban topics, with in depth analysis by Lucy Bullivant. It will no doubt create excellent spin-off for further discussions within the field as attention for the platform grows”.
Ben van Berkel, Co-Founder and Principal Architect, UNStudio.
About Urbanista.org’s founder/editor-in-chief, Lucy Bullivant
Lucy Bullivant PhD Hon FRIBA is a leading place/engagement strategist, curatorial director, award-winning author, keynote speaker and Expert – Specialist, Design Council, based in London. She works internationally with leading local authorities and private sector developers, museums, galleries, cultural and educational institutions, publishers, corporate and non-profit bodies.
She is writing the second edition of her book Masterplanning Futures (Routledge) which won the Book of the Year Awards at the Urban Design Group Awards in Feb 2014. Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures, co-authored with Thomas Ermacora, was published by Routledge in 2016, and 4D Hyperlocal: A Cultural Tool Kit for the Open-Source City (AD), guest-edited by Lucy, was published in Jan 2017.
A cultural historian with a PhD in adaptive planning from the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, and a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art, London, Lucy began her professional activities working as an art curator and director of open art exhibitions, and in the early 1990s became Heinz Curator of Architectural Programmes at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Lucy’s current and recent consultancy clients include Bydel Bjerke, the Oslo local authority; ETH Zurich; Enfield Council (place strategist, Meridian Water), the Latvian Embassy/Latvian Investment and Development Agency, Lambeth and Brent Councils, Architects’ Journal, Architecture Today, ANCB Berlin and the Nordic Urban Lab.
She has created and led outstanding international cultural programmes building audiences and provoking debate, including popular and groundbreaking exhibitions such as Remake – We Make, a thematic pavilion for the Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism Shenzhen (Dec 2015-Feb 2016), Urbanistas: women innovators in architecture, urban and landscape design, for Roca London Gallery (2015), and Live Work Play, an exhibition about the work of 26 leading architectural practices in Hampshire, UK (June- July 2014). Dugnad Days, her participatory project with architect Alex Furunes was accepted for the 2022 Oslo Architecture Triennale – theme, ‘Mission Neighbourhood’, staged at Gamle Munch, and the 2019 edition – theme ‘Degrowth’, for which it was featured in The Library exhibition at Oslo’s National Museum.
The numerous conferences, seminars and roundtables she has curated include projects for organisations including RIBA, ICA, Tate Modern, the V&A, Science Museum, Oslo Architecture Triennale, AIA Center for Architecture, NYC, and for Archis magazine/Archis Stichting. From 2010 she was the curator and host of the Talking Architecture series at the V&A, London, in which she engaged prominent architects in conversation, including Renzo Piano, Ken Yeang, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, David Adjaye, Michel Mossessian and Carmody Groarke.
During lockdown Lucy launched Urban Manifesto with co-founder and co-chair urbanist Prathima Manohar, a regular series of live streamed webinars with guest speakers from around the world across a wide range of disciplines, all of whom play key roles in advancing liveable urbanism. From July 2020 she also curated an online series of talks about contemporary architecture and urban design for Temple Bar Trust.
Lucy regularly lectures locally and internationally, including for the Architectural Association, London Met’s School of Art, Architecture and Design and the Design Council. In recent years she has given talks globally for AIA Center for Architecture, NYC (2021); MARCH Moscow (2020), and keynote lectures at the Nordic Urban Lab, Helsinki/Espoo, Finland (2018); Re-City, University of Tampere (2017); the World Cultural Cities symposium, Shanghai (20-21 Oct 2016), and ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory‘s second conference, Territorial Encounters (2012); talks for Syracuse University’s London branch (2015); moderating sessions at Mediacity: reflecting on social smart cities international conference, University of Plymouth and the Maker Age and Global Urban Development at the Recode the City symposium, LimeWharf (2015); at the AA XX 100 AD Women in Architecture conference, Architectural Association (2015); ‘La Sapienza’ Università di Roma’s Faculty of Architecture, THNK Institute for Creative Leadership, Amsterdam – invited by the leading Dutch architectural practice UN Studio for their conference on Scale, the Architectural Association and South Bank University, London. She has given lectures on her books Masterplanning Futures and Recoded City at the AIA New York Center for Architecture, NYU Gallatin, NYC and University of Houston’s College of Architecture, Cooper Union, NYIT‘s Manhattan campus; hosted by London Urban Tours and the Bow Arts Trust at the Balfron Tower (architect Erno Goldfinger), east London (2014) and at Syracuse University, NY; and at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2013, Barcelona.
To invite Lucy to give a keynote lecture or moderate a panel, please contact email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Speakers Associates profile page is here.