About Urbanista.org

Lucy Bullivant, founder and Editor-in-Chief, Urbanista.org, © Torsten Neeland.

Lucy Bullivant, founder and Editor-in-Chief, Urbanista.org, © Torsten Neeland.

What is Urbanista.org for?

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 potential 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. Urbanista.org’s incisive global radar unfolds narratives. It critically analyses contesting realities to help readers feel more engaged with the issues and hopefully more 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.

Cinema Moderno closed for business, Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, June 2014 © Lucy Bullivant.

Cinema Moderno closed for business, Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, June 2014 © Lucy Bullivant.

Urbanista.org webzine for liveable urbanism was founded by Lucy Bullivant Hon FRIBA. 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?

Events programme

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 2019; in Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Architecture Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2015); and in São Paulo, the São Paulo Bienal of Architecture (2017).

Web design

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.

North bank of the River Thames including St Paul's Cathedral, seen from the top floor at Tate Modern, © Lucy Bullivant

North bank of the River Thames including St Paul’s Cathedral, seen from the top floor at Tate Modern, © Lucy Bullivant


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 info@urbanista.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

Urbanista.org issues 1 and 2 and their associated events were realised with the kind support of Dargan Bullivant, Thomas Ermacora, the Alfred Herrhausen Society, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the Urban Design Group. Issue 3, Sustainable Urbanism: New Directions, is the illustrated proceedings of a Qatar University international workshop of the same name, a professional collaboration with Professor Anna Grichting. 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.

Rio's Porto Maravilha redevelopment, 2013, © Lucy Bullivant.

Rio’s Porto Maravilha redevelopment, 2013, © Lucy Bullivant.

About Urbanista.org’s founder/editor-in-chief, Lucy Bullivant 

Lucy Bullivant PhD Hon FRIBA is a place vision strategist, architecture curator, critic, author, guest lecturer and consultant based in London, who works internationally with leading museums, galleries, cultural and educational institutions, publishers, corporate and non-profit bodies. She investigates and evaluates innovative synergies in contemporary architecture and urban design between theory and practice across cultures.

Rio's Porto Maravilha area has suffered for decades from lack of regeneration, © Lucy Bullivant.

Rio’s Porto Maravilha area has suffered for decades from lack of regeneration, © Lucy Bullivant.

Her book Masterplanning Futures (Routledge) won the Book of the Year Awards at the Urban Design Group Awards in Feb 2014, and Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures, co-authored with Thomas Ermacora, was published by Routledge in 2015. 4D Hyperlocal: A Cultural Tool Kit for the Open-Source City (AD), guest-edited by Lucy, was published in Jan 2017.

Lucy outside the Royal College of Art where she studied for her MA in Cultural History.

A cultural historian with a PhD in adaptive planning  from the Sir John Cass Faculty 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: Enfield Council (place vision strategist, Meridian Water), the Latvian Embassy, ANCB Berlin, the Nordic Urban Lab and Roca Gallery. Her participatory project with architect Alex Furunes was accepted for the 2019 Oslo Architecture Triennale’s Open Call, and will go on show with the other projects accepted by the Triennale in The Library exhibition at Oslo’s National Museum from 26 Sept-24 Nov 2019.

She has curated numerous conferences and seminars for organisations including RIBA, ICA, Tate Modern, the V&A, Science Museum 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 PianoKen YeangAlejandro Zaera-PoloDavid AdjayeMichel Mossessian and Carmody Groarke.

Architecture students from Syracuse University in the East Village marketing suite, Stratford, © Lucy Bullivant.

Architecture students from Syracuse University in the East Village marketing suite, Stratford, © Lucy Bullivant.

Cradle to Grave: Berlin's Social Media Week 2013 spells it out, © Lucy Bullivant.

Cradle to Grave: Berlin’s Social Media Week 2013 spells it out, © Lucy Bullivant.

Lucy regularly lectures internationally, including 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 ArchitectureTHNK 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, with lectures on Masterplanning Futures and Recoded City at the AIA New York Center for ArchitectureNYU Gallatin, NYC and University of Houston’s College of ArchitectureCooper UnionNYIT‘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.

Exhibitions Lucy recently curated include 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).


To invite Lucy to give a keynote lecture or moderate a panel, please contact info@urbanista.org.













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