Welcome to the slightly delayed April 2023 edition of Here & Now, the Journal of The Academy of Urbanism.
In this edition Andreas Markides asks the question on everyone’s lips, do we really need highway engineers? Meanwhile Harry Knibb explores the connection between place and productivity. We have updates on the shortlisted cities in the 2022 AoU Awards from Victoria Whenray and from the towns and small cities from Tim Challans and Steve Bee. Our regular book reviewer Nicholas Falk looks at Nigel Moor's new book on politics and planning while the Urban Idiot turns his attention to Social Value.
All this plus two new ARTplaces and six MyPlaces curated for the last time by John Mullin who has run the features for many years and to whom we are eternally grateful.
Is productivity the highest urban metric?
Productivity is not just the preserve of economists, Harry Knibb explores the role that towns and cities have to play in solving our productivity puzzle.
What are we going to do with Highway Engineers?
Is the profession of Highway Engineering dead? It is a question Andreas Markides feels he must ask on behalf of his misunderstood fellow professionals.
The coastal Peruvian capital is renowned for both its gastronomy and its congestion. Following a recent trip to Lima Julie Plichon and Giovanni Zayas reflect on the power of active travel in urbanism.
Communities and Historic Buildings
The Architectural Heritage Fund is changing. Kelcey Wilson-Lee describes its change of focus from aesthetics and the celebration of ‘great men’, to the role historic buildings can play in supporting communities.
The Urbanism Awards
A review of last year’s awards including all the winners and shortlisted places plus a sonnet by Ignacio Jáuregui Real from Malaga
The shortlisted cities for the last AoU Awards were Malaga, Mechelen and Trieste with the latter emerging as a narrow winner. AoU Director Victoria Whenray described what we learn from visits to the three cities as part of the assessment process.
Towns and Small Cities
We are used to seeing strong leadership when visiting European towns and cities. Tim Challans and Steve Bee celebrated the three towns shortlisted in this year's awards each of which has seen the local authority take the lead.
Railway Viaduct, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Rebecca - School Student
Michael Diamant - Design Champion
Hannah Gardner - Personal Assistant & Illustrator
Slemani, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
Berivan Omer - Architecture Teacher & Advocate for Child-friendly Cities and Communities
The Crown Bar, Belfast
Alan Jones - Architect
NEWS & REVIEW
In his new book Nigel Moor explores the impact of politics on shaping the environment. Nicholas Falk finds much to agree with in his analysis of the failings of our planning system and its ability to tackling climate change.
THE URBAN IDIOT: Social Value
All public tenders must now be assessed for their social value. While its aims are eminently laudable, The Idiot asks whether the results may not always be what was intended.
The AoU Journal is sponsored by Space Syntax