Welcome to the Designing for the Future Congress Special edition of Here & Now, the Journal of The Academy of Urbanism. 

In this edition we reflect on our time at Congress in June of this year. Keynote presenter Itai Palti wrestles with the consequences of Abstraction and Extraction, Flora Samuel makes the case for a Cambridge Urban Room, Selena Scott provides a beautiful illustration, and Nick Falk considers how to grow cities like Cambridge. Harrison Brewer reminds us of the transient and often embattled nature of residents in his description of The Other City Tour. And Jas Atwal – AoU Chair – provides her musings on, and thanks for, another successful Congress. 

All this plus a Book Review, four new My Places and more, in this issue of Here and Now.


Wrestling with Abstraction and Extraction
Itai Palti takes us through his keynote presentation, questioning why new developments often fail to deliver and thinking widely about the systems that may be suppressing higher quality urban outcomes.

The Cambridge (Urban) Room
It was very clear to Flora Samuel when applying for her role as The Professor of Architecture that Cambridge needed an Urban Room. In this article she explains why.

Living Intentionally – where does cohousing fit in our vision for the future?
Harrison Brewer uses Congress Tour of marmalade Lane as the basis for a witty yet important discussion on cohousing as a legitimate component of the UK housing mix.

Designing for the Future: Insights from the Cambridge Congress
AoU Chair Jas Atwal provides her thoughts on Designing for the Future in a city like Cambridge, where historic charm is juxtaposed against cutting edge innovation.

Threads of Time
Selena Scott provides a bespoke artwork.  


Shetland Isles
Alex Malcolmson - Artist

Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton, New Zealand
Chris Howells - Garden Designer

Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center, Asheville, NC, USA
Mary Holden Thompson - Founder

Any Park, Anywhere
Nicola Wilkinson - Holistic Health & Fitness Specialist


The Other City Tour
Harrison Brewer considers how historic rituals can sit, often awkwardly, against a state of flux as highly mobile communities move in and out of Cambridge.

The Earth Transformed: The Untold Story
Long time contributor, Nicholas Falk, finds Peter Frankopan’s new book to be an extremely well referenced overview of the global challenges we face as a result of global warming and considers what role development and levelling up will play in the future.


How do you grow cities like Cambridge?
Two weeks after Congress Michael Gove MP announced a plan to grow Cambridge by 250,000 additional homes in order to become Britain’s answer to Silicon Valley. Nick Falk explains the challenges and opportunities which arise from a plan such as this.

The Agora
Vice Chair and resident philosopher, Andreas Markides, continues his examination of placemaking by examining his top five placemaking qualities and questioning if they are enough...  

The AoU Journal is sponsored by Space Syntax

Space Syntax

The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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