Inclusion, Diversity and Urban Design

Wednesday 12 December 2018 (All day)
The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ

Built Environment professionals are often committed to the 'public good' in their training and practice. There is an underlying assumption that matters of social inclusion and diversity are somehow embedded sub-consciously in the way we plan, design, and manage public spaces.

However, in this event, the speakers argue that there still exists a mismatch between mainstreaming what we think and what we do when it comes to inclusive cities and inclusive public spaces. Exploring examples from the UK and Europe, the speakers aim to offer a range of practices, approaches and tools for urban designers at different urban scales to meaningfully engage with the subject of diversity and inclusion in urban design.


Marion Roberts is Professor Emeritus of Urban Design at the University of Westminster. She was educated as an architect at University College London and following some years in practice as a community architect, took her PhD at Cardiff University, combining social policy and architecture in a study of gender divisions and housing design. During her three decades of teaching at the University of Westminster, she engaged in externally funded research and scholarly writing. This has covered the following areas in urban design and planning: gender divisions, cultural regeneration and cities at night. She continues to research and write and lecture.

Clare Rishbeth is a lecturer in the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, having previously practiced as a landscape architect. Her research focuses on migration histories and the experiential qualities of place, developing a landscape specific contribution regarding belonging and isolation, conviviality, racism and transnational connections. Her approach and social values are focused on profiles of marginalisation - shaped by intersections of ethnicity, class and gender - set against the civic ethos of properly public space. She has led a range of research projects on these themes, most recently The Bench Project (2015) and #refugeeswelcome in parks (2017). 

Noha Nasser is an urban designer, social entrepreneur and academic. She is Founding Director of MELA Social Enterprise with a mission to find creative solutions to the design and use of public space to bridge cultures. MELA has tested the mission through a number of projects from co-design workshops to immersive community-engagement events. Noha co-edits the journal, URBAN DESIGN International and is author of the award-winning book Bridging Cultures: the guide to social innovation in cosmopolitan cities and editor of the recent book Connections: 12 approaches to relationship-based placemaking. and @c0sm0p0lis

Photo: Esther Johnson 2015