Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin

Date and time
25th November 2017

11.00-12.30 p.m.

The Archivist, Unit V Reliance Wharf, 2-10 Hertford Road, London, N1 5ET
(find on Google Maps)

Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin

UK premiere of Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin (72 mins), directed by Matthew Gandy, at the London International Documentary Festival (LIDF)

In Natura Urbana the changing vegetation of Berlin serves as a parallel history to war-time destruction, geo-political division, and the newest phase of urban transformation. Natura Urbana takes us on a unique journey through Berlin ranging from the botanical microcosm of cracked paving stones to elaborate attempts to map the entire city in terms of its distinctive ecological zones.

Tickets can be purchased from the LIDF website from 15th:

Watch the trailer on the film’s website.


Urban Geopolitics book launch: Rethinking Planning

Date and time
20 November 2017

6-8pm (GMT)

UCL Roberts Building G08 Sir David Davies LT, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE
(find on UCL Maps)

Urban Geopolitics book launch: Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities

Urban Salon hosts the book launch of Urban Geopolitics: Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities (Routledge, 2018) edited by Jonathan Rokem and Camillo Boano.

Moving away from loosely defined urban theories and contexts, this book argues it is time to start learning from and compare across different “contested cities”. It questions the long-standing Euro-centric academic knowledge production that is prevalent in urban studies and planning research. Urban Geopolitics: Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities brings together a diverse range of international case studies from Latin America, South and South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East to offer an in-depth understanding of the worldwide contested nature of cities in a wide range of local contexts. It suggests an urban ontology that moves beyond the urban “West” and “North” as well as adding a comparative-relational understanding of the contested nature that “Southern” cities are developing.

In this event the editors and some of the chapter authors will present the books overarching themes and engage with selected cities.


18.00 Welcome and introduction


Jonathan Rokem (UCL Geography) and Camillo Boano (The Bartlett Development Planning Unit / UCL Urban Laboratory)


18.15 Book chapter presentations


Sadaf Sultan Khan, Kayvan Karimi and Laura Vaughan (UCL)

The tale of ethno-political and spatial claims in a contested city: the Muhajir community in Karachi


Pawda F Tjoa (Cambridge)

The Embodiment of the Ideology of “Development” in the Practice of Marketplace Coordination in Jakarta


Moriel Ram (SOAS)
The Camp vs the Campus: Revisiting the contested landscapes of an urban Mediterranean encampment in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus

Catalina Ortiz and Camillo Boano (UCL)

The Medellín’s Shifting Geopolitics of Informality: The Encircled Garden as a Dispositive of Civil Disenfranchisement?

19.00 Discussants

Matthew Gandy (Cambridge) 
Sara Fregonese (Birmingham)
Sobia Ahmad Kaker (Goldsmiths)

Followed by a Q&A with the audience and a drinks reception.

The event is hosted in collaboration with UCL Urban Laboratory and The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL.

No booking required.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

Date and time
11th November 2017

6.30-9.00pm (GMT)

Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London SE5 0HF
(find on Google Maps)

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

Urban Salon are supporting the screening of the film Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle as a fundraiser for the Aylesbury leaseholders legal expenses for the upcoming public inquiry on compulsory purchase.

Speakers include Beverley Robinson (Aylesbury Leaseholders Action Group), Anna Minton (author, journalist and lecturer), Loretta Lees (urbanist and expert on gentrification, University of Leicester; co-organiser, Urban Salon), Uzoamaka Okafor (Chair, Regenter Myatts Field North Community), Jerry Flynn (35% Campaign), Gerlinda Gniewosz (Cressingham Gardens)Paul Sng (Director), Luke Doonan (Executive Producer).

All donation proceeds go to the Aylesbury Leaseholders legal expenses fund set up by the 35% Campaign. You can directly support the campaign on its GoFundMe page.