Welcome to the Winter 2024 edition of the AoU Here & Now online journal, and the first edition to be published in our e-journal re-launch.
We’re doubly excited here at the AoU.
First, because it’s 2024 – welcome. What a year this is going to be with the importance of good urbanism ever more recognised, politically and otherwise. And second, because we’re launching the new and improved Here & Now, your favourite urbanism magazine, in e-journal format.
Our hope, of course, is that your enjoyment of this high-quality journal is heightened through this new approach. More digestible, more together, scrollable, and with greater impact. Given this is our first issue we are open to comments, thoughts, suggestions and ideas. We are also, more importantly, open to your views as fellow urbanists, so please do send them in – perhaps you have a particular view on density, or greenbelts, or density in greenbelts (the horror!) that you would like to share in a public, yet safe and supportive space. Ideas that move us forward. If so, let’s see them: [email protected]
In this issue we say thank you to the great Jas Atwal for her time at the helm and celebrate our new chair, Andreas Markides. You can read more about Andreas, his influences, views and aims for the Academy in our Chairs interview.
Regular contributor, Nick Falk, tackles the thorny issue of value in a multi-book review. Enjoying Moores’ highly readable Property: the myth that built the world, a book which all urbanists should read. High praise indeed. Boys Smith's heavily referenced analysis examines the drivers for value Beyond Location and shows how a different approach to urban form could produce outcomes that are more beautiful and more valuable. The Green Alliances adds to the debate, arguing that development should be located where people are not dependent on owning and using private cars. Finally, Markides’ new book Urban Myths is given the Falk treatment with a deeply philosophical account of how Greek mythologies help illuminate complex moral issues.
We have a beautiful Art Place illustration of a new town centre extension by JTP’s Astrid Guthier.
Andreas appears again, relinquishing his usual resident philosophers’ position to draft a piece celebrating the 60th birthday of Sir Colin Buchanan’s seminal report Traffic in Towns. Despite not getting everything right, Andreas marvels once more at the foresight and breadth of issues covered.
Packed full of opinion, Barny Evans starts a much missing conversation on productivity, Harry Knibb debates the next big disruptor (is it the S or the E?), and Harrison Brewer wrestles with the enormity of a 100-year plan. Sophia de Sousa considers how lockdown changed co-design processes and where we can go from here.
Finally, Mark Bessoudo steps in as our guest philosopher, exploring the philosophy of cycling and place.
We hope you enjoy!
The editorial team
The AoU Journal is sponsored by Space Syntax